Real Estate Investment 101: Getting Started

Three Ways To Keep Real Estate Investment From Overwhelming Your Life

Investing in real estate is a great way to make money. However, it can quickly take over your life if you are not careful. Before you know it, you are spending all of your weekends repairing apartments and fielding calls from tenants with questions. You can invest in real estate and make money in this endeavor without dedicating all of your time to it. Here are three ways to do so.

Hire a property management company.

When you only have a property or two, you can probably handle all of the management activities yourself. However, as you acquire additional properties, you're better off hiring an investment property management company to handle day-to-day duties for you. A property management company can do everything from finding tenants to fixing front doors. Most will scale their services to your needs. For example, you can let them handle all of the leasing tasks and showing the homes, while you continue to handle repairs and maintenance yourself -- or vice versa. This leaves you more time for yourself.

Seek Long-Term Tenants

When you own several rental properties, you spend a great deal of time looking for new tenants, screening various tenants, and getting those new tenants moved in. The longer tenants stay, the less often you need to go through this process, and the more time you save.

There are a few ways to find tenants who will stay longer. First, require tenants to sign a 1-year lease, if not  2-year lease. This almost guarantees they will at least stay for this time period. Second, look for tenants who are further along in their careers and have been at the same company for a long time. This makes it less likely that they will move for work in the coming months. Also, remember that treating your tenants well and taking care of problems in a timely manner will encourage them to stay longer.

Buy Low-Maintenance Properties

Property maintenance can also eat up a lot of your time, but you can minimize this time commitment by searching for properties that require less maintenance. The houses do not have to be fancy, but do make sure that basic items like the roof, furnace, and pipes are in good shape. You will get fewer maintenance calls at inconvenient times, and you won't have to spend time constantly making improvements, either. You can also charge a bit more, which helps guarantee you get longer-term tenants.