Do you enjoy making your hard-earned money grow? I know I do. It's one of the many reasons I have invested in rental properties. Forbes magazine states, "even with interest rates inching up, investing in real estate - and especially in rentals - will be a good move in 2019.”
When becoming a landlord, you typically make your greatest profits through long-term investments. Unlike long-term stock market investments, you can't just sink your money into a long-term real estate investment and then just sit back and hope your investment grows. Rental properties require preventive maintenance, necessary repairs and sometimes even updates & modernization to maximize your long-term profits.
As spring approaches, many of us will do some interior and exterior maintenance to our personal homes. We do this because we know the minimal costs and efforts to stay on top of any issues will save us money in the long run. It is also a good idea to apply this thinking to your investment properties. A checklist of three quick and easy items can help you protect your investment and possibly increase your rental income. As we all know that a well-cared-for property tends to bring in higher rent.
Change The Air Filter
The first item on the list I recommend to every landlord is to personally go by your properties at least every six months to change out the air filter. I learned the hard way that tenants do not change out the filters as suggested and as we do in our own home. I own multiple properties and although they are on the mid to higher end rental scale, I have seen over and over again that the filter I put in when the tenant took occupancy is still there six months later. Even if I provide additional filters, they don't get changed. I decided to turn this into a positive return on my investment.
Switching out an air filter only costs a few dollars, and it can save you thousands by preventing damage to your heat and air unit. Not only is it one of the least expensive preventive maintenance procedures you can perform, it also gives you an opportunity to view other conditions of the property and encourages tenants to clean and prepare for your visit.
Check All Plumbing Fixtures
While you are there, you can check off item number two and do a quick check of all the plumbing fixtures. Repairing a leaking faucet or dishwasher is much easier and less expensive than replacing trim and cabinets due to water damage.
Check For Water Damage
Item three will take care of the exterior of the property. On your way out, check the wood around the exterior doors for water damage and rot. This is one of the most preventative repairs that we see in real estate. The addition of a gutter, application of a water seal product or replacing a few damaged pieces of wood could keep you from having to replace the entire door and facing.
These three steps can be completed in approximately 15-30 minutes depending on how long your tenants like to visit, and they can provide you with years of assurance that you are maximizing your profits on your investment.
About the Author
Danna Johnson is a lifelong resident of NEA and a 20 year veteran in the real estate industry. She is a graduate of Arkansas State University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing. Not long after becoming a REALTOR, she made the decision to further her real estate education and obtained the Graduate of the REALTOR Institute designation from the National Association of REALTORS. During her career, Danna has been recognized for numerous accomplishments and service to her industry including serving as President of the NEA Board of REALTOS and is a past REALTOR of the YEAR. She was the founding Chairperson of the NEA Real Estate Guide and has served on over a dozen local and state committees. Danna’s sales volume has kept her at the top of the leader board and she is currently a Crye-Leike Top 25 Producer and a Life Member of the Arkansas REALTORS Association Million Dollar Club. In 2016, Danna became the second Arkansan in history to be named as a recipient of the National Association of REALTORS Good Neighbor Award. Out of the 10 Good Neighbor finalists, Danna was selected as the Web Choice Winner for her 20 years of service to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South in which she helped to lead the way for the organization getting its start in the NEA Arkansas area. Danna, who currently serves as a chapter Ambassador, has been instrumental in raising awareness and millions of dollars in funding for Make-A-Wish. In addition to Make-A-Wish, Danna volunteers for many other organizations and events as she believes it is vital that you give back and serve in the community where you live. Over 15 years ago, Danna began representing builders and has since become a new construction specialist being involved in every stage of construction and design from the selection of the house plans to the exterior and interior touches that make a house a home. Danna dedicates a tremendous amount of time to the design process including attending national home building and design shows which has helped her to be at the forefront of bringing new trends to the NEA area. Her expertise in new construction and design is highly respected in the industry and community. From the first home to the dream home, Danna considers it a privilege and an honor to work in an industry that she loves and allows her to be a part of the American Dream as she helps people with their greatest investment.