If you’re considering getting started in property management there are a bunch of skills that you need to possess or learn, as there are for any business owner. You need some marketing, legal, customer service, administration and finance skills, some maintenance contractor contacts and knowledge of landlord responsibilities.
But there’s also some knowledge and good practice tips that usually only come with “time on the job” so to speak. We thought we’d try and share what we’ve picked up so that you have a guide to the basics plus a few bonus tips:
- Get up-to-date rental valuations for the property prior to renting it out (and at yearly or two-yearly intervals if rent increases are in your tenancy contracts) so that you can set your monthly rent in line with the current market.
- If your rent charge has to be set at base level with low to no profit available for a period of time, there can be opportunities to make money from complementary services such as commission and consultancy fees on insurance policies.
- Don’t forget that the clearer you are within your tenancy agreements, the less surprises there are, which results in happier tenants e.g. not just saying ‘regular rent reviews’ but ‘yearly rent reviews, each February’
- If you’re running your property management business from home, setting appointments at the client’s location and including SAEs with paperwork that needs to be signed and returned, makes things easier and more professional.
- ARLA provide training courses and qualifications, it’s a good idea to undertake these and gain extra credibility
- Sometimes it’s the nice little touches that do the marketing for you – not only quick and efficient repairs, but also birthday cards, Christmas and wedding cards sent to tenants, rental anniversaries recognised with flowers or chocolates etc. Tenants will recommend you as a landlord and future vacancies will be filled fast!
And here are some property management tips from the experienced landlord and TV personality Phil Spencer when interviewed for The Telegraph:
“Young professionals might not expect the garden. But they will want the basics in terms of furniture, which should be, if not trendy, at least not unfashionable.”
“Losing tenants because you did not look after them can turn a good yearly return to nothing. Tenants like to feel they can pick up the phone and talk to someone who has direct contact with the landlord.”