Property Management Blog

Ultimate Guide for Long Distance Landlords

System - Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Property Management Blog

Are you ready to expand your real estate investments but worried about managing properties from afar? Being a long-distance landlord may seem daunting, but it can also be a lucrative and rewarding experience. 

Imagine owning a rental property in a desirable location without having to live nearby. Whether relocating, investing in a different market, or looking for new opportunities, being a long-distance landlord can provide financial freedom and flexibility. 

In this blog, we'll discuss tips and strategies for being a successful long-distance landlord, from selecting the right property to finding reliable property management. 

Finding and Managing Properties Remotely

As the world becomes more interconnected, it is increasingly common for individuals to own properties in locations far from their primary residence. While a long-distance landlord can present unique challenges, there are strategies you can employ to manage your properties from afar effectively. Here are a few key steps to becoming a successful long-distance landlord.

Researching and Choosing the Right Properties

Before investing in a property, it's important to research the location and the local real estate market. Online resources can provide information on home prices, rental rates, and other important metrics. Additionally, consider working with a local real estate agent who can provide insight into the area and assist with finding properties that fit your investment goals.

white toned kitchen

Hiring a Property Manager

Hiring a competent property manager is essential for long-distance landlords. A good property manager can handle tasks such as marketing, tenant screening, handling documents, rent collection, and maintenance. When selecting a property manager, look for someone with experience managing properties in the area and strong communication and organizational skills. Consider asking for references from other landlords or checking online reviews.

Communicating with Tenants and Property Manager

Effective communication is crucial for managing properties from afar. Make sure to establish clear lines of communication with your property manager and tenants. Use tools like email, phone, or video conferencing to stay in touch regularly. It's also important to set expectations with your property manager regarding how often you will communicate and what types of updates you would like to receive.

Utilizing Technology for Remote Management

Technology can be a powerful tool for long-distance landlords. Property management software tracks rent payments, maintenance requests, and other important data in real-time. Additionally, installing smart home technology, such as smart locks or security cameras, can help you monitor your property remotely.

Regularly Visiting Your Properties

While it's possible to manage properties from afar, visiting your properties in person periodically is important. This allows you to check the property's condition, meet with your property manager and tenants, and identify maintenance or repair needs. Schedule visits at least once a year, and consider hiring a local property inspector to conduct a thorough inspection in your absence.

people inspecting property

Maintaining Properties from Afar

Maintaining properties from afar can be challenging, but with the right strategies, keeping your properties in good condition and ensuring your tenants are satisfied is possible. Here are four key steps to maintaining properties from afar.

Regular Property Maintenance

Regular maintenance is critical for keeping your properties in good condition and avoiding costly repairs. Schedule routine maintenance tasks such as cleaning gutters, inspecting the roof, and servicing HVAC systems. Consider hiring a local property management company to perform regular maintenance tasks on your behalf.

Hiring Contractors and Repair Services

You must have reliable contractors and repair services that you can trust when repairs are needed. Consider developing relationships with local contractors such as plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians. Obtain referrals from other landlords, check online reviews, and verify that contractors are licensed and insured before hiring them.

Responding to Tenant Requests and Complaints

Effective communication with tenants is crucial for maintaining properties from afar. Encourage tenants to report maintenance issues promptly, and ensure your property manager responds to tenant requests and complaints. Provide tenants with a clear process for reporting issues and ensure that your property manager communicates with them regularly.

Preparing for Emergencies

No matter how well you maintain your properties, emergencies can still occur. Be prepared with a plan for emergencies such as floods, fires, or severe weather events. Keep a list of emergency contacts, including your property manager and local repair services, and provide tenants with emergency contact information. Consider investing in insurance that covers damage from natural disasters and other emergencies.

person on phone call

Financial Management

As a landlord, financial management is critical to successfully managing your properties. From setting rents to managing taxes and accounting, several financial considerations must be considered. Here are a few key steps to effective financial management for landlords.

Setting Rent and Handling Rent Collection

Setting rent is one of the most important financial decisions you will make as a landlord. Research local rental rates and market conditions to determine a fair rent for your properties. Additionally, consider offering incentives such as move-in specials or rent discounts to attract tenants. Establish a clear rent collection process, including due dates and late fees, and ensure your property manager is responsible for collecting rent on time.

Budgeting for Property Expenses

Budgeting for property expenses is essential for ensuring your properties remain in good condition and generating passive income. Create a detailed budget that includes regular maintenance tasks, repairs, and upgrades. Ensure that your property manager is aware of the budget and has a plan for managing expenses within the budget.

Managing Taxes and Accounting

Managing taxes and accounting is an important aspect of financial management for landlords. Keep detailed records of all income and expenses, including rental income, repairs, and property management fees. Hire a qualified accountant to assist with tax preparation and ensure you take advantage of all available deductions.

person writing tax information

Understanding Local Landlord-Tenant Laws

Understanding local landlord-tenant laws is critical for avoiding legal issues and protecting your financial interests. Research local laws related to rent control, eviction procedures, and tenant rights. Ensure that your property manager is familiar with these laws and is responsible for ensuring compliance.

Working With a Property Manager

Working with a competent property manager is crucial for effective financial management. Choose a property manager with experience managing properties in the local area and strong financial management skills. Ensure that your property manager provides regular financial reports, including income and expense statements, and is responsible for managing expenses within the budget.

Bottom Line

Being a long-distance landlord requires careful planning, organization, and effective communication with your property management team. It's important to establish a solid foundation with your tenants, keep up with maintenance and repairs, and have a reliable system for collecting rent and handling any issues that may arise.

If you're considering becoming a long-distance landlord or are struggling to manage your properties from afar, contact SGI Property Management today. We'll work with you to develop a customized plan that meets your unique needs and goals. Don't let distance hinder your success as a landlord - let us help you achieve your investment objectives.