There are several ways to save time and money in the landlord business. Some of the ideas shared here are probably familiar to you and some might not apply but some will. If you have ideas about saving time and money managing rentals please share with others by posting them in the comments below.
- Paint every unit, every room, every wall, and every ceiling with the same brand and color of paint. You'll never waste anther can of paint. You'll never have trouble figuring out what brand and color you need to do a little touch up. Painters will save time and money when they can spray an entire room instead of having to roll it.
- When sinks, faucets, and other hardware needs to be replaced, do the same thing you did with the paint. Standardizing all the hardware in all of your rental units makes future repairs easy and less expensive.
- Save the bottoms of your cabinets under sinks by putting some scrap floor vinyl down there. Slow drips won't slowly rot away the cabinet bottom nor will a spilled caustic cleaning solution eat away at it.
- Keep appliances looking sharp instead of replacing them. Appliance stores sell a special appliance paint that makes slightly rusted or discolored appliances look like new again.
- Did a tenant put a fist hole in a hollow bedroom door? Instead of replacing the door, purchase a $6 mirror at Wal-Mart and screw it onto the door to cover the hole. This actually makes the room or hallway look bigger and brighter.
- Splintered and damaged cabinet drawers in the kitchen? Often, you can pop out the bottom of the drawer and turn it over to make it look like new again. Using a good strong adhesive to glue it back in place will make it stronger and you'll get twice the life out of it.
- Tenant retention ideas. Frequent tenant turnover is hard on the unit as well as causes you a month or so of lost rent. Shortly before a tenant's lease expires, offer to make one upgrade to the unit of their choice (put a price cap on it). Also, make your tenants feel like you care about them. Once a quarter send them a note asking if there is anything you can do for them. This also gets tenants to tell you about things that need repair before the problem gets worse.
- Use KwikSet Smartkeys when replacing locks. These allow you to change locks in just a few minutes and replacement lock cylinders only cost about $5.
- If your rentals have wooden steps at the entry, these can become slippery when wet. Tacking down roof shingles is fast and easy and will improve your tenant's safety and possibly save you from a lawsuit.
- Make your units show better by improving the lighting. Previous tenants probably replaced burned out bulbs with low wattage bulbs to save on electricity. Replacing these with higher wattage bulbs makes the unit brighter and feel larger. Potential tenants will remember it over other rentals they view.
I'm sure there are many other time and money saving ideas out there. Please share yours with others by leaving a comment below.
Author bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 30 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years. He also draws upon 25 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest in the Olympic Mountains with the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.
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