Prepping to be a first time Landlord

5 Replies

Hello! 

I am working towards closing on my first 3-unit home. I will be living in one and renting out the other two. I'm looking for some advice on what tools are must haves for the small stuff that comes up. Also, any other suggestions on what else to start looking at or prep work i could be doing you have are very welcome! 


I appreciate you taking the time to respond. 

@Bassim Audi You need to find leases that you will use and I suggest using something like Cozy.co or one of the other landlord software. You want to make it easy for tenants to pay you and you would rather they do the automatic bank draft instead of cash. Also you need to determine how you will do background checks and credit check. Many of the landlord software have solutions for those things but you need to find a valid legal lease for your state. If you are not handy and don't already know how to fix things then I wouldn't run out and buy tools. If you plan to fix things yourself then bravo but wait to buy tools until you need them. Also youtube anything you need to learn it is an incredible resource for learning how to do repairs. Focus on how you will vet your tenants and collect rent. Remember that the quality of your returns is dependent on the quality of your tenants. So be picky it will pay dividends in the long term.

Download the Google Voice app to your phone. It's a great way to contact tenants without giving them your personal number. It even transcribes voice mail into text which is great for legal purposes. 

Hi Bassim! First things first, welcome to BiggerPockets. There are definitely a lot of helpful tools out there, including a platform that was built with new landlords like yourself in mind (a software solution built for DIY landlords with anywhere from 1 - 15 units, that helps you to automate your own rental process).

There are a lot of things that come into play -- you will need to focus on:

  • List your property
  • Establish a thorough tenant screening process
  • Sign a lease with your tenant (and make sure that your lease is in accordance with local laws/regulations)
  • Conduct a move-in walkthrough (and document any damages/condition of the property prior to move-in time)
  • Collect rent from your tenant
  • Manage maintenance requests

A lot of landlords used to handle a lot of this the good old fashioned way of pen and paper, but that can quickly become a good way to lose track of really important things. Luckily there are tools that can help you to actually build a single listing and syndicates it to 10+ major listing sites, allows you to schedule showings, provides you with super thorough tenant screening options, online digital leases which can be customized and help you by breaking out those fees, automated maintenance tracking, and fast rent collection which also offers your tenants the ability to report their positive on-time payments to the major credit bureaus; just another positive reinforcement/added incentive to get them to make those payments on time). Best of luck on your new venture, @Bassim Audi !

BP has a book on managing rental properties. I haven't read it yet, but I've loved every other BP book I've read, so I'm sure it's fantastic!

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