For somewhere to qualify as a lucrative place for homeowners to lease out their properties, the city should offer several traits. The most optimal locations tend to be areas popular to young families, and where local universities consistently attract students to the area.
With those factors in mind, Austin is a great city for taking the plunge into your landlord business. With many young families moving to the area, and the thriving campuses of Austin Community College and The University of Texas at Austin, local property managers have a long future of business to look forward to.
But becoming a landlord is not usually a get-rich-quick scheme. There is a lot that goes into being a successful property manager, especially at the beginning when you’re overcoming the industry learning curves. As you learn the ropes, here are some valuable tips to help you get on your feet:
1. Know The Information That Should Go Into A Lease
This point could be a blog of its own. The lease agreement can be an enormous legal and managerial help for running your business as an Austin landlord. The first thing you should know is that your lease is not a document you should try to write on your own.
Hiring a skilled Austin attorney will ensure that the language of your lease is understandable to your future tenants and that the agreement you’re asking for fulfills all the legal parameters of local, state, and federal leasing laws. If you prefer not to hire an attorney, standard leases can also be downloaded from NOLO.
Remember, the more specific the contents of your lease, the more helpful it will be for enforcing the laws of your agreement. Include specific dates, rules, dollar amounts, and what a security deposit can be used to clean up in the case that a tenant in any way damages your home.
2. Learn How To Screen Tenants
Effective tenant screening is not limited to a credit check. Some very reliable tenants have poor credit scores because they are young, which means that having alternative screening methods can help you find someone who will treat your property with respect.
Prior or current employment references are a good place to start. There are few people who can give a more honest assessment of someone’s reliability than that person’s boss. If a manager is not singing the praises of your prospective tenant, that’s a strong sign that that person may not be a good fit for your home.
You may choose to secure your first tenant from people within your community. It’s hard to know who among your work colleagues, church friends, or social acquaintances has need of a new place to live. Start by spreading the word.
Be careful: If you choose to find a tenant among people you know, then make sure that there are clear professional lines drawn from the beginning. Do not let your previous relationship with the tenant distract from the fact that he or she is now your customer. Collect a deposit. Make sure they sign a lease. These are simple steps for keeping you safe.
3. Know What Your Home Is Worth
Don’t feel insecure about asking how much to charge for leasing out your home. What am I worth? What is my home worth? These can be hard to determine, especially if you’re entering this market for the first time.
Do your research. The best investigation begins with people you know in the business. If your cousin or coworker has a rental property or two, then start a conversation to find out how they determine what to charge. Also, speaking to someone who works every day in the Austin real estate market can be another helpful way to go: Have you heard of JB Goodwin?
Lease prices change, especially in cities where home appreciations climb as quickly as they do in Austin. Before a lease ends, consult with real estate professionals about your prices so that you know if your home is still competitive and awarding you its top potential dollar.
4. Determine If The Landlord Profession Is Right For You
Home leasing is not for everyone. Property investors who want a hands-off experience may not prefer having the responsibility of other people living in their home. The best way to consider property management is to realize that it is a business. The service your business provides is that of maintaining roof over the head of your customer.
To some, there is no business more enjoyable than leasing their property. A landlord gets to collect a semi-passive income month to month, and enjoys the luxury of knowing that their home is substantially improving the life of another person or family.
If this sounds like the life for you, we think there is no better place to lease your first home than Austin, Texas. Good luck!
JB Goodwin is a real estate company serving families in the San Antonio and Austin area. Whether you are looking for a home to buy or an apartment to lease, our agents will help find the location that's right for you. Let us know how we can help today!Posted by Alex Lewis on