How to Increase Your Income Without Raising Rent

How to Increase Your Income Without Raising Rent

Are you looking to grow your earnings as a landlord? The default method is usually raising the rent. However, you can do better than that. Use some creativity to find alternative means of increasing your income.

Rent price hikes can cause a backlash and can even result in high turnovers. It’s best to find other income-generating techniques that don’t include rent increases. Keep a flexible attitude and you might just discover several income streams that have the potential of being far more profitable.

This article will offer a variety of ideas on how to increase your income without placing the burden of paying a higher rent on your tenants. Incorporate some of these tips to help you achieve your financial objectives!

Tap Into VRBO and Airbnb Platforms

Do you have a vacant unit? This can be quite costly as the unit still generates expenses considering the maintenance costs and extra cleaning fees. Instead of waiting for a renter who prefers a fixed long-term lease, you can offer your rental property to short-term guests.

They can cover the cleaning fee. What’s more, you won’t have to worry about systems in your home breaking down because of a lack of us if you have short-term renters coming in. Using these popular platforms can also translate to better earnings since short-term payouts can be more lucrative than fixed rent payments.

increasing income for rental properties

Install Solar Panels

Many people are looking to save on utilities by using solar power energy. You can exercise initiative by installing solar panels and solar lights. This can help reduce the renters’ utility bills. You can even earn extra by letting them use your environmentally-friendly panels.

You might also want to take advantage of the tax incentives and energy credits available in some States. It will also make you feel better to promote energy efficiency in running your rental business.

Consider Installing a Vending Machine

You might think that installing a vending machine requires a hefty investment. But you can obtain a second-hand machine at a fair rate. Vending machines are cash cows in the sense that they’re easy to maintain while providing you with a solid profit.

If you’re an owner of an apartment complex, you can place a vending machine in a high-traffic area of the building and pack it with candies, drinks, and other convenient products. The best thing is it’s secure and you won’t need to hire extra help to manage the vending machine business. Just make sure to match your products with items that your renters need.

Collect Late Payment Fees

Part of your lease will emphasize that tenants make timely rent payments. However, you can still accept late rent payment provided you earn an additional late rent fee. This discourages tenants from delaying their payments while at the same time, you earning extra for the inconvenience of receiving a late payment.

collecting late rent fees

This should be strictly enforced and detailed in the lease agreement. You can’t collect late rent penalties from one tenant but excuse them for another one. Be fair and treat every tenant equally to avoid complaints and legal issues.

Charge Extra Fees for Tenants with Pets

You may want to consider opting for a pet deposit in exchange for being a pet-friendly rental property. With the surge of pet ownership, opening your doors to tenants with pets can be lucrative and make your investment property more competitive in the market.

Be sure to follow Washington’s laws on pet deposits and include all pet policies in the lease agreement.

Offer Paid Service Upgrades

Focus on the extra benefits you can provide to your renter. Do they need to have their pool cleaned, their lawn mowed, or to keep up with the landscaping? This is an opportunity for you to offer your paid services. It makes it convenient for the tenants to keep the unit reasonably clean.

This can even be less work on your part if you act as a middle man. If you budget correctly you can refer an excellent service contractor to complete the job while still generating extra income.

Collect a Parking Fee

Good parking areas are often limited. The more dense the area, the more challenging it is to find a convenient area for parking. If you have the space available, offering a parking spot can serve as a great income source. This can be a lucrative and steady income stream without too much maintenance.

offering laundry machines use to renters

Use a Coin-Operated Washer and Dryer

Plenty of hostels offer this service for convenience and as an extra income source. If you have an apartment or multi-family property, this can be an excellent added source of income. If you have a high volume of renters and you have the space to add coin-operated machines this can benefit both you and the tenants.

If you’re only servicing a couple of renters, you can still offer a washer and dryer for a fixed monthly fee. Most renters will find it convenient to pay the regular fee rather than bringing their laundry to a laundromat or purchasing a new washing machine.

Rent Out Extra Storage Space

Storage units are big businesses. Renters value additional storage space in their unit or on the property. You can capitalize on this opportunity by simply offering a secure storage area. It can be a shed for their garden tools or an attic or basement for sports equipment.

A lot of people are always on the lookout for rentals with extra storage to house their seasonal possessions so you can take advantage of that when marketing your units.

Bottom Line

Opting for traditional ways to earn a rental income can be limiting. Entertain new ways to boost your earnings as they can be a win-win for both you and your tenants.

If you would like help managing your rental properties, contact the experts at T-Square Properties today!

How to Film a Great Video Tour of Your Rental

How to Film a Great Video Tour of Your Rental

The advent of social media apps that focus on video content has made this a popular medium to advertise on. As a property owner, you can gain more inquiries from prospects when you create a video tour of your rental.

Initially, you may think that you need to have sophisticated filming equipment but this is not an issue. You can use your mobile phone to film your tours. Owners can also be hesitant to film a video tour because they don’t have a lot of experience. Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to learn the basics.

Just follow these easy tips and you can release a video tour and receive inquiries of your own in no time at all!

Here are things to keep in mind when filming a virtual rental tour:

Stage Your Rental

You want to impress the viewers. To achieve this, you need to clean up, reduce the clutter and eliminate any distractions. You want to make sure that the unit itself is the feature of the video, not some detail in the background.

You can also hire professional cleaners to ensure that everything looks immaculate and spotless. Check out magazines for stylish homes to feel inspired and gain ideas on furnishing layouts. You can also consult with interior designers to gain additional tips and tricks for staging.

Highlight Your Unit’s Best Features

Every property has its own distinctive features to highlight. Is it historical, modern, or designed by a renowned architect? What kind of amenities do you have? Prospects take these things into account when making their decisions on where to rent. Be sure to highlight these features in your video tour.

Some of the in-demand amenities are parking spaces, storage areas, and stainless steel appliances. If you have these features then make sure you promote them in the video tour. Always be conscious of what your Washington rental property can offer to its tenants.

If the unit has undergone upgrades then show the improvements. The location of your property can also serve as a point of interest. Provide more information on its proximity to parks, schools, and other conveniences.

Craft an Effective Title

Conceptualize the idea you want to bring forth. What impression do you want to leave your target viewers about your rental property? You want to make your titles with your target demographics in mind.

If your chosen demographic is large families, you can include the number of bedrooms your Washington property has in the video title. On the other hand, if the property is close to the business district and you want to attract young professionals, you can also add that specific information to the video’s title.

editing your video rental video tour

Providing a short description after the title can also allow for more important information to be given to the viewer. In the description be mention how many bedrooms there are, its proximity to transportation hubs, and in-unit amenities. This can filter out applicants that have other property needs.

Focus on Good Lighting

Just like lighting is important in shooting quality images of your rental, it also plays a major part in your video tour. Aim to film an hour before sunset or an hour after sunrise. This time of day is called golden hour and it provides a soft glow to the property’s interiors and exteriors.

Pull back the curtains and open the windows wide to let the light in. Capture a variety of shots and give ample time to highlight the best parts of the rental home. Good lighting will make the spaces seem larger and more inviting to the viewer.

Film an Intro and Outro

You can take advantage of your intro and outro by showcasing your logo so viewers can have an easy recall. A few seconds will be sufficient. You can also include information like your website and business email address during this time.

Note that you should always use professional contact information to protect your privacy. This way, you won’t divulge personal information and can set boundaries with your business and personal life.

Create a Call to Action (CTA)

CTA’s can refer to short sentences or phrases you include at the last part of your video tour. Some of the common ones are “Contact us today for a property viewing!”

Include Captions

Captions ensure that viewers can capture all important information. It also makes your videos accessible to more people if they can choose between listening to the audio or reading the captions.

Offering captions on your videos guarantees that prospects can still absorb the information you’re communicating in the film. There are several online services that can support the adding of captions at zero cost.

Summary

With the number of videos available online, viewers can feel saturated to watch another one. Spend time coming up with a creative way of crafting a video tour. This makes it easy for prospective tenants to imagine staying in your unit.

Remember to focus on the point of view of your prospects. Your video must encompass what they’re seeking in a rental property. Film leisurely, then trim it down to be around 2 to 3 minutes and provide a natural flow to your video. Film the lot area as well since viewers want to see the exterior part of the property as well.

If you would like help marketing your property or would like to hire the services of a qualified and trusted property management company, reach out to the experts at T-Square Properties today!

What to Do with a Tenant’s Possessions after an Eviction

What to Do with a Tenant’s Possessions after an Eviction

As hard as you may try to avoid it, evictions are inevitable in any landlord’s career. The reasons for evicting a tenant can range from nonpayment of rent and excessive property damage to disturbing neighbors and failing to move after the lease ends.

After a successful eviction, however, you may have another headache to deal with. Sometimes tenants who have been evicted leave some of their belongings behind.

You cannot assume that the possessions were left there because the tenants didn’t want them anymore. There are rules and regulations that landlords must adhere to when handling this kind of situation. You must give your tenant a fair chance to retrieve items left behind before disposing of them.

Disregarding such a responsibility could land you in legal trouble. So, if you’re a landlord in Washington, here’s everything you need to learn in this regard.

Writ of Restitution

When you file for an eviction, if the court rules in your favor, you’ll be given a writ of restitution. A writ of restitution is a legal document that gives the possession of the property back to you. It notifies the tenant that they must move out of the rental property within a certain period of time or the sheriff will remove them. 

legal writ of restitution

For all eviction cases, the tenant will have only a specific amount of time to vacate their premises after the writ of restitution has been granted.

In all cases, the tenant will get removed by local law enforcement if they extend their stay beyond the notice period.

Disposing of Abandoned Property

Once the writ has been executed, you may notice that the tenant has left some of their property behind. In Washington, you must store the tenant’s property in a reasonable, secure place. If, however, the tenant – or their representative – objects to the way you’ve stored the belongings, then you must deposit the property in the nearest public area.

Tenants can choose to be present during the execution of the writ of restitution. If they are present, they may have a say on how they want the landlord to store the possessions. But if they choose to be absent, they will be presumed to waive that right.

You must continue storing the tenant’s belongings for a period of 45 days after the successful eviction process. After the 45 days have passed, you may sell or dispose of the property in any manner you see fit.

You can apply any income you derive from the sale towards the drayage and storage costs of the property. Please note, however, that the proceeds from the sale must not exceed the actual or reasonable drayage and storage costs. Any excess income you derive from the sale must be held in trust for the tenant.

The tenant will have a period of one year to make a claim. If, however, they make no claim, then you may treat the balance as abandoned property. As such, you must deposit the amount with the department of revenue in accordance with the law.

Storing a Tenant’s Possession After an Eviction

After a successful eviction process, you may find that the tenant has left a lot of items behind, and storing them may prove challenging.

Here is what you must do to address the issue:

  • Dispose of any trash. It won’t make sense to store any property that is clearly trash. So, dispose it of and keep track of the costs of doing so.
  • Take inventory of the products. Organize and take an inventory of the belongings. Don’t open any locked items, but make sure to have a thorough list of everything they have left behind. Ideally, take pictures of all the items.
  • Store the belongings. You have two options in this regard. One, you can choose to store them in the property or in a storage facility. Taking them to a storage facility is the best decision because you may want to prepare your Washington rental for the next tenant.
  • Notify the tenant of the storage. It’s important to let the tenant know where their property is being stored. In the notice make sure to include some important details like the inventory of the abandoned property, associated value, retrieval period, and how it’ll be disposed of if the tenant doesn’t claim it.

Notifying tenants of storage

  • Sell the property. If the tenant doesn’t claim the property within 45 days, you can dispose of or sell the belongings. You must then hold onto the proceeds for another year. If the tenant still makes no claim, then you must treat the proceeds, minus the drayage and storage fees, as abandoned property. Thus, you must report them to the local revenue collection agency.

Protect Yourself Against Future Occurrences

Consider adding a clause in your lease agreement to prevent this kind of situation from occurring altogether. In the clause, you can mention things such as:

  • The fee for disposal of any abandoned property.
  • An arrangement if the tenant is unable to vacate all their belongings.
  • Details on how long you’ll be responsible for storing the items.

The goal here is to protect yourself against getting stuck with tenants’ belongings for an excessive amount of time due to regulations.

Summary

It’s important to follow all the correct procedures and protocols when evicting a tenant and dealing with any possessions they’ve left behind. If you need help with keeping track of eviction laws or would like assistance managing your properties consider reaching out to the experts at T-Square Properties!

Disclaimer: This information isn’t a substitute for professional legal advice. Laws change and this post may no longer be up-to-date at the time you read it. For further help, kindly consider getting in touch with a knowledgeable attorney or an experienced property management company.

Top Rental Home Renovations to Save You Money

Top Rental Home Renovations to Save You Money

Home improvements can help fast-track your returns on investment. It also draws in more attention from prospective tenants looking to rent your Bellevue properties. The best reason for renovating your units though is that when you decide to sell your property, it can fetch a higher than the average market price provided the market is in an upswing.

You should start by checking your return on investment and assessing if your rental investment is going as planned. Rental renovations are great ways to maximize your rental income. However, before embarking on any, make sure you have sufficient capital to pursue a home improvement project.

Look at your competition and check the market rates. Even if you have upgraded your rental unit, you might still find that the rental demand is low or that your chosen demographics prioritize the rental rate more than added amenities. This needs to be factored in in your rental upgrade decision.

This article will cover the definition of ROI and recommendations on rental improvements to maximize your investment returns.

Defining Return on Investment

Return on investment (ROI) is a measure of gauging your investment’s profitability. The objective is to obtain a good grasp of how the investment is performing.

Top Home Renovation Tips to Increase your Rental Property’s ROI

Property upgrades are vital if you wish to retain long-term tenants and keep them happy. It’s also a strategic method to attract high-caliber tenants. These are some ways to augment your rental’s ROI through renovations:

investment property renovations

Consider Flooring Upgrades

A feature that most tenants look for in a rental is good flooring. With frequent use, the flooring can quickly get worn out. As a property owner, you want to make maintenance of your unit’s flooring a priority.

Given the wide range of flooring materials on the market, you have many affordable choices available to you. See the pros and cons of each type of flooring material and make your decision while always considering your renovation budget and ROI.

Upgraded floors generally warrant positive feedback and can justify a higher monthly rent. Durable and attractive flooring also keeps you from spending more in terms of damages down the line.

Focus on Elevating Curb Appeal

Even if your rental property’s structure is functional and sturdy, people can make snap judgments of the rentals based on the external appearance of the home. You can increase your properties curb appeal by:

  • Adding more plants
  • Placing exterior lighting that can enhance the rental’s appearance at nighttime
  • Putting attractive furnishings outdoors such as lounge chairs and side tables
  • Building a patio or a neat walkway
  • Conducting thoughtful landscaping

curb appeal for your Washington rental property

Increase Square Footage

Space is always in high demand. If your target market is families, it’s always appreciated to have an extra room such as an attic, basement, or another bedroom. You can tear down a wall or look for ways to create more space in an otherwise unused area of the rental unit.

You can also choose to invest in rental homes that have finished attics or basements so it costs less to renovate. Another idea is building an extension if the lot still has plenty of space. This way you can maximize the square footage.

Go Green

The focus on sustainability has increased everyone’s desire to choose a more green approach to living. Being energy efficient also increases savings for both property owners and tenants. Aside from taking care of the environment, paying less on utility bills is something everyone can appreciate.

There are affordable ways to integrate more energy-efficient items into your rental property such as:

  • Ensuring that gaps are sealed in your doorways and windows to prevent heat and cool air from escaping. This means that the heating and cooling systems can easily maintain the room’s temperature level.
  • Increasing insulation in the attic.
  • Choosing more energy-efficient appliances.
  • Installing solar lights and panels to save on electricity.
  • Selecting low-flow toilets to save on water costs.
  • Using LED bulbs.

Roofing for your Washington investment property

Consider a New Roof

It’s important to prioritize having a solid and durable roof material. If leaks occur then no matter how many interior upgrades you install, it will only waste your money. It also won’t sit well with your tenants to deal with water drips and eventual water damage that can result in mold growth.

Embark on regular preventive maintenance and check the roofing frequently especially before and after the rainy season or a storm. It always pays to be alert.

Hire Professional Property Managers

Several ways exist to grow your income aside from home renovations. You can work with a professional property management company such as T-Square Properties to ensure that your ROI is high.

T-Square Properties is an experienced and established property management firm that’s client-centered. They’ve helped to grow the rental investments around King and Snohomish County.

Summary

Improvements and renovations to your rental properties can help you increase your ROI. Be sure to always conduct research and budget accordingly before embarking on a renovation. By following some of these suggested renovations, you’ll be able to maximize return on your investment and keep your tenants happy.

If you want to enjoy greater returns and cost-effective services using advanced technology, contact T-Square Properties today at (425) 485 1800!

Top Tips When Buying Investment Property in Snohomish

Top Tips When Buying Investment Property in Snohomish

Have you been thinking of buying real state in Snohomish, Washington? If so, that’s a great decision! Snohomish is an ideal investment destination.

As a landlord in Snohomish, there is opportunity for wealth as you will be receiving passive income every month. However, in order to be successful, you have to do it right!

Many real estate investors are considering investing in Snohomish for various reasons. Here are a few:

  • There are plenty of desirable neighborhoods in the area, including Arlington, Everett, Stanwood, Marysville, and Stevens.
  • The interest rates are comparatively low compared to past years. According to multiple studies, interest rates for both 15- and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are just slightly over 3%.
  • Real estate inventory is low. Basically, buying a home now means that it may be able to appreciate significantly in value over the next couple of years.
  • In the last year, the average home prices increased by a whopping 15% in some parts of the city. Zillow, an online real estate marketplace company, predicts a strong property market this year. They are expecting at least a 10% growth in home prices in the coming years.

Now that you know why investing in Snohomish is a great idea, we will give you our top tips on how to do so successfully!

Top Tips for Real Estate Investments in Snohomish, WA

1. Choose the Right Location

A good real estate investment location has the following:

  • High population density
  • Developments
  • Good walkability
  • Access to shopping malls and restaurants
  • Access to public transportation
  • Family-friendly events and communities
  • Access to medical care
  • Access to parks and leisure destinations
  • Great schools
  • Low crime rate

A location with these factors tends to have high demand for housing.

homes-neighborhood-snohomish

2. Understand the Costs Involved

As a new investor, understanding your investment costs upfront is key. There are more costs involved than you may realize.

For instance, one of the costs you’ll have to deal with is maintenance and repairs, such as:

  • Controlling a pest infestation
  • Fixing an electrical problem
  • Repairing a cracked foundation

You also want to ensure that any repairs or upgrades are done professionally. It’s best to hire experts than to do things on your own. More often than not, DIY projects diminish the value of a home.

3. Avoid Buying Fixer-Uppers

If you’re just starting out, consider buying a rent-ready property. Generally, a rent-ready property is just that – ready to rent to a qualified tenant. As such, you may be able to rent it out as quickly as you’re done closing on it.

With a rent-ready property, you won’t have to think about contractors, permits, or refinancing. It’ll be stress-free and less time-consuming.

4. Arrange for Financing

After a prospective buyer makes an offer, a seller will normally require them to provide their financing details. So, before you begin throwing offers around, know how you’re going to finance the purchase.

There are various financing options, such as conventional loans and refinancing options.

To find which loan best suits your requirements, speak to a professional.

financing rental property

5. Think Through your Decisions

There is no denying it – buying a property is a big decision.

Many people, especially newbies, tend to get influenced by factors other than location, price, and resale value. And more often than not, this leads to potentially costly mistakes.

As a real estate investor, your decisions should be based on your goals, risk appetite and needs from a return perspective.

6. Understand the Landlord-Tenant Laws in Washington

This is a big one!

All states, including Washington, have landlord-tenant laws in place. The laws define each party’s rights and responsibilities.

As a landlord, for instance, you have a responsibility to ensure your property meets all the basic safety, health and building codes at all times.

You also have a responsibility to treat all tenants equally and fairly. For instance, according to the Washington state Fair Housing rules, it’s illegal to discriminate against a tenant based on race, color, national origin, marital status and familial status.

Other laws to keep in mind include:

  • Security deposit laws
  • Mutual covenant of quiet enjoyment
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • The Lead Disclosure Rule
  • Eviction Rules and Procedures

7. Hire a Professional Property Manager

Self-managing a rental property can be stressful, time-consuming and overwhelming.

It requires knowledge on how to market your property effectively, rent to the best tenant, collect rent efficiently and maintain your units properly.

That’s why hiring a comprehensive property management company may be a good idea. A management company can help you with all aspects of property management. That said, be sure to hire a company that has your best interests at heart.

At T-Square Properties, we do our very best to ensure our clients have successful real estate investments.

property-management-house

In Sum: Real Estate Investing Tips in Snohomish

Snohomish is a good real estate investment destination for many reasons. That said, there are various things you need to consider in order to be successful.

As an overview, here are our top tips for success:

  • Choose the right location
  • Understand the costs involved
  • Avoid buying fixer-uppers
  • Arrange for financing
  • Keep your emotions in check
  • Understand the landlord-tenant laws in Washington
  • Hire a professional property manager

For expert help, contact T-Square Properties. We’ll be happy to help!

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