If you’re a property owner looking to break into the Portland rental market, you must first decide whether to manage your own property. The benefits can be tempting. You get to handle everything yourself, screen your own tenants, ensure repairs are done properly, and keep all the profits. Of course, the confidence in controlling all the details can be quickly undercut by the stress of being a landlord. Managing a property isn’t easy; managing it well can be a herculean task. Making a mistake can even cost you more money from lost deposits and legal fees. 

Arely Sanchez, our business developer here at Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew, has some useful insights for property owners facing this decision. In our latest YouTube video, she covers common issues property owners face and how a property management company can help. 

Check out the video here, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more useful tools on how best to navigate the Portland rental market. 

Listing Your Property

Once you’ve gotten your unit all spruced up, a property manager’s first step is to list it online. Without the expertise of a property management company, researching your local market will help you get an idea of how to price your rental. Make sure to take attractive photos and write up an appealing description. In the competitive Portland rental market, it can be a challenge to stand out. 

Getting the price right is essential. Underpricing a rental means you won’t be making as much money as possible, and you won’t be able to increase it during the first year. Overpricing your unit means it’ll take even longer to find a tenant. That means even more lost income. 

A property management company can help you determine the ideal price range for your unit on the Portland rental market. During the onboarding process at Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew, we start by performing a rental analysis. This allows us to get an accurate price for the rental, ensuring you make as much of a profit as possible.

Once you’ve signed on as a client, we take a comprehensive series of photos and videos to prepare to list your property. We also provide live walkthroughs via YouTube. With COVID-19 still a concern, the ability to digitally tour an apartment is one of our most popular features. 

Find Your Tenants

After you’ve listed your unit, it’s time to select a tenant. Though this may seem straightforward, local legislation can present serious pitfalls. This year, Portland City Council adopted a series of restrictive tenant screening regulations

Violating screening regulations can put you in legal trouble. Make sure to stay up to date on the Portland rental market’s changing trends and ensure you aren’t violating any housing laws. One benefit of working with a property management company is that they will screen your tenants for you. A property management company worth its salt will remain apprised of changing legal requirements while maintaining the highest standards for prospective clients. 

Moving a Tenant In

Before moving a tenant into the unit, be sure to complete a pre-move in inspection to prevent headaches later. Make a note of and photograph any damage to the unit. This helps keep things clear when the time comes for the tenant to move out. Diligence at this step means a smoother move-out process. 

We conduct a thorough inspection before we move a tenant into our client’s property. Using our move-in criteria, we ensure every nick and scratch is accounted for. We take between two hundred and five hundred photos of each unit, documenting everything. When a tenant is ready to leave, we go through the unit with our equally rigorous move-out checklist and provide an accurate accounting of any damage that happened on the tenant’s watch. It’s an in-depth process, but as property managers in the Portland rental market, we value every detail.

Repairs and Maintenance 

Once you have a tenant in your unit, the work has only just begun. One benefit of being a DIY landlord is you can make sure the work on your property is done exactly as you prefer. Of course, this also means a lot more time and effort on your end. In the Portland rental market, tenants may even have the right to withhold rent if you don’t keep the unit in “habitable” condition

Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew works with an in-house handyman and local vendors who complete all repair requests in a timely manner. We aim to finish all repairs in 48 hours or less. We also are happy to let our clients handle the repairs themselves, as long as they do so within that 48-hour window. Between the third and fifth months we complete an inspection to check in on any potential issues arising since the tenant took occupancy. This way, our clients get no nasty surprises when a tenant decides to move out. 

Common Mistakes Owners Make

The road to turning your property into a profitable rental is long but rewarding. However, owners attempting to self-manage in the Portland rental market face many bumps along the way. Undervaluing a property is common. By attempting to make your unit as appealing to renters as possible, you might undercut your profits. Many prospective tenants prefer to use a property management company when looking for a rental because they want to work with someone they can trust. As a property management company ourselves, we are often able to get the best price for a rental. Our vast experience means that we have an intuitive feel for how to price our properties in the unique Portland rental market. 

Another common mistake is in not completing repairs or maintenance soon enough. This creates frustration for your tenants and, ultimately, more problems for you. Even worse, if you delay repairing a handrail and someone slips down the stairs, you could be legally liable. Our team ensures we’re always on top of our maintenance responsibilities without our clients lifting a finger. 

Lastly, owners run the risk of being the subject of a lawsuit. With our experience in the Portland rental market, we strictly adhere to all legal processes involved in the rental business. We stay up-to-date on all legal changes to make sure your rental is always run by the books. A seemingly small mistake, such as not giving proper notice or entering your property without the appropriate procedure, could result in a court date. 

What We Can Do For You

Managing your own property is a big job, full of excitement and hard work. If you’re looking to break into the Portland rental market with as little stress as possible, come talk to us. We hold ourselves to the highest standards knowing that both our tenants and our clients depend on us. Using appfolio software, we track rents, security deposits, leases and addendums for every tenant. Our online monthly owner accounting statements allow you to check in on your property whenever you like. 

With our sterling team and breadth of experience, we’re here to be a partner on your road to a profitable rental. If you’re interested in all that our services can offer, reach out via the contact page on our website. You can also call or text us anytime at (503) 515-3170. Our years of experience in the Portland rental market are at your disposal!