Show It Occupied! Some landlords prefer to show upcoming vacancies to prospective residents while the current resident is still living there. Others prefer to wait until the property is empty. I personally think it’s better financially (for you and the residents) to get the full cooperation of the current resident and to show properties while they are still occupied. One of the regular contributors to Mr. Landlord shared his strategy recently on how he is able to effectively show rentals while still occupied.
“I absolutely DO show my properties while occupied. It’s in the lease agreement and it’s part of the Missouri law that the landlord may do this, so there’s definitely no LEGAL barrier. The question is how to manage from an existing resident relationship perspective. You don’t want them surly or following your prospective renters around cussing you out under their breath.
Make this a win-win. When I receive the current resident’s 30 day notice (after I try to keep them), I set up two to three scheduled showing periods per week. For example: on Monday and Thursday from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM and on Saturday between 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM. We agree to block those times for any potential viewings. Then when someone is interested, I just text the resident: Coming to the showing Wednesday evening, let me know if any issues. Schedules make people feel comfortable. I won’t be pestering them during their Sunday afternoon nap time.
Also, I offer a ‘Preferred Resident Move-Out Plan’. They earn $50, paid after move-out along with their security deposit refund, if they stick to our pre-agreed schedule and keep the place ‘reasonably’ clutter free. I understand it’s moving time, but that’s no excuse for five days worth of dirty dishes in the sink. Also, the resident must be prepared to SAY GOOD THINGS about the property and the property manager (me). So far, I have had zero problems. I’ve been doing this for about two years. Residents gush to prospects how nice we and how nice our properties are. My turn-over time between residents averages one to three days.”
5 Secrets Your Residents Are Hiding
No matter what part of the world a landlord rents in, some things seem to be universal. So it is that renters tend to hide things from their landlords. According to one survey, almost half of all residents are hiding something from their landlord. Here are 5 top secrets your residents are hiding:
• Extra residents – 40%
• Unpaid bills – 37%
• Property damage – 20%
• Keeping pets – 19%
• Redecoration – 12%
Expensive Landlording Lessons That Are Re-Learned
1. I paid $276 to relearn a lesson. I called an electrician because a garage outlet did not work.. Well, the reason the garage outlet did not work is because the “GFI” switch in the bathroom upstairs needed to be reset. I know about outlets and resetting the GFI switch. Instead I paid an electrician $276 just to remind me of it.
2. I learned that a double breaker can shut off and still look like it’s on. Years ago in my own house my wall oven stopped working. I checked the breaker box. Yep, the breakers were all “on”. I called an electrician who asked to look at the box. “Oh, I already checked,” I said. He flipped the breaker off and back on. And of course, the oven worked. That was my $65 lesson.
3. Had the HVAC guy out because residents said the furnace wouldn’t turn on. Paid the service call to find out that the switch on the furnace had accidentally been turned off. Another time at another house the problem was that the thermostat batteries were dead. Now I make sure to check those things myself first!
15 Red Flag Phrases Said By Rental Applicants That Should Make Your Ears Perk Up During the Screening Process
1. “I have the money now.”
2. “Can you work with me?”
3. “I’m staying at motel.”
4. “I am living with friends.”
5. “Call me back ASAP!”
6. “I can explain…”
7. “Do you check credit?”
8. “What do you look for?
9. “Here’s the thing…”
10. “Not my fault…”
11. “My current landlord is a real…”
12. “I don’t drink or use drugs.”
13. “I don’t want his/her name on the lease.”
14. “We had to move because of ____ in the house.”
15. “I’ll be honest with you…”
Do Not Fear a Vacancy!
I love to see when landlords get to the point that they do not fear vacancies. One landlord shared his thoughts on the fear of vacancies.
“Occasionally I talk to local landlords about their residents and make comparisons to my residents. One thing I have noticed is that many landlords tend to have a real fear of having a vacancy. This ‘fear’ or paranoia, (for lack of a better word), keeps them from raising rents. It allows the residents to pay late without consequences, or not pay at all just because of some resident misfortune.
Personally, I see a vacancy as an opportunity to get the house cleaned up and re-rented at full-market rent value. Three weeks ago, I lost a 5-year resident that was paying $475.00 (below market). Just yesterday I re-rented that house at $605.00. In the last five years, all of my rents have increased 20% and this was due to having vacancies and increasing the rent to market value.”
12 Low-Cost Curb Appeal Tips
1. Nice looking mailbox
2. Attractive, low-water perennial plantings visible as you approach the house.
3. Everything outside is clean, clean, clean – especially the windows.
4. Front door hardware and knocker must look great.
5. Power wash front of house and driveway.
6. Green grass is well trimmed along with any bushes.
7. Nice house number plates.
8. Impressive front door.
9. Welcome mat.
10. Attractive front porch light.
11. Mini blinds or nice curtains in the front windows.
12. Porch painted with high quality paint.
The above tips are shared by regular contributors to the popular MrLandlord.com Q&A forum, by real estate authors and by Jeffrey Taylor, [email protected]. To receive a free sample of Mr. Landlord newsletter, call 1-800-950-2250 or visit their informative Q&A Forum at www.LandlordingAdvice.com, where you can ask landlording questions and seek the advice of other rental owners 24 hours a day.