Whether you are running a 70-unit apartment complex or renting out the in-law suite you added to your house last summer, here are a few simple steps you can take to get the most of your rental—and avoid major landlord-ing snafus.

1. Know your area.

One of the biggest mistakes landlords make is not knowing their area and the worth of their units. Check local listings periodically to make sure you are staying competitive by pricing your rentals slightly under the competition. This ensures loyalty and will keep your units full, reducing turnover costs and giving you steady monthly payments to count on. Use rentometer.com to ensure your rental rates are competitive.

2. Build relationships.

Take some time to get to know your neighbors. Is there a great pizza joint down the street that Tony Soprano himself would approve of? Or is there an unbeatable doggie day care around the corner that cuts, dries and fluffs better than anyone else? Get to know these neighbors and take the time to incorporate them as a part of the unit and facilities tour. Your renters are looking for a home, which includes the area and relationships built around the physical space they will be living in. This is also a great way to build relationships with other local businesses. Advertise for them and in turn, they will advertise for you.

3. Get online.

You don’t need to know the Google Search Algorithm to know that an online presence is important. Use the World Wide Web to help market yourself and personalize your relationship with tenants through social media. Additionally, give tenants a payment option where you can collect rent online. The anti-checkbook generation will thank you. As an added bonus, when rent is collected in real-time, you and your tenants will save time and money while minimizing the issue of late payments.




4. Become an expert.

A great way to generate warm leads is by providing expert advice on the industry through reports, news columns, blogs, Yahoo Answers, and Quora. Not only will you be able to make connections with people that are looking to rent, you are also providing advertising for yourself as a knowledgeable and trustworthy authority (something renters will respect and desire). PR can be a tough game to play but when you make the rules and don’t have to pay for it, it gets easier.

5. Rent more.

Renters will be attracted to your affordable base rent. They will be even more attracted to the option of having covered parking space, extra outdoor storage, and a washer/dryer in unit. A great way to make more money from your rental business is to rent additional space and amenities. Make sure you help your tenant see the value in these items. Covered parking helps their car avoid weather damage and maintain resale value. Your storage is cheaper and saves them a trip to a storage unit. An in-unit washer and dryer saves them gas money, quarters and time wasted at a laundromat.

*If you allow animals, a deposit with monthly fee is a great way to make sure pet related damages will be covered and you can even make a profit off of housing Mr. Whiskers.

6. Go eco.

On top of collecting rent payment online and saving money on unnecessary paper waste, there are many other ways to be eco-friendly that save you money. From energy efficient windows to installing solar, going eco will keep cash in your pocket. There might be upfront costs initially, but it allows you to be in charge of your units’ utilities instead of paying the city. It will also attract buyers that want to save on their bills or are just eco-friendly do-gooders. Depending on if the tenants pay their own electric bill or if property does, you can spin it as a cheaper electric bill for your tenants OR you could end up making a nice ROI for yourself.

While the industry is constantly changing, these tried-and-true 21st century steps will help you save money, make money, and give you more time to enjoy life outside of renting properties. 


Adam Pepka: Adam enjoys a comfortable life in Tucson, Arizona but is proud of the humble beginnings from which he came. Growing up reading authors such as Timothy Ferris, and feeling inspired by their bootstrap beginnings, Adam was determined to find financial freedom himself. He soon became a successful real estate mogul after one deal led to another, and not long after Adam began his own fix-and-flip enterprise. Aspiring investors and HGTV fans alike enjoy reading his blog about the various challenges and accomplishments he finds in each property renovation, as well as the tips and tricks he suggests for those considering their own fixer-upper. In between remodels, Adam enjoys teaching his audience about various investment strategies and how any Average Joe like himself can build a profitable portfolio. Apart from real estate, he’s very much interested in Silicon Valley, venture startups and the technology industry. He watches that arena with a careful eye, and is the first to alert his readers to major news or events.

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