What Qualities Do You Need to Succeed as a Landlord?
Once you own a rental property, you’re playing two roles at once: homeowner and landlord. In other words, your rental property becomes your business as well as your home.
As a business owner, you must comply with the laws, rules, and regulations governing rental housing, and have a clear understanding of appropriate leasing rules and practices. Before deciding to become a landlord, it’s important to evaluate your motives for doing so. Are you willing to devote time and hard work to manage your business? Will you be prompt about making repairs, maintaining your property, and providing services for your tenants? Are you able to deal with difficult tenants? Are you familiar with or willing to research local, State and Federal laws and regulations for rental properties?
You’ll be operating a business, which means dealing with all sorts of people. Making tough decisions is inevitable. Regardless, keep things professional, always.
Here are some of the key qualities that will set you up for success:
Good social skills: Renting out a property is a very small part of being a landlord. You will be dealing with people on a regular basis, including tenants, property managers, contractors, and agents. Healthy communication goes a long way. If you are not good at managing and communicating with people, then this may not be the business for you.
Patience: You will be encountering people who may test your limits on a regular basis. However, you will need to deal with the matter professionally, and that usually requires patience.
Respect: A good tenant is key to a successful experience. Some property owners quickly place themselves at the top of the food chain and develop a superiority complex by looking down on their tenants. This is not the right attitude. Good tenants are precious, which is why mutual respect is required.
Reliability: Tenants are not just paying for the roof over their heads; they’re also paying for a service. If there’s a maintenance issue that demands attention, you’ll need to resolve the problem quickly and efficiently. In short, you need to be reliable in providing basic services.
Empathy: It’s important to remember that managing a rental property in real life is different from managing a business on paper. There is a human element involved that can be taxing to landlords. Remember to see your tenants as people, and empathize with their concerns. Work together to resolve any problems that arise.
Confidence / Authority: There are times when working together is not an option, when your patience is gone and you’ve been too kind and understanding in dealing with a problem tenant. You need to be prepared to face confrontation. Be fair, but firm. You want to show sufficient confidence and authority to take control of a bad situation before it spirals out of control.
When deciding to purchase a rental property, evaluate your motivation for becoming a landlord and whether you have the right qualities needed for success.