Managing your Berkeley rental property comes with many responsibilities, like finding quality tenants, collecting rent, or providing maintenance services. This can be difficult, especially if you do not live in the immediate neighborhood.
Whether the investment is for the long-term or the short-term, if not handled properly, it causes issues in the smooth operations and day-to-day running, affecting your bottom line revenue. However, an effective property management system can make it almost as easy as managing a property next door.
In our in-depth guide on managing your Berkeley rental home, we have some tips to equip you with all the information and tools you need to manage your property remotely. Take a look!
Have A Local Network
Having a network with trusted real estate experts can make remotely managing a property easy. Professionals from your real estate team may include a property manager, handyperson, investor-friendly real estate agent, and licensed contractors for specialized work, such as HVAC maintenance and electrical work.
You can also hire pest control specialists, landscapers, real estate attorneys or legal advisers, accountants and inspectors who can periodically drive by the property and perform a visual inspection. These local members don’t have to be in charge, but they should be someone your tenants know are around if they need to contact these professionals in emergencies.
Leverage Effective Marketing Tools
Marketing your rental property can be challenging as a long-distance landlord. You can’t deal with local tenants in person and tell them about your property’s features every time you lease a property. However, you can use digital marketing platforms for advertising your rental remotely. For instance, listing your property on a rental site will surely increase the number of tenants who search for rentals on listing websites.
You can also use social media, rental listing portals, and property management software to create an online presence and connect to a larger pool of tenants. However, creating effective listings, including digital photos and property descriptions, is crucial to set up your rental profile on rental websites. You can hire property managers who use advanced marketing tools to promote your remote property.
Have A Comprehensive Tenant Screening Process
Thorough tenant screening is vital to managing your Berkeley property remotely. It increases the chances of placing high-quality tenants in your rental, who can treat your property like their own home and will stay for a longer duration.
Tenant screening websites, like E-Renter, Avail, and MySmartMove, help you automate screening with online applications, credit and background checks, online security deposit and rent collection. However, as a landlord, you should speak with a prospective tenant’s employer or previous landlord and verify their legitimacy as part of a thorough screening process.
Look for a Way to Conduct Effective Property Showings
As a remote landlord, you don’t need to be present physically at the time of property showings. Instead, you can use 3D models, floor plans, and virtual tours to make it easier for your tenants to visualize their new home and see how their belongings will fit in each room. Once you screen prospective tenants, you can have your trusted local representative arrange an in-person showing for your tenants and install a self-showing facility on the property.
Potential tenants can provide their information, schedule a showing time online, and then visit the unit using a temporary code that changes as soon as they leave the premises. With smart locks, you can even receive alerts that show timestamps of entries and exits to give you explicit knowledge of who’s visiting or leaving your unit.
Get An Online Documentation Tool
Once you find your potential tenants, you need to get a lease agreement signed by them. As a remote landlord, e-leasing can be an easy option for you. Signing a lease agreement is easy with online documentation tools. Many of the best screening websites provide an opportunity for a distant landlord to upload a lease agreement and addendums or offer the liberty of state-approved forms.
You can create a customized lease agreement and send it to your renters electronically to get it renewed and signed digitally. Additionally, these signing tools utilize legally binding electronic signatures for your essential documents to ensure accuracy and legal compliance.
Choose Easy Lines Of Communication
While managing properties remotely, there are chances that you may not meet your tenants all the time. Hence, maintaining seamless communication with them becomes a necessity. Since unresponsiveness is the most frequent complaint from the tenants, effective communication with them can help you develop solid and healthy relationships.
You should clearly state your preferred mode of communication and set the right expectation for your response time. The longer tenants sit with rental problems, the more likely they will find a new place. As a distance landlord, you may think differently than your tenants, but it is essential to understand their perspective and cooperate accordingly.
A good way to avoid misunderstandings is to have open and transparent communication and mutual understanding. As a remote landlord, showing your human side can change your tenant’s opinion about you and ensure transparency between both parties.
Create Online Tenant Portals
Around 74% of tenants under 45 prefer online rent payment modes. So, if you can’t collect the rent personally, you may want to set up a form of online payment. Accepting rent payments using a digital platform is easy and accessible but also improves the cash flow and reduces tenant turnover.
It is a much more secure and transparent way of paying rent for landlord and tenant, significantly reducing the chance of human error. Autopay methods encourage tenants to pay their rent on time without causing delays, as they can set up recurring payments and track income automatically, making it an essential tool for managing properties remotely.
Use An Online Maintenance System
Some property management tools have an online maintenance system where tenants can easily submit maintenance requests through their tenant portal. They don’t need to wait to discuss the repair issues on the phone or for the maintenance team to pick up their calls. This system is handy for remote landlords, which makes it easy and convenient to upload photos and video attachments of damage, providing you with a clear understanding of the problem.
By implementing an online maintenance request system, you can evaluate repair issues and determine how to handle them without needing to see the issue in person. You can review repair requests, assign the problem to vendors, and track requests while keeping your tenants in the loop.
When you own a rental property in a different state, it can be challenging to maintain your properties. But consulting a reliable, local vendor can help you succeed. Ensure you have a professional connection with a vendor specializing in rentals maintenance. Before hiring, you can check vendors’ online reviews and ratings, how many years they have been in business, and their work schedule.
Stay On Top Of Your Accounts
Property owners and investors have unique accounting needs, particularly while managing the finances of their remote properties. For instance, you may need to set up individual accounts for each unit. Implement a system to collect and track rent payments, monthly income, expenses and fees such as parking and HOA, and manage separate accounts simultaneously.
Whether you manage a rental property right next door or one across the country, keeping your rental accounts up to date using innovative bookkeeping software can save you a lot of time. It can help you get rid of old-fashioned spreadsheets, access your financial statements anytime, and performance dashboards at the portfolio and property levels to track financial performance in real-time.
With online accounting software, landlords can also run monthly reports like net cash flow and income statements, securely store all real estate documents online, and track expenses on the go.
Ensure Rules Enforcement
While renting a property remotely, there are chances that your tenants may take advantage of you since you may not live around the property. This may result in delayed rent payment, placing a secret roommate or allowing an unauthorized pet. It is advisable to add important clauses, rules, and obligations to the lease and set the right expectations to eliminate the risk of lease violation.
You can also consider discussing essential terms and conditions with your tenants if they have doubts about the lease. It can help your tenants understand their responsibilities correctly and allow you to enforce the rules whenever required.
Hire A Property Management Company
Managing a rental property from another place is not an easy task. Whether you have one house or a multi-building apartment complex, there are many challenges when managing remotely that may make you feel drained. Therefore, you can surround yourself with the right people and know the suitable systems and tools to set you up for success.
Hiring experienced property managers like California Pacific Realty is a sure way to manage your rental. Professional property managers share all your rental responsibilities and assist you at every step of managing your remote property. They can conduct regular inspections, provide routine maintenance, address your tenants’ complaints and ensure ongoing communication.
Hiring property managers also gives you an all-in-one solution for ensuring every aspect of owning a rental property is covered. For more information on managing rental property remotely, contact us at California Pacific Realty.