So, you’ve come across what looks like an excellent property investment and you’ve been considering taking up a gig as a landlord. As with any occupation, it’s one thing to take it on and have the wherewithal to perform the necessary duties. That aside, you should first ask yourself if you have the right temperament for the job. So, take an honest look at yourself and decide if the following traits and abilities are a part of who you are.
You have a head for business. Owning and managing a property isn’t something you go into because it seems like fun. It requires serious intent and good business sense. Businesses, in general, are all about knowing what it takes to be competitive, keeping realistic goals in mind and, ultimately, keeping an eye on the bottom line so you can turn a profit.
You have people skills. Being a landlord is akin to being in retail sales or any job in which you are obliged to deal with the public. Inevitably, there are going to be occasional problems and disputes. Complaints, legitimate or otherwise, will rear their ugly heads, and you need to be able to deal with unhappy tenants in a calm, respectful, levelheaded way. Tact and equanimity are key here. Even if you feel a resident is being unreasonable, it will only cause further problems if you let emotions get the better of you.
You are accountable. Following through from the point immediately above, a good landlord is a responsible, reliable landlord. You want your tenants to know they can rest assured you’ll take care of repairs and maintenance issues in a timely manner. They also have a reasonable expectation that you will enforce general rules of tenancy and any policies contained in the lease.
Feeling confidence. Quite simply, you need to feel certain you’re equipped to handle the job. That entails doing some research and learning all the ins and outs of managing a property. If you’re comfortable reaching out, you might even contact a landlord or two and ask if they can spare a few minutes of their time giving advice to a first-timer.
Online, you could join a professional real estate network and hob-nob with some old pros – the Real Estate Investment Association is a good place to start. Sure, it’s no substitute for actual experience, but preparation is a necessary prerequisite. Experience will come with time and will build your confidence. Initially, you may feel lacking in some of the traits we’ve discussed, but if you set out with good intentions and the determination to do a good job, you will acquire them!