How to Be a Successful Long Distance Landlord

How to be a long distance landlord

Photo credit: stuartpilbrow (Flickr)

Not all landlords invest in properties that are steps away or a quick drive from their own residence. Some landlords choose to purchase rental properties that are hours away or even out of state.

This doesn’t have to make your job difficult, as long as you outsource tasks and responsibilities well. If done well, you’ll see a positive return on investment on your rental property.

Use the following 4 tips to be a successful long distance landlord:

Tip #1: Hire a high quality property manager.

If you’re not going to be around your property, don’t skimp on this. Exercise patience when hiring a property manager and keep a high standard. These are the people that your renters will interact with when they have needs, and will also choose your tenants for you (if you let them do your tenant screening).

It’s important that you hire a property manager with the right skill sets: effective communication, sales abilities, administrative skills, and technology fluency. Paying more for a high quality property manager can help you save money in the end, because they’ll help you avoid damages, poor tenants, and other troubles.

Tip #2: Have local connections.

In the case of an emergency, it’s great to have a local contact to rely on. For example, if you need someone to check up on your unit or your tenants locked themselves out, local contacts can help you in a time of need.

If you don’t have any family members or friends nearby your rental, you should start networking. Attend real estate events in the area to meet local real estate agents, inspectors, or other rental professionals in the area. These are great people to turn to during emergencies, because they work in a related field.

Tip #3: Check up on your tenants.

Regardless of whether you choose to hire a property manager or not, don’t let your renters forget about you. You want your tenants to feel comfortable talking with you, and the only way you can achieve this is through ongoing communication.

Give your tenant’s a call every few months or send an e-mail. Sometimes, renters won’t say anything unless asked about it. So casually check-in how things are going and make sure they’re happy and everything is working properly in the unit.

Tip #4: Visit your property.

A few times per year, visit your property. Twice per year is ideal. The best way to know what’s going on with your property is to see it yourself. Don’t forget, your travel is tax deductible because it’s for business.