By Ellis Tran | PadSplit
Most rental property owners have the best intentions: they want to provide a good experience for their tenants while also turning a profit for themselves. But things don’t always go as planned. Whether you’re new to managing rental properties or a seasoned veteran, here are a few mistakes you should avoid.
- Failing to account for seasonality.Even in cities where the weather is pleasant all year, there’s a definite fluctuation in the rental market. If you’re listing a home in the late fall or winter, you can improve your chances of finding a renter by pricing more aggressively. In the spring and summer, you may be able to charge more. Expect all leasing activity to be slower in the winter, especially over the holidays.
- Being too strict with qualification criteria.It’s important to carefully screen your residents, especially since you want peace of mind that they will be able to pay their rent on time. But don’t set your qualification criteria so high that you turn away what would be good tenants. There is no perfect applicant—but there are plenty of good ones.
- Bad photos or no curb appeal.First impressions matter. We’ve seen different lease-up rates between identical properties based just on the quality of photos. Make an effort to get good photos and create a 3D tour to ensure applicants know you care.Prospective renters will often make a decision about whether they want to live in your property within the first couple minutes of their tour. Improving curb appeal can make a difference. Make sure the yard is well maintained, and the exterior home looks like someone cares about it—the neighbors will thank you, too.
- Pricing too aggressively.Don’t be tempted to squeeze every last dollar out of your property. It’s not worth a home sitting empty because you priced it too high. When setting a price, take the time to do your research. Check out comparable properties in the neighborhood on listing sites. You should also look at what the average worker is earning in your market and try to price based on 33% of their gross income.
- Not giving good move-in instructions.Start things off on the right foot, beginning on move-in day. Make move-in instructions clear and friendly and offer ways to decrease the stress on what can be a hectic day. Ensure the home looks and smells clean, have keys or key codes ready, and give clear instructions on where to park.
- Overlooking the value of co-living.With a single-family rental in your portfolio, most property owners simply look for a single family to sign a lease. But you can actually make more money renting by the room. With PadSplit, we help owners of single-family rental properties convert homes into co-living spaces, giving you the opportunity to make more money and reduce reliance on the monthly payment of a single renter. Learn more about how PadSplit can help you double your income at padsplit.com.