Owning and managing a rental property can come with a lot of stress, especially if you aren’t always around to take care of issues that may arise.
One of the most common reasons members of the military decide to become landlords is because they have received PCS orders and are unsure of what to do with their home.
Receiving orders often leaves little time for military landlords to take on the workload that comes with owning a rental property and dealing with tenants. Luckily, there are plenty of strategies you can use to make life as a military landlord easier!
Below, we’ve provided a guide to help you navigate owning and managing a rental property as a military servicemember. Whether you’ve just decided to pursue this route or have wanted to be a landlord for a while, our guide will help you learn what to expect as you get started!
Self Manage or Hire a Property Manager
Many military landlords choose to manage their rental property themselves when they receive PCS orders. While this option may save you some money, hiring a property manager can also be an excellent choice.
Ultimately, choosing whether to hire a property manager comes down to your preferences and needs. If you enjoy work like writing lease agreements, taking care of maintenance issues, and dealing with tenants, self-managing your rental property is a great choice for you!
However, if these tasks sound stressful, it’s beneficial to hire a property manager to take care of your rental and maximize your ROI for you.
Tips for Self-Managing Your Rental Property
Managing a rental property by yourself can be time-consuming, but in many cases, it’s worth the hard work. If you choose to self-manage your rental property, here are some things to keep in mind and some tips to help you succeed.
Market Your Property
A crucial aspect of gaining income from your rental properties is filling vacancies as quickly as you can. However, to do this, you must attract the interest of prospective tenants.
First, you should create an engaging ad for your property. In this stage, it’s important to get professional photos and videos taken. If you can afford it, having a professional stage your home for photos is extremely helpful.
In addition to photos and videos, be sure to include a detailed description of your rental home and the qualities you are looking for in a tenant.
Once your listing is created, you can post the listing on a variety of websites and social media platforms like Zillow, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and Instagram.
When marketing your property, make sure that you respond quickly to messages from potential tenants and applicants who are interested in your rental.
Choosing Your Tenant
After you’ve marketed your property, you’ll most likely attract the interest of many renters. Make sure that all of your prospective tenants fill out an application form so you can get to know more about them and assess whether they’re a good fit for your rental property.
When you’ve selected a tenant, schedule an in-person walk-through of the property with them. Then you can send the tenant a lease agreement to sign and return. Before the tenant moves in, be sure to collect the first month’s rent and a security deposit from them.
Tenant Move-In Day
Now that your ideal tenant has been chosen, it’s time for them to move into your rental home. To help your new tenants feel at home, you can send over a welcome email or letter.
This should include things like where the nearest schools, grocery stores, and amenities as well as the phone numbers for utility companies, and any other specific information they should know.
Within 10-14 days of your new tenants moving into your rental home, your tenant can conduct a full walkthrough of the property and provide a move-in form to you. This form will be used when they move out to determine if they are responsible for any property damage.
Prior to renting out your property, it is good to establish a network of maintenance personnel. These are people that you can call to do any maintenance work or repairs that may be needed during your renter’s tenancy.
Tips For Hiring a Property Manager
Self-managing a rental property can be a lot of work, especially from afar. If you decide to hire a property manager, they can take a lot of tasks and responsibilities off your hands. A great way to find a reputable property manager is to ask around!
You can ask other landlords in the area which property managers they work with and who they would recommend. We recommend interviewing a few different property managers to determine who is the best fit for your needs.
Make sure to ask them for a copy of the agreement that you would need to sign when you hire them and compare different companies’ agreements. By carefully looking through each company’s references and contracts, you are sure to find a property manager who is right for you!
If you need help managing your rental property, trust the experts at RentEasy! Our team is prepared to answer any questions you may have about property management.
We work with countless military landlords and have successfully helped our clients grow their wealth, maintain a healthy ROI, and achieve their investment goals!
Contact us today for more information about our comprehensive property management services!