The rental market in San Diego Real Estate is booming. More and more people are moving to San Diego county to take advantage of our sunshine, decent school systems and beautiful beaches.
Single family homes and apartments in the San Diego area have monthly rent rates that are skyrocketing, especially in neighborhoods such as Pacific Beach, El Cajon, Otay Ranch, Mission Valley, and areas close to downtown San Diego and Balboa Park such as North Park, Little Italy and Hillcrest. Good quality residential property, and pretty much every rental in San Diego, is experiencing a low vacancy rate, which means now is a great time for you to lease your property.
As a property owner, you are in a unique position to take that first step. Here are five tips to guide you through the process.
Prepare for Rental Property Management
First, as owners, you need to make your property more attractive. While a residential property management company will perform preventative maintenance, it's a good idea to repaint, put in new carpet, perform repairs, and, if necessary, upgrade some fixtures before you rent.
You need to exercise some judgment at this phase. If your single-family home or home condo is relatively up to date, then you have very little to do. But if you acquired this at an auction, it is likely that you have a lot of reconstruction and remodeling to do. The good news is these activities can increase the value of your rental property, so it's a great real estate investment.
Remember, if you're trying to lease your property in the San Diego area to tenants, you'll want your property to be nicer than the average vacation rental. This is going to be their home, and hopefully long-term! Think about who that person is, are they single, dating, married, do they have kids? The answers to these questions will inform how you prepare your property.
Hiring a San Diego property management company
Second, you should hire a full-service property management company. It sounds romantic, rebuilding a home and leasing it all on your own, but the San Diego real estate rental market can be complicated, and as a property owner, you'll want to be sure your property and tenants are well taken care of -- sometimes that's difficult to do on your own.
A professional property management company can help you. These firms know the real estate market and what it takes to secure reliable, long-term tenants. Furthermore, most of these companies' management fee are paid out of the rent payments they collect, therefore they are incentivized to keep your property occupied as often as possible. That incentive is a powerful tool to ensure that your rental income remains net-positive cash flow.
When hiring a property manager, make sure to ask about their specific services and find out about their hands-on approach.
Coordinate with your property manager
Third, you should coordinate with your San Diego property management company to find residents and market the property. While the company knows the market, you know your property. No company or agent will ever be your best advocate, you are. You can drum up advertising while the management company handles the finer points of collecting applications, performing tenant screening of possible residents, and ensuring that you comply with Fair Housing Act (FHA) guidelines.
Yes, now that you are leasing your property, you are subject to FHA obligations. A San Diego property management company can ensure that you don’t accidentally violate the FHA.
Fourth, the most exciting step, sign the lease agreements and collect the rental payments! This is typical a management service that your property management firm will provide to you, the owners. Your property manager will have a standard lease agreement that they modify, per your instructions. For example, you can tell them the pet policy, maintenance policy, and sub-letting rules.
Additionally, your property management service typically includes handling the rental deposit. Remember, you need to keep the deposits until after the resident leaves; you will need that money to repair the apartment and/or return it to the resident once they depart.
Finally, the property management firm will know how to collect the lease payments. Most of these companies are moving past physical checks and into online payments which are faster and more secure.
Fifth, it is critical that you conduct a move-in inspection prior to your resident moving in. You need to take pictures and note any damage to the unit. These inspections protect you and the resident. You both need to know the status of the property prior to the move-in. Whenever thousands of dollars are at stake, people tend to see the truth in the light that is most favorable to them. These inspections prevent those distortions and ensure that you and your resident depart on favorable terms.
If you're thinking about hiring a full-service property management company for your rental property, request a free quote: