Landlords of multiple properties can quickly become overwhelmed trying to keep track of all of the moving parts
involved with their job title. Whether you are new to renting out real estate or have been doing it for years but feel
there must be an easier way, here are five tips on how to monitor your rental properties.
1. Create Your Own Spreadsheet
One relatively simple method of keeping a watchful eye over your real estate investments is to create a spreadsheet. For people who consider themselves technology averse, there are templates that can help you create a tracking sheet that works for you. Essentially, you need to create a cell for all of your rental income and all of your expenses and label them so that you can decipher the document easily. When new or unexpected costs arise, note those as miscellaneous or describe what was paid.
2. Set Up an Email Address Just for Tenant Issues
Try creating an email account only given to your tenants for the purpose of communicating issues. When someone has a leaky faucet or other problem, you can easily check this account to go over your past issues with that tenant and get to recent emails about this issue for reference.
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3. Protect Yourself by Forming a Limited Liability Company
As a landlord, you could be vulnerable to lawsuits if something goes wrong with one of your properties. One way to mitigate this risk is by forming an LLC. These entities provide owners with limited personal liability for business-related liabilities, protecting personal assets. To start an LLC, you can either hire a lawyer to complete the process or utilize a Connecticut formation service. The latter option is significantly less expensive so may be beneficial for anyone on a budget.
4. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Modern technology has made tracking so many aspects of life simpler. There are apps for tracking calorie intake and apps for tracking your loved one’s whereabouts. CT Property Management also offers management of rental properties with included services like tenant screening, collection of rent, financial tracking, maintenance, and more. These tools can give landlords peace of mind knowing that all of their information is housed in one system.
Technology can even be used in the simplistic form of setting reminders for yourself for when rent is due on each property, when maintenance is needed and when you need to meet or contact tenants.
5. Stay Organized Using a Filing System
Whether you keep your documents electronically or on paper, you must file them together and ensure you retain them to protect yourself and your rental income. It works well to keep one folder (hard copy or electronic) for each tenant with the address of the property noted as well. Records landlords would be wise to retain include:
- Tenant background checks
- Tenant applications
- Signed lease agreements
- Copies of checks or payment methods
- All communication with tenants
With only 45% of landlords managing their properties on their own it is apparent that being a real estate investor is more complex than simply collecting rent checks each month. Using a little help from technology and a lot of organization, you can make your responsibilities to your business and your tenants much less time-consuming.
Editor’s Note: As one of Connecticut’s premier property management companies, CTPM offers our vendor contact list completely free to the public. On that list you will find a handful of options for various vendors you may need while renting out your home. The list can be found here. Have a question? Contact us by using this link or feel free to email us!