No matter how much experience you have as a landlord, you will always have to confront the challenges that come with property management. These challenges can be even more significant if you own a property that’s located in a different city or province. While managing an investment property remotely isn’t impossible, it requires a lot of energy, organization and attention to detail to do it successfully.
Why manage property remotely?
If you live in an urban or up-and-coming area where rental properties are in high demand, you might not have any trouble finding new properties to invest in. However, if you are in a more rural area or an area where real estate investment isn’t very lucrative, you might want to look for properties in a different location.
It’s also wise to diversify your investment portfolio with properties in different locations, as insulation against localized market shifts.
How to effectively manage remotely
Regardless of your specific reasons for investing remotely, it’s important to be strategic. Follow these key tips to make the most of your investment and manage your asset effectively:
Do your research: Investing in a new market comes with a lot of uncertainty and risk. Do as much research as possible to find out what you’re getting yourself into before making an investment. You should assess the condition of the market, familiarize yourself with local resources, amenities and attractions, and monitor property values and rental rates of properties similar to the one you want to invest in. It’s also a good idea to visit the neighborhood you want to invest in before you select a property. No matter how far away you live, you shouldn’t invest in a property sight-unseen.
Plan: You can’t go into a remote property management arrangement expecting everything will come together on its own. You have to make a plan and follow through with it to get the results you’re hoping for. Start by making yourself a list of tasks and goals for your new property and organize your resources to achieve them. You should also have an emergency plan with a list of contacts who you can reach out to, to help you respond to urgent matters at your property as quickly as possible.
Take advantage of resources:You have access to a wide variety of resources, including technology to keep you connected with what’s going on at your property in a matter of seconds. You can use smart home technology to monitor energy efficiency and potential maintenance issues at your property and facilitate communication with tenants, including rent payments, completely electronically. You can also find a wealth of online resources to educate yourself about a new area. There are plenty of tools out there at your disposal; make sure you get the most out of them.
Build your network: When you manage a property in a different city or neighborhood, you’ll need to grow a different network of contractors and service providers in that area. You should find out as much as you can about the service providers nearby and try to narrow down different companies based on their experience and reputation within the community. If you can, try to meet with these providers in person so you can establish a strong relationship with your contractors and service providers in the new area where you’re investing.
Invest in tenant screening:When you live near your rental property, it’s much easier for you to stay in touch with tenants and handle situations as they arise. Managing a property that’s located far away makes it much more challenging for you to address problem tenants, which means it’s even more important for you to screen tenants thoroughly. Make sure to screen your tenants extensively before you approve their rental applications. Taking the extra time to screen tenants in advance will save you a lot of time, energy and money in the long run.
Remote investing for success
Nobody said being a remote property manager would be easy, but you shouldn’t feel discouraged from a real estate investment opportunity just because it’s not in your neighborhood. With plenty of research, planning and leveraging your resources, you can have a positive experience with remote property management that helps you diversify your investment portfolio.
They key to success in remote property management is being organized and informed. Having the information you need to feel confident about the property you own will put you in a position to capitalize on your investment. You’re going to encounter bumps in the road, but with any luck and a lot of planning, you’ll be able to quickly overcome and leave them behind.