When you’re considering a job as a landlord, it’s best to research the career and make sure it’s really for you. Shows on HGTV make it look easy to make a profit in real estate on the side, but, in reality, there’s a lot of time and work that goes into this investment.
In fact, many people have the idea that real estate investments will lead them to immediate financial freedom, only to discover that the earnings weren’t what they expected. One landlord told US News & World Report, “We quickly realized that in the market today, with what we still owed, if we were lucky, we’d end up walking away from the table with a couple grand in our pockets.”
Another said that the cost of owning the property was more expensive than she anticipated, eating into their profits.
“Not only did I have to pay thousands to the various utility companies to put the meters back on, but I had to have an electrician redo the entire wiring and breaker box, and have it re-inspected by the county before I could get a new electric meter installed,” she said.
Many real estate investors go into the rental property business with incredible success, however. They find that there’s a lot of work, but when they bank several thousand a year on a single property, it’s well worth their time and investment.
If you want to know if being a landlord is right for you, here are some things to consider first.
- There are plenty of tools to help you do your job.
Those who failed initially with their real estate investment probably didn’t use all the incredible tools at their disposal. You shouldn’t make the same mistake. There are a lot of amazing landlord-friendly tools designed to help you profit while minimizing your hourly investment.
One of the most important tools every landlord should use is landlord software free of charge. This essential tool helps you stay organized and fill your units with the best renters. It will provide you with rental applications, lease agreement samples, tenant screening services, rent collection tools, and more to make sure you’re only getting the best tenants to fill your property.
You’ll also want to use marketing tools like social media and digital advertising to fill your vacancies and keep them full. Otherwise, you’ll lose profits on vacant rentals.
Stay organized with apps that help you keep track of who has paid their rent and who still owes you. These apps can also remind you about maintenance requests and help you communicate properly with tenants.
- It can be stressful.
Although many tout being a landlord as an easy experience, those who have truly been through it know differently. The stress of being a landlord is one thing that many don’t expect, and it causes them to fail prematurely as a result.
“No matter how well you train your tenants, you will have problems,” says Brandon Turner of Forbes. “Tenants will pay rent late, they’ll get in fights with neighbors, they’ll break their lease, they will complain and make demands, and sometimes they will need to be evicted. In addition, your property will break down over time and need to be repaired.”
It’s all part of running a real estate business. “You can choose to freak out, get stressed, and shut down because of these problems, or you can deal with them swiftly within your landlording system and navigate a crash landing successfully with minimal (or no) stress,” he continues.
You can also take charge of your mental health before it becomes a bigger issue. Visit a sleep disorders institute to help you sleep better at night and get your stress under control. This is one of the best things you can do to reduce stress and enjoy your job.
- The rewards are almost always worth the hassle.
Despite what stressed out landlords say near the beginning, the majority say that the rewards make it all worth it in the end. Not only will you reap profits from a great market, but you’ll also get to meet new people. It’s a win-win!