Sometimes you can tell at a glance when a property has a good or bad landlord. A good landlord manages their property well. This means service and convenience, a well cared for property and usually happy tenants. A bad landlord manages their property poorly and it shows. At their rental property, nothing is getting done. The property looks a mess and there is a line of angry tenants. Today we will look at the factors that make up good, mediocre or bad property management in Utah.
There are many different types of property management in Utah, including large management companies, property managers and individual landlords. Any of these could be a good or bad landlord, but one thing is certain, everyone wants to live in and own a well managed property. Consider these factors and see what kind of landlord you are!
Great landlords are or employ highly effective property managers that have a well ordered system and property. Tenants know they can count on first-rate service and convenience. These properties are usually the most sought after places to live. Great landlords:
- Respect the Business: It is easy to become passionate about your investments, however, rental properties are a business and you must make decisions about them with a calm, clear mind, not clouded by emotion.
- Invest in Professionals: Experienced private landlords know the value of professionals that they work with. They invest in the best high quality professionals and then trust the expertise that they are paying for.
- Don’t Interfere: Landlords hire property management companies for their expertise and experience and can securely take a step back. They let professional property managers do their job.
Mediocre Landlords keep their property up and running, they are basically doing okay. These landlords may even turn a profit, but they lack some of the needed expertise to take their property to the next level. These are the kinds of properties that people rent when they are in a pinch, while they look for something better. Mediocre Landlords:
- Always Look for a Bargain: Finding a good deal and doing research to choose the best option is a great thing. However, taking the cheapest offer just because it is the cheapest offer, regardless of the quality of the service or product provided will almost always land you with a lesser product or service.
- Micromanage: A need to micromanage may be a personal trait or it may come from a lack of confidence in the owner’s choice of property or management company. Whatever causes it, micromanaging paid professionals is one thing that definitely keeps a mediocre landlord from rising to be a great landlord.
- Don’t Save for Maintenance: When you own rental properties, maintenance is just a fact of life. Not having a viable maintenance budget and savings for emergencies is a trap that keeps mediocre landlords from being great. Sadly, this even puts some landlords into a position of trying to delay or avoid maintenance costs. Should disaster strike, it could take a mediocre landlord down to being a bad landlord. Or even worse, not even being able to keep the property at all.
Bad landlords are the ones that inspire jokes and make people dislike landlords in general. One experience with a bad landlord can leave a renter suspicious of landlords for a long time. Some bad landlords are so bad, they even deserve the term slumlord. Bad landlords:
- Ignore Maintenance: These are the property owners who only do the bare minimum to keep a property running. They refuse to make repairs until there is no other choice. Even then often hire “a friend” who can provide them with a good deal.
- Increase Rent Blindly: It is okay to increase rent when the market has changed or the property has been upgraded. Bad landlords increase rent to increase their own capital. They’ll do this even if the area is not what it once was or no improvements have been made to the property.
- Go Beyond Haggling: These owners aren’t looking for a deal, they want to get everything they can for next to nothing. This kind of behavior only leads to a diminished property and diminished services.
Why Landlords Fail
There are many specifics to any circumstance that allow things to play out the way that they do, however, when it comes to failing as a landlord, there are some common themes to what goes wrong. These are the most common reasons that landlords fail:
- They lack preparation: Many people can see the opportunity in investing in rental properties, but unfortunately do not realize how much time and effort it takes to run them.
- Purchase too much too fast: Often a great businessperson can choose amazing investments, but by purchasing more than one quickly, may not have the resources in place to manage them all.
- They ignore technology: Many landlords do not want to invest in property management software systems, but this is a necessary investment. Without this technology, your rental properties will lose out to others who have more convenient communication and payment systems.
- They overpay for some things and underpay for others: Maintenance can make or break a landlord. Failing to do proper research can cause a landlord to overpay for maintenance items and other costs, but the danger in underpaying is poor service and lousy quality.
Be a Successful Landlord
Commitment, capital and planning are the necessary ingredients of a great landlord in the making. You want to make sure that you maintain professionalism, stay informed, create a financial cushion and hire the very best professionals that you can find to advise you.