We recently put a great SFR under contract and are strongly considering making it our 1st (of hopefully many) rental. We have flipped about 20 properties in the past 19 months so we have a cursory level understanding of the process when retail is the exit strategy. We are looking for some input as far as what we should start to look at to make our first rental a success i.e. insurance coverages, tenant screening, etc. Any and all insight related to getting our first rental up and cash flowing would be greatly appreciated!!
I strongly recommend The Book on Managing Rental Properties by Brandon and Heather Turner. It's a good basic book with lots of tips.
Also, pick up a book that has the rental laws for your particular state.
Something that took me a while to figure out and might help you is to write out some lists before you get started. That way instead of inventing a system as things present themselves you will have thought through things like: What are my criteria for a renter, How do I want to be contacted in what situations, Who are my maintenance and emergency vendors, What tasks can free tools streamline for me/What can I automate
For example I use google calendar to remind me to drop my renters a line quarterly to see how they're doing and if they need anything.
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