February 3, 2023

Top 25 Useful Property Management Tips For Chicago Landlords

Chicago landlord meeting with tenants to deliver keys

When you're involved in the real estate industry as an investor, property owner, and landlord, navigating different roles and performing them as optimally as possible can sometimes be incredibly challenging.

Property management is a significant aspect of being a landlord, especially if you want to succeed with your investment property.

While counting on property management services can always optimize this process, we've put together a list of the top 25 most important things to remember when managing your properties as a landlord.

Select Your Tenants Carefully

While it may be tempting for you to go with the very first offer you get to lease your rental property, you should always be extra careful about the kind of tenants you're signing a long- or short-term deal with. A standard tenant selection process should include one-on-one interviews (more than one if needed) and a background check. Our full-service property management company helps you determine the right screening process for your tenants.

Always Conduct Frequent Property Inspections

When leasing or renting out a property to tenants, you trust them with a significant portion of your wealth. Therefore, you’re well within your rights as a landlord to conduct property inspections at least twice a year. However, remember to clarify this condition in your rental contract and give the tenant proper notice so that the tenants are always mentally prepared for an inspection when the time comes.

Treat it Like a Business

Being a landlord is like being a business owner. You use your capital to invest in a property so that you can generate a steady income from it. When you start looking at your investment as a business, you're more likely to develop innovative property management solutions for more significant revenues.

Be Accessible

As a landlord, you should always be available to your tenants if they have questions or need assistance. However, it's essential to set reasonable office hours so that you can enjoy an adequate work-life balance. Try being available for at least 3 hours daily, especially if managing multifamily properties or short-term rentals. 

Establish a Network of Trusted Professionals

It's your responsibility as a landlord to keep your property's upkeep in mind. Therefore, having connections with professional service providers can always help you get discounted, prompt, and high-quality services, ultimately improving your property management efforts.

Set Up A Business Phone

Regardless of how flexible your schedule is, it's never a good idea to use your phone for business conversations, including those with your tenants. Therefore, always have a separate business phone that you can use for your professional endeavors, especially during office hours.

Secure All Records

Record keeping is a significant factor in effective property management. Create a well-organized file with all the property paperwork, contracts, payment receipts, and other records that'll help you keep a check of all transactions associated with your property.

Try using property management software to help you secure all the records and copies online so you never have to worry about losing them.

Enjoy Maximum Protection with Landlord Insurance

It's always a good idea to protect yourself as a landlord. Ensure you have great insurance from a trusted company that can cover damages or accidents. They should be able to help you understand how landlord insurance works and what property liability coverage usually involves.

Set Rental Prices Strategically

Your property's monthly rent should always reflect the market rates. Setting your rates too high will tank the demand for your property, and setting them too low will set you back financially. It would help if you aimed to find a middle ground between profitability for yourself and value for your tenants. Research the rental market around you, speak to prospective tenants, work with vetted realtors, and seek a professional real estate expert's help in setting rental prices.

Invest In Marketing

With most new-age tenants searching for properties online, it's crucial to use resources like social media and listing platforms like apartments.com to reach as many potential renters as possible. Be creative and test results to find what works best, but don’t get too comfortable. 

Create a Well-Written Rental Contract

The contract of your rental property plays a significant role in your future experience as a landlord.

It should lay out all the terms and conditions of leasing with you and should be easily readable and understandable for your tenants. Your lease must also comply with local laws and ordinances, so consulting an attorney is well worth it. 

Set Up Screening Standards

The standard for screening your tenants should always remain the same. From checking criminal backgrounds to evaluating credit scores and financial stability, you should always lay out a proper screening guidelines that can be applied to all tenants without bias.

Learn from Mistakes

Mistakes are bound to happen when you're involved in an industry as volatile as real estate. If you want to succeed as a property manager, remember to learn from your mistakes and use them to grow as a professional instead of giving up.

Avoid Renting Out to Family and Friends

It's never a good idea to rent your property to close acquaintances. This can often disrupt an efficient property management process, reducing your chances of getting any investment returns, especially in the long run.

Be Aware of Fair Housing Laws and Regulations

Fair Housing Laws specifically lay out the rights and responsibilities of tenants. If you're a new landlord, reading these laws before you begin working with tenants is always good.

We recommend you do thorough research in your area and follow the law. 

Set Late Payment Terms and Conditions

Late payments are a cause for concern and could lead to more trouble. Therefore, it's always good to plan and highlight the late payment terms and conditions in your rental agreements and ensure tenants know the consequences of being late to avoid the costly and stressful eviction process.

Allow Flexible Payment Methods

When operating as a landlord abroad, the best way to create a more flexible payment system is by offering multiple payment options, including Cash App, online bank transfers, and PayPal.

Always Keep Your Tenants Happy

The best way to be known as an experienced landlord is by keeping your tenants happy. A polite tone, welcoming behavior, reasonable policies, and affordable monthly rent can help you meet this goal and reduce costly turnover.

Offer Amenities and Perks

The more amenities you offer, the higher your chances of getting attractive offers from tenants. Gym memberships, a swimming pool, free parking, a pet-friendly atmosphere, and other similar perks can always help you stand out as a landlord. Be creative.

Conduct Comprehensive Inspections After Every Lease Ends

Once a rental lease ends, conduct a thorough home inspection to identify any damages and determine whether your previous tenants need to compensate for them. Furthermore, these inspections should help you prepare the house for new tenants.

Understand Your Role as a Landlord

While you're the property owner, you should always know your role as a landlord. This means understanding local law and that your tenants will call your property their home and doing everything in your capacity to make their residence comfortable.

Be Proactive With  Maintenance

Being proactive in regular maintenance as a property manager can help you preserve the property's integrity and value. Scheduled maintenance and checkups will also help avoid more significant problems that can lead to costly repairs and vacancies. 

Keep the Property Clean 

Keep your rental property clean and ready for open houses and tours by potential tenants. Ensure to take care of the exterior and interior by maintaining landscaping and keeping the property presentable. 

Always Keep Things Professional

Professionalism is at the heart of efficient property management. When leasing your property to a tenant, make sure you establish a good first impression by remaining polite, friendly, and welcoming to them. The more professional and friendly you are, the better your rapport with your tenants and your reputation in the market.

Hire a Reliable Property Management Company

Lastly, you can always make your rental investment a considerable success when working with a reliable property management company. These companies have substantial knowledge and resources that they frequently use to manage and maintain properties, especially when you're struggling as an overseas landlord.

Contact Us

Are you tired of dealing with the stress and hassle of managing your properties on your own? Let Inter Properties Inc take the reins! Our experienced team of property management experts will handle all of your property needs, freeing up your time to focus on what truly matters.

From maintenance and repairs to tenant relations and financial management, we've got you covered. We use the latest technology and proven management techniques to maximize the return on your investment and minimize any headaches.

Call us at (888) 330 9254 to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards stress-free property management. Let us help you succeed in real estate – the easy way!

Check out our services or contact us to learn more today!
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