Tips For Managing Rental Property From Afar

Owning properties in different cities can help you increase your earning potential; it allows you to capitalize on different real estate markets while they're up-and-coming, and move onto greener pastures when the demand cools or the buying prices outweigh the rental income. If you're looking to build a portfolio of rental properties in different locations, then you'll need a good strategy for managing your properties from afar. Here are some tips on setting up a good property management system that requires minimal in-person time.

Hire Contractors Before You Need Them

When your tenant calls with a last minute emergency, it can be especially overwhelming to set up a repair job if you're not in the same location. You can hire contractors ahead of time for each location where you own property; this allows you to shop for contractors in-person rather than contacting someone at the last minute. The same contractors can also do routine maintenance and weekly or monthly property inspections.  

Keep Track of Different Landlord Requirements

If your properties will cross state lines, it can be difficult to keep your obligations straight for each tenant. Factors like repair obligations, building codes, and occupancy limits can vary from state to state, so you'll need to create a spreadsheet or printouts for each property in order to make sure you're following each state's laws.

Have Eyes on the Ground

Especially if your tenants know that you live out of state, some tenants will try to take advantage of the ground rules you've set. For instance, they may alter the property during their lease in the hopes that they can restore it right before their lease ends. Be sure that you have someone local who can check on the property to make sure there are no suspicious activities or damages to your rental property. At the same time, you'll want to keep in touch closely with this person and your tenants to maintain a presence around the property.

Get Help When You Need It

Managing rental property from a distance is no easy task, and it can be helpful to have someone in each city to deal with emergencies and interface with your tenants. Property management companies can step in to fully manage a property, or just to deal with in-person tasks such as screening tenants and following up on delinquent payments. By outsourcing some of your property management tasks, you can maintain tighter control over your property even when you're not in town.