How to treat a rental property like a business
Lauren Nostro
5 min read

So, you’ve decided to become a home provider.

Managing your residents, upgrading your property, maintenance checks and fees, and financial responsibilities can be challenging, at times. The best way to be a good home provider is to be accessible to your residents and treat your rental property like a business.

Here are four tips to help you succeed as you begin your home provider journey:

  • Keep your resident relationships business only: Set boundaries early on and maintain a professional relationship with your residents—new and inherited. Beyond common courtesy, don't make the mistake of fostering a friendship that may sway emotions should an issue arise. It’s human to be sympathetic, but maintaining a business relationship with your residents will keep your decision-making objective. Your business is being a great home provider, so treat your residents accordingly.
  • Develop a close circle of professionals: It takes a village to succeed as a home provider. Keeping a supportive and close circle of professionals around for your needs will help. Making sure you have a reliable attorney, accountant, and insurance agent on board when you start your home provider journey is a great place to start. It’s important to build relationships with reliable contractors, cleaners, locksmiths, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and emergency clean-up specialists. Not only can you trust these contacts to show up when expected, but you can also turn to them in a tight timeframe. These professionals can also establish a scale of pricing so you know what services can cost. This can save you money and time should you need to have work done on your rental property.
  • Make a commitment to being responsive: One of the best ways to keep your residents happy is to be responsive to their texts, calls, or emails. If there's a maintenance issue, residents want to know that their home provider is accessible and responsive. Establishing open lines of communication that work for you and your residents is a great place to start. When your resident signs a lease, explain the process of how to reach you and give them a reasonable time frame to hear back from you. Prepare a document with all your contact information so your resident has it handy.
  • Look for ways to boost your earnings: By communicating well with your residents early on, home providers can find ways to boost their income streams. For example, you can allow pets but collecting a pet deposit can help prepare for any damages made by domesticated animals on your property. By creating assigned parking spots and maintaining additional storage rooms for your residents, home providers can offer more to residents at small additional monthly fees. You can also get creative as a way to encourage residents to sign longer leases: by encouraging residents to sign 2-year leases, you can secure tenancy and not have to spend money on trying to find a new tenant. Setting reminders to contact tenants about renewing a lease can also yield more earnings. You can assess a small rent increase that most residents will accept. By contacting your residents early and asking if they plan to renew their lease, you can increase the likelihood that your unit won’t be vacant between residents.

There are several ways to start your journey in becoming a home provider. First, maintain a business relationship with residents; be responsive and accessible to your residents; develop a circle of professionals to support you, and look for ways to boost your income that respects your current and prospective residents. Using these strategies can help you be profitable and successful, and pave the way to succeed as a home provider.