by Mark Grupposo
I have been renting apartments, condos and single family homes for a LONG time. I have also advised hundreds of Natick, Massachusetts landlords on how to maximize rental income and the value of their savvy investment. I have seen rents go up and down, multi-families selling for tens if not hundreds of thousands more than they were worth, and everything in between.
I have also witnessed landlords – even experienced landlords – make small, easily remedied mistakes that cost them big money. Many of you who read this might say “I never do this.” Hopefully that is true.
MISTAKE #1: Asking What You “WANT” For Rent Instead Of What The Market Will Bear
Knowing the rental market and setting your rent accordingly will, in the long run, maximize your revenue and virtually guarantees you will never have a vacancy.
MISTAKE #2: Over-Improving Your Apartments
Don’t work in a vacuum. This isn’t Field of Dreams. Chances are that if you build it, they will come… and go. Make smart renovations that put your property a cut above the competition without pricing yourself out of the game.
MISTAKE #3: Under-Improving Or Not Maintaining Your Apartments
Deferring maintenance and upgrades puts you at a disadvantage. Make smart decisions and spend wisely to maximize rent now and increase the value of your investment when it’s time to sell.
MISTAKE #4: Failure To Plan Ahead
Create a Move-Out/Move-In checklist with a timeline, tasks, and contacts to ensure a hassle free apartment turnover. It takes stress off you and starts your new landlord-tenant relationship off to a positive beginning.
MISTAKE #5: Failure To Conduct A Complete Applicant Check
Carpenters say Measure Twice, Cut Once. President Reagan said, Trust, But Verify. The courts today are overwhelmingly pro-tenant. It is very time-consuming and very expensive to evict a tenant. Take the time to conduct a comprehensive vetting of your prospective tenant.
MISTAKE #6: Failure To Complete All Documentation Required By Law
Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished. OK, OK a bad joke. But, not knowing or deliberately flaunting the law will get you in hot water – legally and financially. Learn what you can and cannot say and what you need to have a complete leasing paperwork package.
Even in today’s market, real estate can still make you wealthy. I ask you to remember that being a landlord is a business, so even if you only own a single two family, being professional is the key to make your investment pay off.
I have been a real estate investor, landlord, and residential leasing specialist for over 25 years in the Greater Boston area. You may access the full report at.
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