Reducing Stress: A Landlord’s Guide
Being a landlord can be personally and financially rewarding. Managing a rental property gives landlords the chance to exercise their business chops, build a fruitful relationship with tenants, and make money from an investment that — with a little cooperation from the broader real estate market — could increase in value over time. But a lot of other things about managing a rental property that can cause some serious stress. If you’re not careful, your career as a landlord could become a real drag on your mental well-being. Here’s how to keep things sensible and sane as you manage your rental property.
Work-life balance and outsourcing
You’ve probably heard plenty about “work-life balance” lately. It’s one of the latest career buzzwords — with good reason. Young professionals are beginning to demand work-life balance in their professional lives because it’s good for you: good for your mental health, good for your physical health, and even good for your productivity. Yes, you can actually do more (and better) work by doing work less often. Not a bad deal, right?
But your property demands your attention. How can you create work-life balance when you’re busy addressing the immediate needs of your tenants and your valuable property?
The answer is as simple as it is beneficial: hire someone else to do it. Sure, it costs money to hire an employee or contract with a firm to handle property management. But once you’ve given someone the job or outsourced the task, you’ll be free to focus on the things you do best — and that has real value. Besides, not all outsourcing options cost money. You can use free landlord software, for instance, to show your property online, set up an free rental application, conduct background checks, and more.
Manage your risks
Risk is what keeps landlords up at night. Risk is everywhere in the business: the real estate market could go down, the properties could fail to attract tenants, and the tenants themselves could turn out to be bad eggs — deadbeats or destructive forces that leave us lacking income or paying for maintenance and repairs that we should have avoided.
There’s only so much that you can do about risk in the real estate business, but there are some basic steps that you should take to manage risks and reduce the likelihood of a disaster affecting you, your property, or your finances. For starters, make sure you’re properly insured. Your landlords insurance and other policies should be robust enough to bail you out if disaster strikes.
Make sure that your business is set up properly, too. A little time and money spent on consulting with an attorney can go a long way if you ever find yourself in a situation where it pays to have your personal finances insulated from your real estate business.
Finally, be sure to be proactive about managing risk on your property. Invest in preventative maintenance, and never put off needed repairs. Conduct background checks and credit checks on potential tenants to make sure that they’re the right fit. While nothing can be a complete guarantee of stability, your actions will help you rest assured that you’ve minimized reasons for stress and worry on your property.