In today’s economy, renting out an apartment or two is a great way to make some cash on the side. If you live in a large city and own a few apartments, renting them out is a simple and relatively easy means of adding a few thousand dollars to your monthly income. What’s more, you can usually do this without quitting your day job; it’s the perfect side hustle!
But what if you want to do this full-time? There’s a great deal of money to be made in being a landlord, and you can make a sizable amount of money by doing nothing more than maintaining your rentals and finding new properties to purchase! Want to know how you can make this a reality? Keep reading!
Is becoming a full-time landlord right for you?
Before you take the plunge and become a landlord, you’re going to have to ask yourself whether this is right for you. While it certainly has a lot of perks, being a landlord is far from easy; it’s not a job for everyone. If you’re already renting out an apartment or two, you know this is the case! The question is, are you cut out for the job?
You have to consider whether you’ll actually enjoy being a landlord. As a landlord, you have to be ready to deal with renters who may prove somewhat troublesome or downright infuriating. You may encounter late payments and difficult maintenance problems, oftentimes at the most inopportune moments.
Then you have to ascertain whether you have the skills necessary to successfully rent more than two or three apartments. Your tenants will rely on you to solve any problems they may encounter with their apartment, and that can mean anything from repairing a faulty refrigerator to dealing with an insect infestation.
If you’re up to the task, you’ll find that being a landlord can be challenging but simultaneously enjoyable. You’ll learn new things about home maintenance and upkeep, and you’ll acquire new and valuable skills as you go along. What’s more, you’ll rarely be doing the same thing from one day to the next, so you’ll likely never deal with job-related boredom!
How to become a full-time landlord
If you’ve taken a long, hard look at yourself and arrived at the conclusion that you’re up to the tasks and this is really what you want to do, you’re going to have to be smart about your next steps. Becoming a full-time landlord is not an easy task, and you’re going to need some direction. Here we’ll be giving you some handy tips on how to get started, as well as some pointers on how you can achieve and retain success in this role. Let’s get started!
Do some research
Before you take any further steps, you’re going to want to make sure that you are well prepared for this venture. You should find and study as many sources of information on any and all landlord-related topics, and internalize as much of this info as possible. If you become a landlord, you will be largely responsible for making sure your tenants feel at home in their rental, and this is no inconsequential matter.
You’re going to need information on a variety of different subjects. Read up on how to fix common issues with household appliances and how best to keep these appliances in working order. You’ll need info on how to assess a property, determine whether or not it will make a good rental, and a great deal more besides this. Your tenants will be depending on you, and how satisfied they are will hinge on whether or not you’re well prepared for the role.
Find and purchase suitable properties
Once you’ve done some reading on how to be the best landlord you can be, you’ll need to find some properties to rent out. First of all, this means deciding what kind of property you want to rent. Will you be renting to students with limited income or wealthy professionals? Will you be renting short term or long term? Will you specialize in large luxury apartments or compact cost-efficient living spaces? These are questions you’ll have to find the answer to.
Once you’ve figured out what kind of apartment you want to rent, you’ll need to find some suitable options that will make good rentals. The best way to do this is to find a real estate agent that specializes in rentals and have them do the searching for you. They’ll update you on what they find, and then you can give these properties a once-over in person visit.
After you find a few options that meet your selection criteria, you’re going to need to work out the purchasing details. If you have some money set aside, you may want to purchase the property or properties outright. Otherwise, you’ll need to get a mortgage in order to finance your endeavor. Either way, it’s advisable to make sure that the property you buy is a good investment that won’t end up losing your money if you decide to sell it later on.
Find suitable tenants
Now that you’ve got some property to rent out, you’re going to need to find someone to rent it. This means advertising your rental property and finding suitable tenants to occupy it. There are a variety of online resources available for landlords to advertise their properties to potential tenants, so be sure to find the one that best suits your target demographic. Social media, classifieds websites, and dedicated rental apartment websites are all viable options.
When creating a posting to advertise your rental, the most important aspects to focus on are the description and photos of the rental you are trying to find tenants for. Be sure to have an accurate, concise description of the property with clear, well lit, and well-composed photos. It may even be worth investing in a professional camera and some lighting equipment to paint your property in as positive a light as possible.
Once you’ve posted a listing, you will begin the process of choosing a suitable tenant. Be sure to do a thorough background check on all potential tenants and verify their credit history and financial situation. After you’ve done this, it’s always a good idea to do an in-person interview to get to know the potential tenant better. If something feels off, it’s best to wait for another tenant instead of blindly accepting the first offer.
Being a good landlord
Now that you’ve found tenants for your properties, it’s time to put on your switch hats and get into the groove of being a landlord. Always try to keep your tenants happy and well cared for, addressing any issues they have with the property and resolving them as soon as possible. As a landlord, you have an obligation to care for your rentals in order to maintain a healthy relationship of trust between you and your tenant.
It’s important to remember that, as a landlord, your reputation is your most valuable asset. It takes work to maintain a good reputation, but it’s well worth it. As time goes on and you purchase more rentals, you’ll find that a reputation goes a long way towards helping you find good tenants and making your job as stress-free as possible. As the saying goes, do unto others as you would have them do unto you!
If you’re thinking of starting a full-time career as a landlord, we hope this article helps you make that goal a reality. It’s not an easy job, but when done properly it’s rewarding and edifying. We wish you success in your endeavor, and hope you find prosperity and fulfillment on the path towards turning your side hustle as a landlord into a full-time gig!
Mariia serves as editor-in-chief and writer for the Rentberry and Landlord Tips blogs. She covers topics such as landlord-tenant laws, tips and advice for renters, investment opportunities in various cities, and more. She holds a master’s degree in strategic management, and you can find her articles in such publications as Yahoo! Finance, Forbes, Benzinga, and RealEstateAgent.