Challenge: Going on a Vacation
You’ve been working day-in and day-out and then you realize life is more than just work. So, you decide to go on a vacation. Then the daydreaming begins; relaxing on the beach, taking a hike in the mountains, or maybe taking a road trip across the country. The choices are endless. Sounds wonderful right? So, with all this excitement, you start planning your dream vacation.
Then all of a sudden it hits you. What if something goes wrong with the rentals? Plumbing issues, electrical outages, roof leaks, and the list goes on. Now your dreams become nightmares and you tell yourself, maybe it’s not a good idea to go on a vacation and your dreams are shattered. This is a very common experience for Mom & Pop Landlords. But it doesn’t have to be your reality.
Solution: Create a Plan
Creating a vacation plan is the solution to taking that dream vacation you’ve been planning and deserve. Let’s look at rentals as you would your children. If you’re going on a vacation without the kids, you’ll need to find a sitter, right? So, like children, you’ll need to find a sitter for your rentals. What do you mean, you may ask? Let’s break it down. Below is what you’ll need:
- Find a Responsible Adult/AKA, the sitter
Find a person you trust, who is capable of taking on the responsibilities of a property manager. This is your temporary representative. Before giving them the following items, review it together and allow them to ask any questions.
- List with your tenants’address and contact information.
- Vendor list
- Emergency phone number list
- Funds to pay the vendor
- To-do list
- Blank 24-hour Notice-to-Enter form
This is an important part of your planning because the more situations they can handle, the fewer calls you’ll get while you’re on vacation. Remember, the goal is to go on vacation and not have any calls related to your rental.
- Vendor List
Create a vendor list by writing down all the good vendors you’ve hired in the past. Note that common issues are plumbing stoppages, plumbing leaks, and electrical outages. Make sure your list includes the contact person and their phone number. If you don’t have any responsible vendors, ask your family, friends, and neighbors if they have any. Ask for recommendations on social media like Nextdoor.com. If you don’t know where to start, consider taking my class, It’s Time to Get Organized.
- Emergency Phone Numbers
Create a list of emergency phone numbers: local fire department, police, and family members
who live nearby just in case you have an emergency that requires these, folks.
Make sure to leave your representative funds to pay for the service if any is required; cash, credit card, blank check, etc. You can always ask the vendor to send a bill.
- What-To-Do List
List some of the most common details just in case something goes wrong. For example:
below is a scenario for a plumbing stoppage (the most common tenant issue). You’ll write
down the following. (Be sure to replicate this example for any issues you think your units
- Call a plumber listed on the Vendor list and set up an appointment.
- Call the tenant and ask if he/she will be there to greet the plumber. If the tenant is not able to greet the plumber, have your representative give the tenant a 24-hour notice-to-enter so they can go into the unit with the plumber.
- When the plumber completes the job, your representative can pay him/her with the designated funds.
- Notify the tenant that the stoppage issue has been completed.
Be sure to replicate this example for any issues you think your unit will have.
- Share the Contact Information of Your Representative with Your Tenant
Send your tenant a letter or call and let them know you’ll be out-of-town. Give them the name
and phone number of your representative to call in case they have any issues.
Now you’re ready to go on that well-deserved vacation. Make sure to update this plan whenever needed so you can use it every time you go on vacation.
GO on that vacation with peace of mind, knowing everything is covered. You deserve it!
Shiral Torres teaches rental property management classes at local colleges and through her business, Simply Shiral. She believes keeping life simple is the key to success. She and her husband own and manage multiple properties in California and throughout the country. The author of Rental Property Made Simple (available at amazon.com), Shiral is also a volunteer support group facilitator and Walk to End Alzheimer’s committee member for the Alzheimer’s Association. Want to learn more? Visit her website at www.simplyshiral.com to view the affordable classes offered that may help you gain confidence and profits.