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6 Ways To Proactively Protect And Increase Your Rental Property Value

Your rental property isn’t just an income…it’s also an investment. As a landlord, you should always look for proactive ways to protect and increase the value of your rental. Your changes don’t have to be elaborate renovations. A few simple updates can make a major impact on your overall rental property worth as well as impress potential tenants.

Consider these proven tips to increase value and optimize return on investment with your rental:

Improve Curb Appeal

The front yard is a property’s first (and sometimes, only) opportunity to make a positive impression. A few minor tweaks to the exterior of your rental can make a major esthetic difference. Mow the lawn, repaint the door, replace shabby shutters, install a new mailbox, and/or trim the hedges for an instant front yard facelift.

Repair Your Roof

Technically, the roof is essentially part of your overall curb appeal strategy – but a roof is a smidge more expensive than a mailbox, so we will give it it’s own header. Despite it’s bigger price tag, the roof on your rental is worth the expense. Ignoring peeling and deteriorating shingles is not only unsightly; it can eventually lead to serious damage to your property’s interior and exterior. Schedule periodic roofing inspections and replace as needed.

Clean Inside

This may seem like a no-brainer; however, many landlords underestimate the importance of consistent, thorough cleanings. Partner with a professional cleaning company to schedule periodic services at your rental. A professional cleaning company will have the equipment and high-end products needed to not only keep your property looking its best, but also help your rental defend itself against long-term wear and tear.

Install Better Fixtures

Kitchen and bathroom plumbing fixtures are some of the first things renters will notice when checking out your property. Faucets, sinks, and sprayers that are more than 10 years old can look run down and dingy, instantly dating the surrounding interior. When replacing, go beyond the standard “shiny chrome” builder grade and consider more sophisticated finishes such as brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze. Even going a step or two above entry-level fixtures can have a major impact on your rental property value.

Upgrade Countertops

Laminate countertops are inexpensive, but most landlords quickly realize you get what you pay for with these synthetic surfaces. Laminate counters simply don’t hold up to general rental wear and tear for a prolonged period of time. Once again, you don’t have to go high end. Choosing a solid material such as quartz, granite, or even cement can instantly improve durability and deliver the visual wow factor that renters are looking for.

Replace Floors

The floors of your rental property will see a lot of heavy foot (and possibly paw) traffic. In time, you may begin to notice fading, stains, and scratches on certain areas that get used most often. Install new flooring as needed throughout your rental. Forego carpet whenever possible (it’s a dirt and grime magnet) and opt for tiles, laminates, stone, and hardwood for an easy to clean option that instantly boosts your rental property value.

About Double Z Property Management

Double Z Property Management, a full-service property maintenance firm in Tacoma, Washington, specializes in an extensive suite of rental property services. Contact the Double Z team today to hear more.

5 Tips For Dealing With A Difficult Tenant

Owning a rental home offers several significant financial benefits, making it a sound investment for many. However, even the savviest property owners may eventually encounter a landlord’s worst nightmare – a difficult tenant. If you’re considering purchasing a rental home, but are concerned about navigating potentially tough tenant terrain, don’t be. While dealing with a challenging renter may prove unavoidable, you still have options.

Follow a few simple tips to best manage the situation for a positive outcome:

Set Boundaries

Let’s call this our “be friendly…but firm” approach. Always treat your tenants professionally and ethically; however, don’t be afraid to establish a few clearly defined boundaries, policies, and ground rules right from the start of your renting relationship. Managing expectations of what is (and is not) acceptable will help your tenant quickly realize he/she isn’t going to get away with certain behaviors.

Put It In Writing…And Be Specific

Standardized leases are convenient, but problematic renters can easily find loopholes in vague, generalized language used on a template agreement. Outlining all of your specific policies, requirements, and expectations in a customized lease can save you ample stress and headaches in the future. Additionally, whenever your renter fails to adhere to your rules, write that down as well. Not only is it important to keep a log of every situation, you can also use the details to serve them with a “Notice To Comply” to further reinforce requirements. Final tip – you can also use certified mail to ensure your tenant does receive any critical or time sensitive notifications.

Encourage Communication

Yes, really. While your first reaction may be to avoid a difficult tenant at all costs, you may actually be creating more problems for yourself long term. Encourage professional, objective communication at all times. Returning calls, texts, and emails can go a long way in eliminating misunderstandings and help keep your renting relationship on track.

Act Before It Gets Out Of Hand

Even great tenants can become problematic if they realize you’re slow to respond to their agreement breaches. As soon as there’s a misstep, whether it’s a missed payment or disregard of renter requirements, react. Proactively and decisively managing an episode as soon as it happens can prevent future incidents.

Hire A Property Management Firm

Perhaps the best way to effectively handle a difficult difficult? Partner with a professional property management firm to oversee your rental. An experienced property management team acts as a liaison between you and your renters to handle all the uncomfortable conversations for you. You get the peace of mind that comes from knowing your interests are protected at all times without the stress and worry that comes from engaging with someone not respecting your agreement for the ultimate landlord win/win.

Are you concerned about a potentially difficult tenant with your rental property? Double Z Property Management can help. Contact us today to discuss our property management services.

 

4 Reasons You Should Hire A Professional Property Manager To Manage Your Investment Property

Many rental homeowners assume that hiring a property management firm may possibly convolute the process, or potentially prove cost prohibitive. Fortunately, this is simply not the case. A skilled and reputable management team can quickly streamline your rental experience in a wide range of ways.

 

If you are a currently a landlord, or are considering investing in a rental home, you should partner with a professional property manager to reap several key advantages such as:

 

Convenience

Renting a home can quickly prove a full-time job. Your chosen management firm will coordinate all the many moving parts on your behalf. A top-quality provider will collect rent, impose late fees, handle occupant complaints, coordinate contractors, and even evict tenants if necessary, saving you precious time while mitigating stress and inconvenience. Seasoned vendors will also offer vital client services like consistent drive-bys and interior inspections to further minimize your responsibilities and deliver optimal peace of mind that your investment is well protected.

 

Save And Make More Money

Yes, really. Rental homeowners are often surprised to find that a professional management team actually helps protect their bottom line in a variety of ways. A qualified firm will offer low cost in-house maintenance as well access to an extensive network of vetted contractors to properly manage upkeep on your home. Consistent care and maintenance retains property value, proactively prevents costly repairs, and even helps command higher rental rates for a financial win/win/win.

 

Access To Best Tenants

When it comes to a successful renting experience, it’s not just about finding and retaining tenants. It’s about finding and retaining good tenants. You can spend countless hours trying to source and screen potential residents on your own without any guarantee you’ve effectively eliminated lodgers who may have red flags in their renting history. Property management companies grant you access to the best possible pool of prospective tenants. Your management team will tirelessly advertise your home using a comprehensive range of resources. A high-caliber firm will also offer extended operational hours for live showings whenever requested. Once a potential renter has been identified, a professional provider will utilize innovative, residential screening technology to confirm the most qualified renters possible.

 

Industry Authority

Most importantly, working with a professional property manager means you are entrusting your investment to a rental authority. Your trusted partner understands the laws and regulations, ensuring your rental contracts remains legally compliant at all times. Additionally, throughout the rental agreement, your vendor will act as a liaison between you and your occupants. When presented with a necessary eviction, your provider will manage the process, ensuring your best interests are always protected.

 

Contact the team of property management specialists today at Double Z Property Management to learn more about our comprehensive range of services. (more…)

Get Your Rental Property Winter Ready

7 Tips To Get Your Property Winter Ready

Winter. It sneaks up on us every year, unleashing cold, harsh temperatures and all manner of seasonal storms. As a landlord, it’s important to get your rental home ready for winter before the temperature starts to plummet. Don’t get caught unprepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store for us this year – get a head start on winterizing your property by following 7 easy tips this fall:

 

Drain Yard Sprinklers: Now’s the time to not only cut off the water source into your sprinklers, but to also empty out any leftover water that may be trapped inside the system to ensure it doesn’t freeze and burst as the temperatures drop.

 

Tend to Other Outside Water Sources: Beyond your sprinkler systems, you also need to consider other pipes and water sources. Detach all garden hoses from nozzles and drain the lines to eliminate any resting water. Additionally, you should wrap any exposed, un-insulated pipes and spigots as well to help prevent them from bursting and causing potential water damage to the property.

 

Prune: Cold winter weather can weaken branches and limbs, causing extensive breakage. Trimming your shrubs, trees, and bushes now can help prevent seasonal damage and get them ready to thrive again in the spring.

 

Roof and Gutter Maintenance: Winter weather can wreak havoc on your property’s roof and gutters – are they ready for the weather that lies ahead? Contact your property management team to ensure they schedule the maintenance needed to keep your roof and gutters working as they should.

 

Perform Alarm Check: Functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are critical to renter safety. Perform a check on all of your alarms to guarantee proper functioning (and make a note to check them again in the spring!).

 

Test Heating System: No renter wants to turn on the heat for the first time in the season…only to realize it’s actually not working. Test your heater now. While you’re at it, you may also want to have your fireplaces and furnaces tuned up. Remember to change your furnace filters every 2-3 months and leave your heat at 55 degrees if you go on vacation to prevent an entire home freeze during your absence.

 

Purchase De-Icing Agent: Frost is definitely a factor to consider with your rental. Slippery decks, porches, and walkways can not only be a nuisance…they can be a hazard. Have a good de-icing agent on hand so you can proactively mitigate frost around your property.

 

Double Z Property Management offers a comprehensive range of property maintenance services to keep your rental ready for whatever winter has in store. Contact our team today to hear more.