Given that becoming a landlord is a financial choice first and foremost, it’s worthwhile keeping this concern at the front of your mind. Renting a property out is not quite as simple as deciding to do so, finding a tenant, and then sitting back and letting the rent pile up – if you want an easy life, it’s probably not the best choice for you.
If, instead, you want to ensure you have a successful career with your property, then it’s worth fine tuning a few special skills. Some of these might involve learning a new skill; others will just be honing the ones you have. Put together with the benefits of experience, however, and they could make a real difference to the return you see on your investment.
Skill 1: Learn To Talk
It is somewhat inevitable that you will run into problems with a tenant at some point during their stay. These disputes are inherently fraught, because each side is approaching the issues with vastly different perspectives. The landlord is thinking about protecting their investment, while the renter is focused on their home.
Learning to talk with tenants rather than argue is a vital skill for all landlords. The worst thing you can do is let a relationship degrade, even if you feel they have done something wrong. These people have access to your investment; if they’re furious with you, then they could take it out on the house and wind up costing you a lot of money. So always be polite, keep to your word, and discuss things in length until both parties are satisfied.
This has the additional bonus of cultivating a reputation as an understanding landlord. This is not something to be sniffed at; it could make tenants want to stick around longer as they know you’re good to deal with. Given the costs of finding a new tenant, that’s something to be appreciated.
Skill 2: Maintenance Needs
Any property that you rent out is going to need to be maintained. Some of this has to be done by professionals, such as anything to do with gas lines. Other work, however, is something you can save a lot of money on by learning to do yourself.
Invest in classes that can help take your basic DIY skills to a new level. You will soon progress to the point where you can identify a bolt size at a glance, compare the pros and cons of a Hobart 140 as well as any professional, and inherently know just how much paint you need to buy for a particular wall. These are skills well worth learning, with the initial investment in the learning process eventually repaying itself time and again.
Skill 3: Record Keeping
No one likes keeping record; it’s boring, and if everything goes to plan then you won’t even need those neatly-organised files. The only problem is that, when it comes to renting a property, it’s unlikely that everything is going to go to plan all the time. That means a solid record of any interactions with your tenant or work you have done on the property might eventually be needed. If it is, then make sure you have it to hand – it’s the best way of protecting yourself.
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