Owning a rental property is part of the American Dream. Owning several rental properties, in which you can make a profit by renting some of them, is an outstanding accomplishment. Unfortunately, that’s a lot easier said than done (like many things in life). If you’re trying to make your Baltimore rental property profitable, there are a few things you should be aware of, lest the lack of attention could not only cost you potential tenants; it could also eat into your bottom line if you’re faced with fines and penalties.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the features of a profitable rental property in Baltimore:
1. It’s in an Area Where People Want to Live
If you want to learn how to make a rental property profitable, the first step is purchasing a property in an area where renters want to be. Of course, this means different things for different people, which means your target market may vary based on the neighborhood in which you choose to purchase a property. Multi-bedroom homes are usually most enticing to people with families or college students who need to have several people on the lease within a shared space. Single-bedroom or two-bedroom condos are often more interesting for singles or young families.
There is no wrong answer in terms of which type of property you invest in, as long as you choose a location in which people want to live. Neighborhoods with high crime rates, for example, can cause many great tenants to look for other options. Similarly, if parking is difficult or if there aren’t many public transit options nearby, potential renters may look elsewhere. It’s also a good idea to buy an investment property in a place where amenities are nearby. Shopping centers, grocery stores, movie theaters, and farmers’ markets can attract high-quality renters.
2. Management is Available 24 Hours a Day, Seven Days a Week
Things break. Accidents happen. Unexpected problems arise.
As a landlord, it’s up to you to deal with these things as soon as they occur, but you’re only one person, and you probably have other tasks to tend to, as well. That’s why many landlords in Baltimore hire property management firms to ensure their tenants are taken care of. At Bay Management Group, we have skilled professionals on-call every hour of the day to ensure our clients’ maintenance issues are tended to as soon as possible.
As renters, your tenants expect to have their problems taken care of when they occur. By employing the assistance of an experienced property management firm, you have a valuable selling point on your hands that can ensure profitability in your investment. People appreciate safety and security; when you’re able to provide this to them via 24-hour access to emergency services, you’re putting yourself one step ahead of the competition.
3. It’s Well-Kept
Nobody wants to live in a home in which the paint’s chipping off the walls and the window screens look like they were featured in a horror movie because they’ve got sliced and diced going through the middle of the window.
To ensure your rental property is profitable, you have to maintain it. If you have a rental house, paint or wash the exterior at least once every other year, and be sure to take care of the shingles, window ledges, and other elements that can cause it to look worn. If you own a condo, keep the balcony pristine (if your unit has one), and make sure all the appliances are working and the electrical units are up to code.
If you have renters who currently reside in your property, check in with them every few months to ask if they need anything, if anything’s not working correctly, or if they’ve had any issues. Periodic on-site visits can also help qualm situations that could otherwise get out of hand. This is another task property management companies can handle on your behalf. They do regular check-ins with tenants to ensure everything is in working order and functions as it should. They’ll also alert you if tenants don’t appear to be adhering to the standards outlined in your lease agreement.
Beyond checking in with your tenants, it’s vital to maintain the regular systems of the property. You need to check the roof, HVAC system, plumbing, and electrical systems regularly to ensure preventative care for anyone who might want to rent from you.
4. Potential Renters are Properly Screened
One of the easiest ways to make a profitable apartment unprofitable is to rent to the wrong people. It’s vital to screen your tenants using every possible tool in your toolbox. Renting to people who aren’t qualified—although they may seem great on paper—can cost you an enormous amount of revenue in the end.
A thorough tenant screening includes:
Running Background Checks
It’s important to know who you’re renting to before you sign a lease with a potential renter. There are a lot of types of people you might disqualify, once you have the full background of a candidate.
Performing Employment History Checks
If a potential renter gets a new job every few weeks, or if that person lies about their job history on their application, this is a cause for concern. Being able to validate a person’s employment history is vital to ensuring your rental property is profitable.
Speaking to References
It’s no secret that some people make up references when they’re applying for apartments, but qualified candidates will have real references you can call to verify employment, past rental habits, and general characteristics that make for a good renter.
Hire the Right Property Manager
If you own a rental property in Baltimore, the best thing you can do to ensure you make money on your investment is to hire the right property management firm. At Bay Management Group, our team of property management experts is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to make sure your tenants and property are cared for with the highest quality customer service and tenant/landlord expertise. We invite you to obtain your free property management analysis today!