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How remote landlords can operate without a property manager

It is possible to remotely maintain your rental properties without a property manager if you consider the following.

Considering being a remote landlord?

Owning your rentals from afar may seem to be a challenging task, but there are a number of steps you can take to ensure success. Before you embark on this venture, be sure to implement or at least consider some of the following strategies. 

- Build Your Network: Find professionals for each of the job duties that a non-remote rental property would also require to be maintained, such as inspectors, exterminators, or vendors like plumbers and electricians. Additionally, you will need leasing or showing agents to show the apartment and screen tenants in person.  

- Accept Online Payments: Providing online payment options to your tenants allows you to receive your rent quicker. Online payments are becoming the preferred method of payment by more and more tenants every day, and they require less work on your part. Getting a check dropped off is vastly different from waiting for a check to be mailed across the country.

- Visit Your Property: The IRS allows you to take 100% tax-deductible trips to your rental properties. This could be done when leasing to give you the opportunity to meet your tenants, or at some point during the year to merely check up on your properties. 

- Master Your Marketing Process: While there are countless online platforms to list your rentals through, a must-have on any of them is a digital application form. This will allow you to gather leads and concurrently send a lease once the tenant has been vetted. Sending a digital lease will allow you to see when a tenant is viewing the lease and which of your tenants still has to sign. Before sending a lease, however, be sure to screen the tenant with a formal background check, in addition to you or your contracted leasing agent meeting them. 

- Communicate Thoroughly: If you are hundreds of miles away, leveraging technology to keep in touch with your tenants is of the utmost importance. This could be answering calls, texts, emails, or sending out bulk communication to your tenants across several channels to ensure that no updates or announcements go unnoticed.

Takeaway: While it does require a little extra work, becoming a remote landlord is definitely realistic without employing the services of a full-time property manager.