Being a Landlord is a Business

Most landlords do not look at their rental property as business. It is more look at as a side hobby or something that should contain itself. Usually the individuals that look at it as a side hobby or something that should not bother them, they expect it to perform as a business, with no input, effortless. And the individual’s that look at is as business, expect to perform as well as it is managed and maintained.

There are a lot of “real estate gurus” that make you believe that once you buy the property, that is it. The money just comes to you every month with no hassle. This is completely opposite for real life. With everything in life, you get out, what you put in. As a landlord, as a property owner, you have obligations to your resident and you have an obligation to manage and maintain your investment. If you do not do this, you only have yourself to blame when things to not go they way you expect.

Below are some basic tips to treat look at being a landlord as a business, not a hobby:

Documentation

It is basic, but you need to get everything documented. Everything needs to be in writing. All agreements, guidelines and policies, must be written. Personally I put a lot of information on your company website, so the residents are able to have reference. All another simple thing I like to do in regards to documentation is email all documents to the resident. Then they have a digital copy in the email, if they ever need to refer to it, and you never have to hear the excuses, “I lost my lease agreement.”

One of the biggest mistakes I made as a young landlord, which cost me money and headache, was not putting agreements in writing. Just going off the handshake and word of mouth, I learned fast that this is something that will cost you in the long run.

Systems

Not having systems is costly. It also leads to a lot of mis-management, and issues that could have been easy to fix. I have to deal with a lot issues that were “emergencies” just because I did not have the right systems. Something that should have cost me $200, cost $500 because I did not have the right systems in place to deal with the issue.

Also when you do not have systems, there is high likelihood you will deal with the same situations repeatedly. Which means, you are dealing with the same issues over and over again, which is timely and leads to wasted money.

One thing about businesses, they have documentation and systems. Look at any real successful business, I guarantee that they document everything and create systems that their business runs on. Take this advice and implement it into your business, do not make the mistakes I made.

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Thelonious C Jones

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