Common DIY Kitsap County Landlord Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

The Joseph Group May 2021

Ian Joseph

“Clients first!” – is a huge part of the DNA that Ian Joseph and his Team have established at The Joseph Group. This motto helps them focus on striving for the highest level of customer experience, for their clients (landlords) and customers (tenants). In fact, Ian strongly believes that in life, family and business, you must strive to give more than you receive. “You can have everything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want." - Zig Ziglar

Being a rental property owner is hard work! To call it a full-time job almost feels like an understatement. It can feel more like several full-time jobs rolled into one. You have to be a master of marketing, a human relations expert, a skilled handyman, and a finance genius—and do it all with a smile.

Few among us can legitimately claim to be experts in all these fields. Unfortunately, when investing in real estate, there are plenty of mistakes to be made!

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Hiring a Kitsap County property management company can help you avoid the most common rental property pitfalls that can lead to issues like lengthy vacancy cycles and lost rental income. Here are some of the most common mistakes to look out for (and how to avoid them)!

Screening Renters Without the Right Strategy

Real estate investment success requires quality renters. Unfortunately, too many landlords make the mistake of not screening their tenants properly, then get stuck with unreliable "problem tenants" who don't pay rent on time, damage their property, and break the terms of their lease.

Rental property owners must also follow the law when screening prospective tenants. By asking the wrong questions, you could run afoul of the Fair Housing Act without even knowing it. A property manager in Kitsap County can handle every aspect of leasing and screening renters to place quality residents while following the law!

Setting a Rental Rate That's Too High (or Low)

Do you know the ideal rental rate for your property? Set it too high, and you might scare away prospective tenants. Set it too low, and you're essentially taking money out of your own pocket. One of the things Kitsap County property management companies offer is a rental market analysis to help investors set the ideal rental rate.

Many landlords skip this step because they simply don't know how to do it on their own. The best property managers can deliver the rental research investors need when analyzing properties and setting the ideal rental rate. That includes stacking your rental property up against comparable properties in the area and determining your ideal rental rate per square foot.

Performing DIY Maintenance (When You Really Need a Pro)

Sometimes it isn't easy to know what jobs you should and shouldn't do. Landlords, of course, have a responsibility to their tenants to keep their rental property livable, safe, and well-maintained. However, that can make a rental property owner feel pressured to make repairs and handle maintenance tasks they aren't qualified to do. At the end of the day, that isn't good for anyone. 

Performing unqualified maintenance opens you up to legal liability and physical danger. It can also void your warranties, which could end up costing you more in the long run. As a Kitsap County landlord, you should only do maintenance and repairs that you are fully qualified to do, and follow a few basic rules of thumb: 

  • If a maintenance task is within your realm of expertise and can be completed in 20 minutes or less, take care of it yourself.
  • If a job will take longer than 20 minutes, or if the same repair needs to be made repeatedly, hire a contractor to do the maintenance for you.
  • If maintenance becomes an ongoing drain on your time and resources, hire a Kitsap County property management company that can call in their own contractors and take care of property maintenance for you.

There's a misconception that fixing maintenance issues on your own can save money you don't want to spend on your rental properties. However, using a property manager and professionals to maintain your rentals will boost ROI (and keep renters happy) in the long run. 

Underestimating Critical Expenses

There's more to owning a rental property than sitting back and watching the passive income roll in. It comes with a lot of hidden expenses that many first-time landlords don't consider. From the costs of marketing your property and screening tenants to expenses associated with property inspections and repairs, there are numerous financial considerations that have a significant impact on your bottom line. Overlooking these costs can be a critical mistake when setting the rental rate and estimating the income you need for success.

Not Hiring a Property Management Company to Do It All!

We've only just scratched the surface of the challenges landlords face. Still, it's already clear why so many rental property owners turn to professional Kitsap County property management companies to manage and maintain their rental properties for them. The best property manager delivers every service you need to avoid the mistakes we've mentioned here and more!

Hiring a property manager in Kitsap County is one of the best decisions you can make to reduce errors and build more long-term wealth. 

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Avoid Mistakes With Kitsap County Property Management!

Joseph Property Management is committed to providing landlords with the tools and resources to succeed—and avoid these mistakes (and many more). When you're ready to reduce the occurrences of costly mistakes and boost your ROIs, let's talk about how we can help! 

Contact us to find out more about choosing the best property management company!

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