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10 Life Skills You Need
to Become a Successful Landlord
When it comes to investing, you have several options to choose from, whether it’s stocks and shares, investing in a business venture or contributing to a high-interest savings account. One of the safest investments that has shown its value historically is property. While they often say that the house you live in won’t necessarily make you an income, investing in a second property and subsequently growing a portfolio does have the potential to do this.
Photo Credit: Parker Gibbons (Unsplash)
Owning an investment property can be a lucrative venture, but that is based on the provision that it is managed well. Anyone looking to go down the investment property route will need to acknowledge that is not a form of passive income, and the success of such a venture will be determined by your abilities as a landlord.
Landlords need to have a broad skill set in order to do their job well and turn a profit. To know if you are cut out for this job, let's take a look at a few of the key life skills you'll need to work on if you want to be successful in this area:
Being a good landlord means being able to juggle multiple duties at once. You’ll need to be exceptionally organized, which can help when managing payments, dealing with applications and keeping on top of documentation. While this is something that comes naturally to some people, it is also a skill that can be developed. There are various property management tools that can be used here but you can also develop the skills needed through a basic project management course.
Being a landlord requires you to run your own business, regardless of whether you have one property or a larger portfolio. As a business owner, you’ll need to lead a team. This may not be a team in the traditional sense, but there’s a good chance that you will be delegating tasks to other parties including lawyers, property managers and building contractors.
If any of these parties lets you down, you may be required to step up and take charge of a task at any given moment. While leadership skills come more naturally to some of us, these are also skills that can be acquired through formal training or on the job.
Landlords need to be able to communicate well, whether it’s with tenants, service providers, lawyers, or building maintenance contacts. Good communication means that you can negotiate and establish a good rapport with your tenants, but it also means you can set some healthy boundaries from the start. Having the ability to communicate well both in person and in writing will make it easier when it comes to addressing issues or handling problems.
Marketing skills are key when it comes to staying ahead of the competition. There will be times when the market is saturated with rental properties, so you’ll need to use your marketing and presentation abilities to list your property in the best possible light. Market research is a good starting point, as it allows you to evaluate other similar properties and price yours accordingly.
When it comes to marketing, everything from taking great photographs to writing a listing description can all make a difference when it comes to getting the property noticed by potential tenants.
Sense of Fairness and Responsibility
While your bottom line is important, you'll always need to remember that you are dealing with people, and you’ll need to be fair and responsible. Your ability to form and nurture relationships and operate using a human touch will serve you well. For instance, sticking to your end of the bargain will ensure your tenant sees you as a reliable landlord. This includes setting a fair rental rate, or responding quickly and efficiently to problems with the property.
In terms of finding a fair rental estimate, you can search property portals to see the price of similar places in the local area. Remember that establishing a good rapport with your tenant could lead to a longstanding relationship which can be beneficial for you, especially when you consider the time and money you could lose if you have a high tenant turnover.
While signing a lease with a tenant will ensure you’re legally protected should the worst occur, you may need to be a bit more pragmatic when problems arise. For instance, you won’t want to immediately seek legal recourse if a tenant defaults on their rent. If your tenant has historically always paid their rent on time, it‘s wise to be flexible with them rather than evicting them. Being pragmatic and compassionate might lead to your tenant feeling a sense of loyalty and extending their contract in the future, meaning you won’t have to find new renters.
Basic Numeracy and Accounting Skills
A key part of running your rental property as a business means keeping on top of your finances. As a landlord, you’ll have to keep your financial records organized to make your life easier during tax season or if you’re audited. Furthermore, keeping track of income and expenses will also help you maximize your profit. Brushing up on your basic numeracy skills should be a great help here, as there is plenty of user-friendly software designed to assist novices.
Being a good landlord is vital when it comes to successfully managing a rental property and turning a healthy profit. Without the right mindset, it is unlikely that the venture will attain the benefits you’re seeking. If you don’t do the groundwork and get your rental property set on solid foundations, it could just lead to more stress in the long-term. While some people take to it naturally, there are also certain skills that can be developed through various courses and learned experience. Start by focusing on the skills discussed in this article and watch your property venture blossom. Working on these important life skills will also have positive implications in other areas of life beyond your investment property, so they are well worth investing your time, effort and money into developing.
About the Author
Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with major Marketing. He is the CEO of a brand mentioning advertising agency ESBO ltd.