Why would anyone want to become a long-distance landlord, you might ask? Property management is hard enough in the same city, but doing it from across the state, country or even the world might seem like a recipe for disaster. At the same time, by limiting yourself geographically you may be missing out on some serious money-making opportunities.
People invest in properties outside of where they live for various reasons. Maybe you’ve identified a hot market that you want to monetize, perhaps you relocated and would rather rent out your old place until the market improves, or it could be that you want to retire and travel the world while living off your passive rental income. Regardless of your situation, not limiting your investments by geographic location gives you much more opportunity and flexibility for investments with high returns.
There are some important factors to consider if you do decide to become a “long-distance landlord,” but it’s not as tough as it might seem!
Choose Your Tenants Carefully
It’s a bit harder to keep an eye on a tenant if you’re hitting the beach in Thailand or sitting in an office on the opposite coast from your rental property. The first step is finding really great tenants.
The more you trust the tenants in your property the less worried you will be about leaving the place unattended. A rigorous and detailed tenant selection process is key. If you don’t trust yourself to make the best decision, engage a property manager who can offer their expertise in identifying a quality tenant.
Build Excellent Relationships
It always pays to have connections, especially when you won’t be around to keep an eye on your rental property. As a long-distance landlord, you definitely need a team of great people behind you to keep things running smoothly.
Make sure you have a handyman that you trust to make repairs at your property without your oversight. It’s also not a bad idea to get to know the neighbors at your rental property who you know will give you a call if anything looks off. And make sure you work with someone you trust for the inspection process at move in and move out.
Lay it All Out in the Lease
Having an iron-clad lease agreement is important regardless of where you’re located, but it can be even more helpful when you are managing a property from afar. There should be no questions around what is and is not allowed as part of the lease, and your expectations should be completely clear for your tenant.
The less questions from your tenants, the easier it will be to keep things running smoothly while you munch on tacos in Mexico or enjoy movie night in your new home across the country.
Use a Property Helper
You don’t necessarily need to spend big bucks on a traditional property manager. A property helper can offer services that will make it even easier and more worry-free to manage your property from afar. They’ll conduct a background check, ask your screening questions, give you the information you need to make an informed decision, and provide a portal for your tenants to pay rent to your account.
Your tenants won’t have a clue that they are dealing with a long-distance landlord when they have someone to call 24/7 when a pipe bursts or the toilet overflows. And you won’t have to deal with the headaches so you can truly enjoy being a profitable landlord.