Just a few years ago, if you wanted to learn how to do something, you asked an expert or checked out some books from the library for inspiration. Now we live in an age full of digital information. Sites like YouTube, Wikihow, VideoJug, Vidipedia, and Pinterest provide you with step-by-step instructions for pretty much everything. According to Search Engine Journal, “Searches that begin with “how to” are on the rise, growing by 140% in the last 13 years.”
Do you want to learn how to braid hair? Search the Internet, and you’ll find written articles, pictures, and videos instantly. Curious about how to grow your small business? There’s a plethora of knowledge out there for that, too. With all this information readily available at your fingertips, it’s easy to assume that you shouldn’t hire one of the many Dallas residential property management companies to manage your rental home. You might think if you just watch a few videos, read a few articles, you can do it yourself. As an expert Dallas rental property management company, we think that’s a bad idea. There have been too many DIY landlords we’ve met who are frustrated and overwhelmed, struggling to turn a profit on their rental home. Here is what you need to know about this industry before you try to go it alone.
Know the Local Laws and Regulations
A property manager must know all of the Texas Property and Real Estate Laws if they expect to be successful. You need to know Texas Homestead Laws, rental agreement laws, landlord-tenant laws, etc. backward and forward. These laws ultimately protect you, your tenants, and your rental property. Failing to research the local laws where you live can come back to haunt you later. There are also anti-discrimination laws such as the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. These laws outline the rights of individuals to proper housing. As a landlord, you cannot deny your rental home to an individual based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or familial status (if they have kids or not). To stay out of legal trouble, it’s your job to know the law.
The Cost of Effective Dallas Rental Property Management
Of course, your priority is to make money, but that’s more involved than just collecting rent every month. You have to take into account: maintenance costs, late rent payments, insurance costs, taxes, and any legal fees. A good rule of thumb for maintenance is the 1% rule. This rule states that the cost of your rental home will be about one percent of the property value per year. If your property is valued at $200,000, (Zillow puts the average Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex home at $219,900), you’ll be spending about $2,000 a year. That’s about $167 monthly. Bottom line: you should set aside money every month for the ongoing maintenance of your rental property. You need to be financially prepared if you want to see success as a landlord.
Communicate and Be Kind
Other Dallas property management companies won’t tell you that the key to making it in this business is being (or becoming, if you’re not already) a people person. Excellent customer service is ultimately what will set you apart from other landlords and keep your tenants renting from you. When you treat your tenants with the same kind of respect and kindness you expect from them, you’ll likely get it in return. Be sure to clearly explain all the house rules to your tenants at lease signing, and then keep up a steady communication with them through emails and phone calls. Don’t hound your tenants, but take the initiative to check in on them and see what else you can do to make their renting experience great.
Screening Tenants is a MUST
You’ve got to have a tenant screening process to achieve success in the Dallas rental property management industry. You shouldn’t rent to the first person who puts in an application or you’ll end up with unreliable tenants who don’t pay rent when they’re supposed to. Have a proven system for every tenant over 18 years that checks:
- Criminal background
- Credit history
- Past rental history
- Job references
- Verified Income (needs to be at least 3x the rent rate)
It’s also a good idea to contact previous landlords and find out if the tenant left behind any major damage or if they were difficult to manage. Your tenant screening process has to do all this, while also following anti-discrimination laws and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Hire the Dallas Property Management Pros
Becoming a property manager is more complex than it appears. When you hire a professional Dallas rental property management company you can avoid hassles and see a better return on your investment. As a property manager, you need to:
- Know the local laws and regulations backward and forward
- Put aside money every month for costs
- Communicate clearly with your tenants and be kind
- Have a proven tenant screening process
Specialized Property Management Dallas is the leader among Dallas property management companies. Our processes work. Our goal is to save you time, money and hassle by being there for you every step of the way. Put our team to work for you today!