As a busy landlord, your time is precious.
Whether managing your portfolio is a full-time job or you just rent out a single property for a little extra cash, you understand the commitment involved.
Finding tenants, keeping them happy, maintaining the property, keeping up to date with ever-changing legislation, dealing with deposit disputes. The list is endless.
If the responsibilities involved are sometimes overwhelming, time management mastery is a useful string to add to your bow.
Efficient property management will not only save time but also reduce stress, boost productivity and support that all-important work/life balance.
Here we share the best time-saving tips for landlords to help you work smarter, not harder. Advice to strike the right balance between remaining in control of your property without it taking over your life.
Know How Much Your Time Is Worth
Before you can decide how to manage your time, it’s handy to know how much that time is actually worth.
This will vary from person to person depending on your income, personal circumstances and existing commitments. There are several tools out there to help you figure this out. Armed with a specific amount, you can then place a value on your time and base your decisions on this.
For example, a tenant gets in touch to say their fence has blown down during a storm. You have the skills to do the job yourself but you’re busy and fixing it will be a hassle.
Using your knowledge of how much your time is worth, you can easily decide whether it’s better value to pay a tradesperson to do the job for you.
It’s rarely easy to save both time and money so knowing your worth can help to quickly delegate property-related tasks. Which will give you the gift of time.
Delegate and Outsource
While we’re talking about delegation, ensure you have a reliable bank of go-to professionals to use when circumstances demand.
Yes, you might be a DIY whizz or even a qualified electrician but there will always be times when you’re simply not available to fix a problem fast. And that could damage the relationship you have with your tenant.
So have the contact details of several trusty plumbers, locksmiths, gardeners and electricians to hand so you can react to any emergency efficiently without it impacting on your time.
The last thing you need is to request time off your day job to tackle a bathroom flood in one of your properties.
Also consider outsourcing everyday admin tasks such as bookkeeping and filing your tax return. If it’s not your forte, a small investment will free up time and relieve potential stress.
Automate Your Admin
Another way to save time as a landlord is to tap into the power of technology. Automating your admin is one of the simplest ways to streamline your workload, ensure compliance and gain ultimate peace of mind.
To keep your property business running smoothly, your regular tasks will include:
Checking tenants in and out
Drafting tenancy agreements
Dealing with repairs
Carrying out property inspections
Arranging Gas Safety Certificates and Electrical Safety Reports
In return for a low monthly fee, many of these essential jobs can be performed via a dedicated platform designed to make life easier for landlords.
Property management software, like that provided by online letting specialist MakeUrMove, simplifies the whichever parts of the process you want to offload. Which means you don’t have to choose between going it alone or surrendering all control to an agency.
You can take your pick from a range of packages which offer everything from the basics to a complete management service for total professional support.
Your online lettings partner can take over the routine running of your property business thanks to smart-thinking tech that automates, streamlines and gets the job done. From getting important documents digitally signed and stored to providing a concierge service to help tenants get their utilities set up, it’s the ultimate landlord time-saver.
Switching to a digital system will also facilitate making that all-important audit trail of information. In the event of a deposit dispute, you can easily access all the evidence you need in one place, 24/7. Just the type of easy organisation you need to give you maximum reassurance.
Being prepared isn’t just wise advice for Scouts. Landlords are guaranteed to save time if they’re ready for every eventuality.
Ensuring property checks are done regularly and comprehensively will minimise the risk of time-consuming tenant complaints such as blocked gutters or a misbehaving boiler.
Investing a few hours at certain points of the year to keep your property in tip-top condition will be time well spent. Skimping on these checks could easily backfire on you in terms of both time and money.
Landlords can easily get caught out by the pace of change with lettings legislation. From changes to notice periods due to the pandemic to revised electrical standards, knowledge is an important time-saving power.
Your online letting agent will be on the ball here. But even with their professional insight, being personally aware of your responsibilities is vital to your reputation.
Besides the legal ins and outs of being a landlord, spending time understanding the basics of property maintenance will also pay off in the long-term. You’ll be less likely to get ripped off by cowboy tradespeople and feel more in control of your portfolio.
Streamline the Viewing Process
Supervising viewings is one of the most time-hungry jobs for landlords. And if the prospective tenant isn’t a good fit, that can often be time wasted.
The obvious way to offload this time drain is to pay someone else to do it. And if that suits your business and lifestyle, it’s the ideal option.
But if you prefer to meet potential tenants in person yourself, there are ways to reduce the instances of attending unsuccessful viewings:
Use your listing to share as much information about the property as possible. This should act to filter out unsuitable tenants, for example those who need secure parking or own a pet.
Conduct a telephone interview first and go through a list of pre-screening questions. Yes, this will take time but will likely reduce the number of physical viewings you need to complete.
When coronavirus restrictions allow, consider holding an open day for all interested parties. This has the added bonus of creating a competitive atmosphere as tenants won’t want to miss out if they know someone else is keen.
Tell the Tenant How to Get Their Full Deposit Back
Another time thief for landlords is dealing with deposit disputes which can be avoided in numerous ways.
One of these is to carefully explain to tenants how they can maximise the chances of getting their deposit back in full. All this takes is a brief visit, a couple of months before they’re due to move out, to walk through the property with them.
By pointing out what needs to be cleaned or fixed before they hand back the keys, you not only provide them with an incentive to get it done, you’re also increasing the chances of the property being left in a good condition before the next tenant moves in. Less hassle for you and even more time saved.
With careful planning and a helping hand from a slick online lettings platform, it’s easy to reduce the time needed to be a successful landlord.Choose MakeUrMove to revolutionise how you manage your property