Managing an investment property is a huge commitment. It takes a lot of time, money, and dedication to be successful. Luckily, you don’t need to do everything on your own.
For example, owning a long-term rental or an Airbnb takes a lot of upkeep, but property managers, online platforms, and virtual assistants can take some of the stress out of the experience.
Investors looking to turn their active investment into a more passive one can outsource any number of responsibilities — from screening residents, to collecting rent, to answering emails. Read on for ten things you can outsource to minimize your hands-on time.
1. 1031 Exchange Transactions
Many investors will utilize the 1031 exchange vehicle to avoid paying capital gains taxes when selling an investment property and reinvesting in a new one. However, the 1031 exchange process is complicated and requires a deep understanding of the IRS guidelines. Any missteps could cause the deal to fall through entirely.
That’s why some investors choose to work with a full-service 1031 exchange company. These organizations will help complete the transaction and can oftentimes be less expensive than an attorney.
Marketing your rental and finding potential tenants is one of the most time-consuming aspects of being a property owner. Coming up with a compelling listing, taking amazing photos of the space, and managing inquiries all at once can be overwhelming.
That’s where a realtor can help. There are more than 4 million agents in the U.S. who will help you create an incredible listing and attract serious renters. And by working with a discount realtor, you can save a significant amount of money on commission fees.
Digital marketing professionals can also help you craft your brand identity and create content that will catch your audiences’ eye. Don’t underestimate what a well-thought-out blog, website, and social media presence can accomplish.
3. Screening and Onboarding Tenants
Once you finally find a potential tenant, you need to make sure they are the right fit. Normally, it is up to the landlord to conduct a background check — and finding out the truth about an applicant’s history can be quite the scavenger hunt.
Platforms like SparkRental allow owners to punch in an applicant’s name and email to generate their full rental application, credit report, criminal background check, and previous evictions. It can also onboarding them once they have officially been given the keys.
4. Leasing and Paperwork
Drafting leasing contracts and finalizing the paperwork for a transaction can be tricky. Hiring a virtual assistant or a real estate attorney can help immensely. Working with someone who has experience in drafting up agreements can give you the peace of mind that they are up to date with city and state regulations. It can also ensure that your interests are protected in the deal.
5. Collecting Rent
Accepting checks by snail mail or physical check is so last century. Renters want an easy way to complete their payments: Set it and forget it. Whether you use an app or an online portal, find a way to eliminate the need to write a check.
With online payments, renters can securely link their bank account and send in rent through an electronic funds transfer. They can even schedule payments so they never have to worry about being late.
Digital payments also make it easier for owners to keep track of funds and streamline the accounting process.
6. Maintenance or Repairs
When something goes wrong with a rental unit, the landlord is the first person a tenant will call. However, that doesn’t mean you need to fix whatever is going on yourself. Whether it’s a leaky faucet, a broken air conditioner, or shoveling the snow out of the driveway, plenty of professionals are willing to take on the job. You can even have an on-call handyman that renters call directly.
Cleaning is especially important if you own a short-term rental. It’s best practice to clean the unit after each guest completes their stay, and platforms like Airbnb require it.
Instead of loading up the laundry alone every time, consider hiring a maid to come in and help out. The maid can come once a month, once a week, or even after each stay. It just depends on your budget and how much you hate making the bed.
Owning an investment property requires funds, and funds can easily become mismanaged. An accountant or bookkeeper can help you develop systems for expense and revenue management, saving you headaches in the long run. They will also know about certain tax breaks and write-offs to help you save money at the end of the fiscal year.
9. Market Research
Understanding your markets and target audiences is critical to being a successful investor. A virtual assistant, marketing professional, or real estate agent can assist in creating a market analysis and a strategy.
10. Emails and Inquiries
Nothing is worse than an inbox with 10,000 unread emails. A virtual assistant can help you organize and sort your emails, respond to inquiries and take down important messages. They can also help develop an organized folder system for your emails so you don’t find yourself drowning in them.
While some investors want to be hands-on, an aggressive approach is not for everyone. It’s completely fine to outsource your responsibilities, as long as you are managing the people and/or platforms you have allocated those responsibilities to.