SFR (single-family residential) real estate investing isn’t a simple set-it-and-forget-it industry. There are many things that Austin property management companies (or DIY landlords) must stay on top of in order to ensure success in the rental property market.
While there are some aspects of real estate investing that don’t require constant attention, property managers must always stay up-to-date on the four items below.
1. Landlord-Tenant Laws
Perhaps the most important thing that Austin property management companies have to stay current on are remaining in legal compliance with all local, state and federal landlord-tenant laws. This isn’t just a good idea; it’s actually a requirement.
Being out of compliance with even one of these laws can create a lot of headaches in SFR real estate investing. But, headaches could be your least concern. If you’re not in complete compliance with all laws, it may cost you a lot of money in legal liability, which could ultimately sink your business if you’re not careful.
A big challenge for property management companies is that these landlord-tenant laws tend to change often. As such, it’s important to take steps to ensure you’re always “in the know” so you can make any adjustments necessary before it’s too late.
2. State of the Local Real Estate Market
Knowing how the local real estate market is performing is crucial when you’re buying a rental property and when you’re first putting it on the market seeking tenants. But, it’s also important to stay on top of the state of the market even when you have a long-term tenant in place.
While knowing where the nationwide real estate market is headed is a good idea as well, your focus should be on the local market. After all, real estate is a very local industry. One market could be performing completely differently than another market across the country.
Understanding the trends in the local real estate market will help you identify how your rental property might be affected. This includes not just the value of your property but also the needs and wants of current and future tenants.
In SFR real estate investing, it’s imperative to remain competitive not just with rental price but also in terms of the features and amenities that your property offers. When shifts in your real estate market happen you have to react quickly to avoid potentially months of lost income. Understanding the state of the local market will make doing so easier.
In fact, keeping up with maintenance on your rental property is one of the most important factors in not only attracting new tenants but retaining current ones.
There are many property maintenance items that you need to stay up-to-date on, both inside and outside.
Outside of your rental property, ensure that the lawn is always cut, flowers and landscaping is watered and trimmed, walkways are cleaned and repaired (if necessary), and the exterior is kept clean and power washed on a regular basis.
Inside, maintenance includes turnover items such as repainting, general cleaning and replacing broken, worn and/or outdated items. It also includes consistently maintaining major systems such as HVAC with cleanings and filter replacement.
Ongoing maintenance in SFR real estate investing also includes responding to tenant concerns in a timely manner. If a tenant has a concern about a broken appliance, for instance, you want to make sure to respond as quickly as possible to not only prevent further damage to your rental property but to also build a solid relationship with your tenants.
As touched on before, it’s essential for Austin property management companies to stay up to date on the local real estate market because it provides them with insight on whether the rent they’re charging is acceptable.
Research was put into setting the rent rate when the property was first leased, of course. But, as tenants remain in the property, it’s possible that the local market has changed to the point where the rent rate is no longer in line with other properties.
This can go one of two ways. The market could change such that the rent you are charging is too low compared to other similar properties. It’s also possible, though, that the market has turned the other way, and your current rent rate is higher than that of similar properties.
By keeping on top of the rental market, you can identify if you should be increasing rent for the year ahead. If this is the route that you wish to take, you can come up with a plan for how you can communicate this to your tenants with plenty of notice, and in a way that increases your chances of retaining that tenant.
If you identify that your rental rate is above market value, it will help you prepare your response if your tenant reaches out about it. Will you lower your rental rate, or will you provide other upgrades and/or amenities to compensate?
If you’re not up to date on the local rental market, you won’t be prepared either way.
Work with 1836 Property Management
When managing your rental property on your own, it can be difficult to keep up to date on all these items — and the many more that require your attention.
By working with 1836 Property Management, an experienced Austin property management company, you can leave the worry behind. Our team of talented and experienced professionals knows what it takes to succeed in SFR real estate investing, and we help our clients do just that every day.
Contact us now to find out more.