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In order to become a successful real estate investor, you need to be capable of tackling many of the day-to-day and recurring tasks that are demanded from your investment properties. Sometimes, in order to stay on top of things, real estate investors will put ‘less urgent’ tasks on the back burner for later. However, this is not always a good plan.
Certain jobs may not require constant work but are still incredibly important and you need to make sure you stay on top of them in order to protect the long-term success of your real estate portfolio.
So, in order to help you stay on top of things, here are eight tasks you should do at least once per year as a real estate investor.
But first, before you do anything else if you want to ensure that you are getting the right financing to suit your goals as a real estate investor, click the link below to book a free strategy call with our team at LendCity today.
Compare Your Rents to Market Rent
One of the first things you need to be doing every single year as a real estate investor is comparing the rents for your income properties to the current market rent. The market is constantly shifting, and you want to make sure that your rents continue to fall in line with the rest of the market.
If the average rent for a three-bedroom house rises to $2700, but you have been charging $2200, you may want to consider raising the rent to avoid losing money to the rising rate of inflation. (Make sure to double check all local guidelines before altering your rental prices to ensure that you are being fair to your tenants and not opening yourself up to any legal trouble.)
At the same time, if you have been charging $2400 for the property but the average cost drops to $2000, you may want to lower your prices on your vacant properties in order to attract tenants. Otherwise, your properties may become difficult to fill because renters do not want to pay more in rent than they have to.
Check Your Insurance Rates
Many insurance companies lure in new clients and real estate investors by advertising massive sales and discounts on monthly rates, only to raise the rent later on. This can unexpectedly increase your monthly expenses by hundreds of dollars per property across each of your insurance plans. So, it is important to keep an eye on your insurance year-over-year to make sure you are not overpaying.
Double Check Alarms and Emergency Systems
Ideally, your alarms and emergency systems should almost feel redundant on your properties and never get used. However, it is important that you make sure that they are all in working order in case they are ever required. This includes any smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors or security systems on the home. While you can ask your tenants to check these systems, it is still recommended that you check them yourself to ensure they are all working properly.
Check for Maintenance Concerns
Ideally, your tenants will notify you of any maintenance concerns on the property as soon as they come up, but this will not always happen. So, as a real estate investor you have to take the time to inspect your properties. Regardless of how often you have quick inspections on the property, you should consider having a full in-depth inspection occur at least once per year. This way you can be sure that any minor or hidden concerns are found and dealt with before they worsen and become expensive repairs.
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Check Your Locks
Usually, your tenants are not going to be changing the locks on your properties without notifying you first, but it does happen. So, taking a moment to double check that all of your locks and keys are working properly can be a valuable thing to do.
After all, while most of the time you are not going to be going onto the property without your tenant being present, sometimes there are going to be moments whether for maintenance, inspections or other reasons that you may need to access the property while the tenant is not home. In these cases, as both a real estate investor and the property owner, you need to be absolutely certain that you have access to the unit.
Additionally, you should always have spare copies of your keys in case you or your tenants lose a key and need to have one replaced. If your tenants replace the locks and do not provide you with the new key, there may be a situation where no one can access the unit without the help of a locksmith.
This one is an obvious course of action for most real estate investors, but it is still important. Each year you need to be sure that you are staying on top of lease renewal so you are aware of which tenants will continue to rent from you and which units are going to need new tenants.
To simplify lease renewal, you should send a reminder to your tenants 90 days beforehand so you can find out in advance if any of your tenants are not going to stick around.
Update Your Tenant Contact Information
Sometimes tenants update their phone numbers or emergency contact information without notifying you. This is not a major concern, but in order to be safe you should double check and update your tenant contact information at least once per year.
Thank Your Tenants
Finally, one of the most important things you should do each year as a real estate investor is to thank your tenants for renting form you. This may not be obvious, but it can go quite a long way in terms of tenant satisfaction and retention. This can be with a letter, a phone call, or you can tell them in-person. Sometimes, landlords will opt to send gifts to their tenants to thank them for renting their units.
After all, before your tenants are going to look at you as a real estate investor, they are going to look at you as a person. You want them to believe you are a good one.
Bonus: Stay on Top of Your Mortgage as a Real Estate Investor
As a real estate investor, it is crucial that you stay on top of your mortgage payments and term renewals. Fortunately for you, our team at LendCity is more than willing to help you stay on top of things, so you do not wind up behind. To get started with us, visit us at LendCity.ca or give us a call at 519-960-0370. Alternatively, click the link below to book a free strategy call with our team today.