10 Time Management Tips for New Landlords

Investing in rental property and becoming a landlord can be a lucrative move. If you choose an attractive property with a reasonable price, you can typically make more money in rental income than you spend in ongoing expenses, resulting in a monthly profit. On top of that, you can often benefit from the long-term appreciation of the property’s value.

The drawback of this strategy, if there is one, is that managing a property takes a lot of time. It’s going to take hours for you to research new properties, follow through with your purchases, repair and maintain your properties, and deal with issues and vacancies.

Fortunately, with the right time management strategies, you can make your life much easier – and get more done every day.

Important Time Management Tips

These are some of the best ways to manage your time as a landlord:

  1.       Hire a property management company. This first tip is almost cheating because it drastically reduces the amount of time you’ll need to personally spend. Hiring a property management company will outsource the vast majority of your responsibilities. Your company will take care of most tasks associated with your rental property, such as finding tenants, screening candidates, making repairs, handling tenant complaints, and even managing late rental payments and formal evictions. Depending on your partner, they may even provide you with guidance and advice on your investing decisions – and they’ll charge you based on your gross monthly rent, so your profitability won’t be negatively impacted.
  2.       Screen your tenants thoroughly. It may seem like skipping or shortening the tenant screening process will save you time, but the opposite is true. Tenant screening is one of your most important responsibilities, and it’s bound to save you tons of time in the future. Carefully screening your tenants means you’ll reduce the likelihood of missed payments in the future, prevent certain issues from arising, and potentially improve tenant retention as well. It’s well worth the time investment.
  3.       Maintain your property proactively. Too many landlords only attempt to repair, maintain, or upgrade their property when they’re prompted to do so. They’re constantly juggling emergency requests. Instead, it’s better to maintain your property proactively. Visit it regularly and conduct routine maintenance; you’ll prevent many problems from arising.
  4.       Invest in the right software. If you’re not going to work with a property management company, it’s a good idea to invest in the right software. Good property management software will help you connect to your tenants, collect rent payments, manage requests, and even keep track of important paperwork. In other words, it can save you hours of time.
  5.       Keep track of your paperwork. A good property management software platform is your best bet for managing expenses, rental income documentation, and other paperwork. But if you decide against it, make sure you have another system in place. Disorganized files can cost you dearly in terms of time.
  6.       Block and schedule your time. When you have a lot of competing responsibilities, it’s best to “block” your time. Essentially, you’ll devote a chunk of your day (such as an hour or half-hour) to a specific set of responsibilities. If you plan ahead and remain focused, you’ll be much more productive.  
  7.       Take notes (and keep them organized). Always have a way to take notes, whether it’s jotting something down in a notebook or taking a voice memo. If you take notes regularly and keep them organized in some way, you’ll never lose track of important reminders – and you’ll manage your time much more effectively.
  8.       Delegate what you can. If you have a property management company, you can delegate pretty much everything. Otherwise, delegate whatever you can. Work with your contractors, your staff, and your partners to distribute responsibilities in a fair way – and don’t be afraid to spend a bit extra on third-party services if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
  9.       Make repeatable processes. Things go much faster when you have an established formula. Create repeatable processes you can use to evaluate new properties, screen tenants, and inspect properties; ultimately, you can save hours of time.
  10.   Be willing to adapt and improve. Finally, be willing to adapt and improve. You can’t do the same things over and over and expect to be more efficient; experiment with new strategies and see what works.

Perfecting Your Approach

You’re not going to start your journey as a perfect landlord, nor will you be especially effective at managing your own time. But the more you invest in this process and the more you’re willing to learn and adapt, the better you’re going to become. Remain patient and open-minded as you learn new things and commit to getting better over time.