Landlord 101: Managing Rental Properties
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Have you ever wanted to be a landlord? This multi-faceted career can be challenging and rewarding both personally and financially. Our course provides a broad yet detailed examination of the many areas that a property manager must blend together to be successful. Lesson 1 asks the question: are you ready to be a landlord? It focuses on the disciplines involved in property management and discusses planning and goal setting. In Lesson 2, you'll discover the benefits of commercial and residential properties, and what types of tenants will be renting from you. We explain what to do before purchasing a property and how to make an offer in Lesson 3.
Ownership rights and responsibilities are discussed in Lesson 4, including laws and regulations you must abide by. Lesson 5 examines the financial factors to consider and how to set rental prices. You'll learn how to choose the best tenants and how to attract them to your property in Lesson 6. Dealing with tenants (and how to avoid bad ones) makes up Lesson 7.
A Career in Income Property Management
Even during strong economic periods, maintaining a portfolio of successful investments takes time, energy, and money. Owning an income property typically means being available at any time in case of emergency. Having the right personality, and perspectives, will determine whether a property owner succeeds or fails at holding and managing properties. Patience, responsiveness, and communication skills are hallmarks of a solid real estate management strategy.
Becoming a property owner involves six core disciplines requiring skills and knowledge.
Sales and Marketing
Ability to advertise and market to prospective tenants. Ability to sell property effectively.
Able to understand and manage expenses. Knowing how and when to increase income.
Building Structure and Carpentry
Understand basic carpentry, electrical, plumbing and climate control systems. Understand property specifics, landscaping and building inspection requirements.
Ability to communicate with tenants, municipal officials, maintenance, and repair personnel.
Able to negotiate price, terms, conditions, and other facets. Able to deal with tenants and property sellers.
Knowledge of building code, zoning, and other restrictions. Understand permitting requirements and process.
Once you determine that you have the ability to become a property owner, it will be helpful for you to understand what issues are involved in property management. As you can see by the table above, there are several disciplines that intersect when you own and manage real estate. Once you understand each discipline, and design a strategy to handle elements within each discipline, running a property will be easier. Let us look at some basics of income property management.
- Finding the right property. Searching for solid properties with good rental potential; what to look for during inspection; how to analyze income and expenses.
- Buying the property. How to negotiate price, terms, and other considerations in your favor; what type of mortgage to use, and when to refinance; when to use creative financing to purchase the property.
- Attracting and retaining tenants. How to bring in tenants, keep them happy and generate profit from them; knowing what channels to use to attract the best tenants; how and when to increase rental income.
- Resolving building and property issues. Handling repairs, weather damage, code violations, equipment replacement, and updates; dealing with neighbors and community issues; complying with regulations and requirements.
- Handling tenant issues. How to deal with delinquent payments, damaged property, community violations (loud noise, unsafe conditions), occupancy violations, and other lease issues, handling special requests.
- Dealing with vacancies. Limiting empty space; promoting rental openings; preventing vacancies by creating long term relationships.
- Financial activities. Paying expenses such as repairs, maintenance, updating, and waste removal; paying debts on the property; collecting rental payments on time.
- Dealing with contracts. Creating effective agreements for purchases and leases; handling clause violations directly (minor offenses) or through litigation (major offenses); and ending a contract.
- Complying with laws. Meeting structural codes (fire, safety, others); operating according to property owner and tenant laws; meeting housing regulations.
- Keeping good records. Performing financial accounting; documenting activities; maintaining complete, accurate, and updated records.
The next step in your journey to becoming a successful income property manager is to determine your personal goals and your financial goals. Your personal goals may include how many and what types of properties that you want to manage, how much time you will be involved in this effort, and where the properties will be located. Financial goals should include income and expense objectives, return on investment (ROI), short term (3 to 5 years), and long term (10 to 30 years) net worth calculations. The goals that you set should be firm but flexible; they will become a map for you to follow, but changing circumstances may force you to alter your goals occasionally.
To ensure that your goals as a property management professional are solid, they should follow the well known acronym S.M.A.R.T.
Specific. Use actual dates, dollar figures, locations, resources, and other criteria that will make up your goals. Specific goals provide focus and clearly define your efforts as you proceed with this endeavor. If you simply indicate general objectives such as, "You would like to earn more money." your goals will be difficult to manage and to measure.
Measurable. To track your progress, use measurements (such as dollar amounts) that can be easily compared and analyzed. Establish monthly, quarterly, and annual figures for each of your objectives. Concrete data allow you to stay on track, push to reach target dates, and feel a sense of achievement when the goals are reached.
Attainable (Achievable). Establish goals that can be reached by effort, by committing yourself to improving skills, attitude, financial capacity, abilities, and knowledge. As you achieve and experience more, your goals will seem closer and opportunities that you once ignored may be realized.
Realistic. Determine what you want to achieve by setting reasonable benchmarks. Goals are not dreams; they should be rational, given your financial status, education, experience, attitudes, and abilities. If you want to stretch yourself, establish two sets of goals, one set that can easily be reached with appropriate work and another set that might be possible with a lot of hard work.
Timely (Time Sensitive). When setting goals, connect achievement with a timetable. By establishing goal dates, you will create a sense of urgency. This sense of urgency can drive you to achieving your goals; without it, you may not push yourself enough and you may become disappointed or lose focus. (T can also stand for tangible.) Have goal achievement affect your senses. By rewarding yourself with a sensory experience, such as an expensive meal or new clothing, you "feel" goal achievement through a direct physical connection.
- Completely Online
- Printable Lessons
- Full HD Video
- 6 Months to Complete
- 24/7 Availability
- Start Anytime
- PC & Mac Compatible
- Android & iOS Friendly
- Accredited CEUs
Lesson 1. A Career in Income Property Management
Lesson 2. Property Types
Lesson 3. Buying Your Property
Lesson 4. Rights and Responsibilities
Lesson 5. Financial Considerations
Lesson 6. Tenants
Lesson 7. Dealing with Tenants
Lesson 8. Tenant Issues
Lesson 9. Creating a Lease
Lesson 10. Property Maintenance
Lesson 11. Financing
Lesson 12. Selling Your Property
Additional Course Information
- Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
- Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
- Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
- View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
- Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
- "The total scope of the course and what would be involved in becoming a Property Manager was most helpful. It emphasized the many areas you would have to know to be successful. The course was very useful and the instructor was encouraging. " -- Blair W.
- "The class was a great experience for me and I am glad that they have schools like this to help people." -- Jonathan P.
- "I absolutely enjoyed this course. I felt that the reading material was easy to read and understand. My husband and I have purchased a couples of 3 flat buildings. I feel that the course has been very helpful, I have learned a lot by taking this course. Now the knowledge that I have gained by taking this course will be helpful to us in being landlords." -- Doris C.
- "My course instructor was excellent." -- Bryan S.
- "I loved how the video pretty much matched the text. I am more of a visual learner than just reading." -- Shane N.
- "Enjoyed the videos and Tests.. Great refrence Websites!!" -- Matthew T.
- "The entire class was very helpful." -- Deven H.
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