As we swiftly turn the corner into 2023, there are many considerations on the minds of those in the real estate industry, including landlords. The past year has been one of change, and experts predict more challenges in the general real estate market and the rental landscape. If you’ve been in the game for a while, you probably realize that what is happening right now is part of a cycle, and things will eventually even out and stabilize once again. But if you’re like me, you want to experience more short-term success as a landlord today. Here are a few suggestions on resolutions to consider to make 2023 a successful year.
Invest in technology to advance your business and properties
As a business founder and owner, I am acutely aware of just how crucial it is to make investments to experience ongoing success. As an investment property owner, upgrading technological devices within your rental properties is a great place to begin. Whether it is upgrading kitchen appliances, installing security systems such as a Ring doorbell, upgrading in-unit laundry machines, offering fiber optic internet connection (if available) or installing AI technology that can ease the life of your tenants, current and future tenants will appreciate the investments in the property and will likely choose to stay put with these upgraded amenities.
Also consider investing in a technology platform to help you manage your rental properties. This investment can make your life and job easier as a landlord or property manager and allow you to have all documents on file electronically.
Depending on the technology platform you decide to invest in, additional benefits could include accepting online rent payments, scheduling maintenance and property inspections, marketing vacant properties with a single click and streamlining security deposit or surcharge features.
Your time is valuable — invest in a platform that will make your life and your tenants’ lives easy and headache-free. Do your research and find the best platform that fits your unique needs.
Offer tenants easily accessible information
Whether you are considering investing in technology and upgrading your rental management system, having information readily available for your tenants is a goodwill gesture. If the technology route is not for you, having a good filing system for important documents regarding each tenant is important in general. If a tenant has questions about their lease or a simple question, you will have easy access to that information.
Better yet, some systems offer tenant portals so that they can access their own information at will. Over my years as a landlord and rental property owner, I’ve found that the easier you can make things for your tenants, the more likely they will continue to rent from you. And turnover is one of the most significant expenses for rental properties, so it is worth the investment.
Prep for continued increases in rental and property prices
This past year taught us that the housing market could be volatile. Due to the increasing cost of rent, mortgage rates and inflated housing prices, many landlords and property managers across the country have struggled to keep properties filled and struggled to collect rent payments. As inflation increases, a plan must be implemented to avoid struggles, such as late or unpaid rent payments.
Seek advice from veterans in the industry and research ways you can improve your proactive business plan to avoid hardships to the best of your ability. Creating a plan or improving on a preexisting one can be done over time and learned and improved upon through personal experiences or others’ experiences in the industry.
Retain employees in current economic conditions
At Rentec, we’ve been fortunate to have a high employee retention rate, even after 13 years of growth. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to retain talent, especially in the current economic climate. Make sure to create a plan to keep employees and ensure they are happy with their job for the next year. Small gestures go a long way. A simple thank you card after a long week or hard project is appreciated and valued by many.
If possible and on budget, set aside funds to treat your employees. Providing a meal or small work retreat at a local park strengthens the bond between employees and is one good way to have an environment encouraging people to work hard. Combining gestures like this with fair compensation, including competitive salaries and benefits packages, can contribute to higher retention and overall satisfaction rates. I’ve found that one of the most vital actions on this front is to create open, two-way communication channels among leadership and staff, creating an environment of collaboration and teamwork.
While none of us can know what the coming year will bring, there are a few steps you can take to reach all your goals as a landlord or property manager or any other business owner. Investing in technology, creating efficient processes, watching market trends and focusing on employee satisfaction can help.
Remember, resolutions do not always have to be immediate; instead they can be implemented over time, on your best schedule. Even small improvements can go a long way in any business. I encourage you to begin creating a plan and consider options best suited for your business and investment properties to make the best of 2023.