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19 Strategies to Scale your Rental Property Portfolio Quickly

Scaling your rental property portfolio requires as much planning as it does money.

In many ways, planning is more important than money because an experienced real estate investor knows how to work with monetary limitations. In contrast, an unskilled investor risks squandering whatever advantages they have. For this reason, every step along the journey of scaling your portfolio is also an opportunity to become a more savvy investor, which will only help you in the long run.

Scale your rental property portfolio quickly

Here are some considerations to aid your growth:

1. 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgages

With a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage, you'll be able to pay a lower interest rate on your property, which will leave you with more money to reinvest.

2. Hire a Property Manager

At some point, you'll have so many properties that you won't have the time or mental resources to manage them all. Depending on the market your property is in and the level of services chosen, for 6 to 12% of your monthly collected rent a property manager will screen tenants for you, take care of rent collection, arrange for repairs, make sure you're not violating any local ordinances, and manage a slew of other issues.

3. Screen Tenants

You should always include vacancies in your budget, but you also want to reduce vacancies or problem tenants' likelihood in general. This is where stricter criteria for tenants can be helpful when screening to get the best tenants for your rental property. Require co-signers and several references (preferable including their last landlord). 

4. Live Frugally

The income you make off your investment properties should only be reinvested into your business. Don't use your new income to improve your lifestyle with new clothes, a car, renovating your own home, etc. You never know when your rental properties may need repair or when you might be hit with a vacancy. In general, you should have your savings account unrelated to your business for personal use or emergencies. 

5. Gain Experience

If you start by doing small deals, you'll learn what does and doesn't work for you and discover your niche. Successful real estate investors pick a niche, refine their skills over time, and become experts. As you gain experience, you can start to look for greater opportunities. 

6. Develop a Network

Networking is indispensable in real estate. You need to help and be helped by other real estate professionals. This way, you'll grow your knowledge base and access greater resources like reputable contractors or great deals. You'll also have more eyes and ears on the ground to track trends and new developments. 

7. Know Good Contractors

Your properties will inevitably need repairs, both big and small. For this reason, having access to trusted contractors of all kinds is a must. You don't want to scramble in the face of an emergency or have a minor repair turn into a huge undertaking because you didn't have the right contractors already in mind.

8. Find Alternative Forms of Funding

Because conventional lenders look at your debt to income ratio, eventually, you'll have to move on to commercial loans or use other forms of financing. Yes, you can have a family member, like a spouse, take the loans out in their name, but eventually, you'll run into the same issue. Having an extensive network can make finding funding easier. 

9. Take Your Time

Avoid shortcuts or trying to scale your investments too quickly. You can burn out, make poor decisions, compromise your resources, or leave yourself vulnerable to emergencies. That's why having a reliable network, knowing good contractors, reinvesting in your own business, gaining experience, and being frugal are essential. 


Investing time in learning through books, podcasts, webinars and online forums are also essential activities.

10. Time Management

The more properties you own, the more time will be demanded of you. Even if you're using a property management company, you can still save time in other ways. Hire a real estate CPA. Use online rental payment software to reduce late payment and tenant tensions/interactions. 


By adequately delegating responsibility, you'll have more time to focus on the tasks that only you can do: making sure your business is running how you want it to and meeting your goals.

11. Don’t be Bound to a Single Market

Don't be afraid to look at properties outside of your immediate geography. There are all sorts of opportunities out there! The best deals may be far away. And don't worry about managing units from afar because there are plenty of services and tech solutions to the problem of distance. 


Not limiting yourself by geography also allows you to diversify your portfolio and become a more resilient investor. That's because if all your properties are in the same place, they're exposed to the same risks. If a large employer shuts down or a weather disaster occurs, all of your properties may be compromised. If you have investments across the United States, you're less likely to endanger all your real estate investments at once. 

12. Refinancing

Refinancing your properties can give you more favorable loan terms and free up more resources to reinvest into your business. 

13. 1031 Exchanges

A 1031 exchange allows you to avoid paying capital gains taxes. To perform a 1031 exchange, you must use the profits from the sale of one of your properties to purchase another property (or properties) of equal or greater value within 180 days or before the due date of your taxes, whichever comes first.

14. Partner With Investors

To lessen your financial burden and stress, you can work with one or more investors. This has both its pros and cons. While partnering may make it easier to scale your portfolio, it also decreases your income. Additionally, if your partner(s) decide they no longer want to invest, you'll have to restructure your business. 

15. Use Private Lenders

A private lender provides loans secured by real estate or a promissory note. While they charge higher rates, private lenders are known to offer loans that banks may shy away from, like rehab loans. They can also provide loans more quickly and with less documentation than banks. 


These private money lenders serve an essential function for real estate investors because sometimes, you need money right away. This can be particularly important when you need the cash to get a new property right away since a private lender can cover 80 to 90% of your purchase price.

16. Consider a HELOC

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a 2nd mortgage where your home is the collateral. It's almost like a credit card with simple interest. You can take out money up to a certain amount using a bank transfer, card, or check, repay it, and make more withdrawals. A HELOC can be useful when you need additional funds to close a deal or make an emergency repair. 

17. Find Your Target Markets

Dig deep into the specifics of your target market. Look at jobs, median income, and home formation. By studying the area in which you're interested in investing, you're able to find tenants more effectively and cater to your marketing. Looking at school rankings and how desirable your area is to new families can help you find long term occupants. 

18. Budget for Big Repairs

If the house you're looking at has a roof over 15 years old, you're best off just replacing the roof right away because it's reached its best-by date. Don't ignore major repairs because they're only going to compromise your ability to find occupants and may also lead to higher costs if neglected for too long. You can't rely on your tenants to let you know when a serious job is in order. 

19. Keep Good Records

You're going to want to keep meticulous records of your expenditures for both tax purposes and general budgeting. Additionally, knowing your past spending habits can help you scale more effectively because you'll know the monetary benchmarks you need to hit before acquiring a new property. 

Scaling your investment portfolio is a matter of skill.

With each new property you acquire, the challenge of managing your business becomes greater. Every investment comes with its unique challenges, which will only sharpen your skills. The deeper you dive into real estate investment, the more capable you'll be at growing and maintaining your properties. 


It's just important to remember that no one invests alone, even if they're the sole owner of their business. That's because you're always working with and learning from others, and that's key to becoming the best investor you can be. 


Check out the various locations Mynd manages in, we have local teams in 19 major cities and counting. Learn more about our services today and get your free renal analysis or consultation with our local experts!



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Why Should You Pay for a Tampa Property Management Company?

Real estate investors have to watch every dollar that’s spent on their rental properties, so it’s understandable that you’d be wondering if professional property management in Tampa is really worth your money. This is a fixed expense that you’ll have to pay every month; is it really worth your money?The simple answer is – yes.Today, we’re talking about what property managers do for you and why the management fee is well worth paying.

Tampa Property Managers Wear Many Hats

A good property management company will take care of everything for you from A to Z. The ultimate goal is to ensure your investment property is cash flowing consistently and earning you the money you expect it to.This includes the basic day to day tasks such as rent collection and lease enforcement. Collecting rent on time is an important function of property managers, and a good rent collection policy needs to be documented and enforced. If rent isn’t collected on time, your property will send notices and put pressure on your to show them you’re serious about on-time payments.Enforcing the lease agreement is also a critical part of what we do. To protect your property effectively, we need to make sure there aren’t any unauthorized pets or in the property. There isn’t any kind of emotional attachment between property managers and tenants or property managers and rental homes. We can make business decisions that are best for your bottom line.

Managing the Tampa Leasing Process

The value of what you pay a property manager starts with the leasing process.Before you even place a resident and start collecting rent, you can count on your property management company to prepare your home for the rental market, make the necessary repairs and upgrades, and clean it thoroughly from top to bottom. All of your landscaping will be attended to so there’s great curb appeal to attract the best .Screening in accordance with fair housing laws is another major reason to pay for a professional property manager. You won’t have to worry about drafting the lease and including all the necessary disclosures. All of the required processes are in place and things are handled expertly. You pay your property manager to collect the security deposit and the first month’s rent as well as any extra pet fees and deposits.

Tampa Rental Property Maintenance and Management

You will also have the benefit of expertise and relationships when it comes to maintenance. Your property manager will take care of all routine, emergency, and preventative maintenance, and we’ll be able to ensure the work is done professionally and cost-effectively because we work with the best vendors and contractors in Tampa.Communication is a critical part of what you get from professional management. Your property manager will share information and discuss strategy. You’ll have someone who deals with your and handles any conflicts or concerns. When a resident is moving out, your property manager will handle the inspection and the security deposit and preparing your property for the next tenant.There are a lot of moving parts, and your property manager handles all of them.

Property Managers Run Your Business for You

With a professional Tampa property manager, you can leave the running of your business in capable and experienced hands. You’re working with someone who has established policies, procedures, and structured systems. Your property manager is keeping your clients () and ensuring the revenue of your business is strong.There’s also a lot of protection available when you work with a management company. You can expect your property manager to keep you safe from claims and lawsuits. One out of three landlords are involved in a lawsuit every year. These lawsuits may concern fair housing violations, mistakes with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, evictions, and discrimination. If you’re not operating your property like a business, you’re putting yourself at risk.There is a lot of value available to investors who use property managers. We could spend all day talking about what property managers do for their money.Most importantly, your property manager is a part of your team. You receive a lot of leverage when it comes to managing your business if you have a good property manager working with you. We are here to do the things that you don’t need or want to be doing yourself.As an investor, you probably buy real estate as an end goal. You’re not investing to have a second or third job. You use a property manager for the same reason you use a CPA or an attorney or a car mechanic. The expertise is worth even more than the actual tasks that are handled for you.Sophisticated investors want a property manager who will take care of every aspect involved in the leasing and management of an investment property. Property owners should be able to trust you but also have the ability to verify the work that’s being done. You can go and live your life while your property manager takes care of your asset.If you want to talk more about the value of a Tampa property management company, please contact us at Mynd Property Management. Whether we’re managing your property or not, we love educating investors and talking about how to have a better rental experience.We also have other opportunities to connect with us and learn more about investing in Tampa. You can also visit our Facebook group of investors, which is called Master Mynd. It’s a real estate investors’ club, where you can exchange ideas with other owners. Check out our weekly podcast as well, called The Myndful Investor. We invite leaders in real estate and property management to talk about their success and, more importantly, their failures. There’s a lot to learn from this relatable content.

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Why Do So Many Real Estate Investors Fail? Advice for Portland Rental Owners

We all know that owning investment property comes with risk. There’s always a good chance that investors could fail. Sometimes, it’s not the investor’s fault at all, simply a condition of market trends or the industry in general. In Portland, there are a few specific reasons that investors fail. Many investors who can’t succeed end up getting out of real estate altogether. We want to prevent that from happening to you.

Portland Real Estate Investors Try to Do Everything Alone

There is a really common pattern in Portland, and maybe it’s true outside of Portland as well, in which investors feel that they can and must do everything on their own.If you don’t want to fail with your real estate investment, you need to operate with a view of the long term. This is true whether you’re investing in Portland real estate, investing in stocks, or starting a business. Lots of people read success stories about business people becoming multi-millionaires overnight. It does happen once in a while perhaps, but a lot of time investors get rich slowly and steadily over time. Be prepared to put in the work for months and years.Investors often get excited by buying their first investment property, and they will try to self-manage that property without realizing how much time it takes and how much knowledge is required. It’s very easy to think that it doesn’t take much, and they can do everything that needs to be done on their own.But, this isn’t always true.Maybe an investor will have a bad experience with their resident or find out the requirements of the Portland rental rule book is way more complicated than they originally thought. The rules and regulations in Portland are so complex that the time, energy, and frustration is too much for most investors. It’s easy to forget something or misunderstand something, and then you’ve made a mistake that has the potential to be very expensive.Landlords who are trying to do the maintenance on their rental properties themselves will find that it’s very easy to fail as well. Not only are they losing their evenings and their weekends, they’re probably not doing as good a job as what a professional and licensed vendor or contractor could do. They may not be responding as quickly as they would if they were working with a Portland property management company, and that upsets the residents.When rental property owners try to do everything on their own, they’ll likely get burned out within three to five years. Ultimately, they’ll decide that real estate investing is not for them, and they’ll decide to sell their assets and stop dealing with it. This is a shame because if they had simply worked with partners and property managers, they could have kept the property for the long term and earned a lot more money.

Investors Make Mistakes Not Running a Rental Property Like a Business

If an investor buys multiple properties, the stakes are even higher. If you own 30 rental properties throughout Portland or even in a single building, scaling those assets will bring you huge successes. But, if you get out of the real estate investment game because you’re frustrated with how things work, you need to take a look at where your process went wrong. Were you trying to do too much?Investors who fail often fail because they don’t run their properties like businesses. Anytime you want to run a business and you go to the bank, the bank will want to see a business plan. If you were to ask an investor if they had a business plan, 99 percent of them would say no. They know that their property is a business and they know there are laws and regulations and expenses. But, they are not putting it all together and understanding that they need an actual business plan as well.A business plan is going to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses. It will help you leverage the expertise of other people. Don’t let your ego mislead you into thinking you have to do everything yourself. It’s not your job to lay tile or put up dry wall.When you have a Portland property management company, you are leveraging their staff. You have access to accountants and maintenance personnel. You have qualified people to lease the property.Most people do not buy real estate to have a second or third job.

Rulebooks Don’t Exist for Real Estate Investors

There is not a rulebook that tells you how to run your rental property.So, it’s a huge mistake to try to do everything on your own. There’s actually a standardized way of doing most things, and best practices that have been perfected over the years. Normally, your professional property managers will know how to handle every situation that’s encountered. They’ll operate within policies and procedures and effectively run your property like the business it is.There are a lot of laws and regulations in place here in Portland, and most of those are favorable to your residents. That’s going to make things more complicated in this business.Don’t let yourself fail as a real estate investor in Portland. It’s very easy to succeed when you think in the long term, surround yourselves with experts, and remember to run your property like a business. Contact us at Mynd Property Management to learn how to succeed with your Portland investment property.You can also visit our Facebook group of investors, which is called Master Mynd. It’s a real estate investors’ club, where you can exchange ideas with other owners. Check out our weekly podcast as well, called The Myndful Investor. We invite leaders in real estate and property management to talk about their success and, more importantly, their failures. There’s a lot to learn from this relatable content.

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What's the Difference Between a Portland Rental Emergency and Normal Maintenance Request?

When investors purchase a rental property, they expect that routine and preventative maintenance will be part of what they need to do to protect the condition of their investment and to meet the needs of their residents.Emergency maintenance is something else entirely. It seems to always happen overnight or on a weekend, and it requires you to be prepared, have a team of vendors and contractors ready to respond, and a maintenance budget that can absorb the costs.Emergencies are difficult. They are difficult on you, your tenants, and your vendors. It’s important that you have a good relationship with your residents when you have to respond to emergency maintenance. You’ll need to communicate well and stay professional. Remember – you’re running a business, and you’re responding to a business need when an emergency occurs.Today, we’re focusing on how to prepare for and respond to emergency maintenance situations at a Portland rental property.What do investors need to know?

Educate Your Residents on What Constitutes an Emergency

One of the biggest fears that real estate investors often have is: what am I going to do when I get a phone call from my resident at 2:00 in the morning because there’s a leak or a toilet isn’t working or the heat won’t turn on?The answer is this: you have to set up policies and procedures, and you have to manage expectations.Educate your residents on what is an emergency and what isn’t. Fires and large water leaks are obviously big emergencies. Anything that puts your residents in danger or puts your property in danger should be considered an emergency.Everyone can agree that a fire or a flood is an emergency. But, beyond that you should make sure your residents are on the same page as you in terms of what requires a phone call in the middle of the night. You need to educate your residents and you need to be open to communicating with them. Before they even move in, have a conversation about the procedures that you expect them to follow when a repair is needed. This is the perfect opportunity to discuss what an emergency is and what a routine repair is.This will help residents understand that 99 percent of the things they may have considered to be an emergency are in fact not emergencies at all. You should be thinking from a legal standpoint when it comes to identifying and explaining emergencies. Does it make the home uninhabitable?Educating your residents through an orientation process at the move-in point is a great way to avoid any misunderstandings about emergencies. They want to be aware. You can put something in writing so they can refer to it if they’re not sure whether what they’re experiencing is an emergency. You can also give them some helpful tips and training. For example, when they’re moving in, show your residents where the water shut-off valve is. When you do this, you put a lot of power into the hands of your residents. If there is a water leak, they know how to shut off the water before calling you.Residents can be trusted to handle the first steps of an emergency. And, they should always understand what an emergency isn’t.

Working with Professional Portland Property Managers

Emergency maintenance is one of the best reasons to hire a professional Portland property management company. It takes this headache and hassle of your plate entirely.When you work with an experienced property manager, you get a 24-hour emergency maintenance line. Obviously, as an individual landlord, you might not be able to get a contractor out there to your rental property at 2:00 in the morning or on Christmas Eve. But, when you work with a property management company, you know you’re getting a team of vendors who are committed to their best clients. Your property will be first in line, and someone will be at the property when the sun comes up. This is more than peace of mind; it’s also a higher standard of workmanship and better pricing. Your relationship with a property manager will make handling emergency maintenance issues much easier.More importantly, you want to make sure you are protecting your residents. Obviously, an emergency response is important to the protection of your investment’s condition. But, taking care of your resident’s safety and security is your primary responsibility. You don’t want to leave your residents in an unsafe or uninhabitable situation.Legal trouble can find you down the road if you don’t respond right away to residents who don’t have water or heat. Educate yourself and your residents on what emergencies really are, but never put them in danger. You don’t need the lawsuits or the claims. Even if you cannot respond to the problem right away, you can do whatever is possible to prevent the problem from getting worse.At Mynd Property Management, we have a structured response to any emergency maintenance situation. We work with some of the best vendors and contractors in Portland, and we work closely with our residents to make sure we are all working together to take care of the property. You won’t have to worry about getting a phone call in the middle of the night or trying to find a vendor at the last minute who is willing to help you. Contact us at Mynd Property Management for more information.You can also visit our Facebook group of investors, which is called Master Mynd. It’s a real estate investors’ club, where you can exchange ideas with other owners. Check out our weekly podcast as well, called The Myndful Investor. We invite leaders in real estate and property management to talk about their success and, more importantly, their failures. There’s a lot to learn from this relatable content.

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What Portland Property Managers Do & How Will You Benefit as an Investor?

Many Portland, OR investors have worked with property management companies before, and they know what to expect. But, if you’re a new investor or you’re thinking about investing or you’ve been a landlord for just a little while and you’re thinking about handing over the duties to a professional, you might want a little more information about what exactly a property manager can do for you.Today, we’re explaining what a property management company in Portland does, and why it can help you have a better investment experience.

Day to Day Property Management Operations

Property management companies actually do a whole lot for the owners and the residents they serve.Some of the tasks that come with professional property management are fairly obvious. You probably know that your property manager will handle marketing your vacant property. We’ll take care of all the online advertising and we’ll help you establish a rental value that’s both competitive and profitable.We will work with prospective residents on the application process and screen everyone who applies. When we’re ready to place a resident, we’ll handle all of the leasing and the collection of security deposits and move-in funds.The leasing process is only the beginning. Once a tenant is placed, your property manager will take care of all the accounting that pertains to your rental property. This includes rent collection and tracking all the income and expenses associated with your property. We produce statements, reports, and tax forms.Relationships are also part of a property manager’s job description. We’ll take care of the resident relationship and we’ll also use our vendor relationships to keep your property well-maintained.We treat our residents as customers and that contributes to better relationships, increased communication, and higher retention rates. The average resident will have 3.8 maintenance requests a year, and we’re available for all of them. Property managers should answer the phone 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. You don’t have to worry about tracking down plumbers or gathering quotes for roofing work. Your property manager will identify the maintenance issues that are required and get the repairs scheduled and taken care of for the resident.

Asset Management and Portland Investment Properties

A good property management company will provide more than day to day operational support. We are also, more importantly, here to help you have a better and more profitable investment experience. We will treat your asset like an investment and make decisions based on your bottom line and your earnings. You wouldn’t give $400,000 to a stockbroker without knowing they are going to be very hands-on with that investment. Property managers have the same attention to your real estate investments. We’ll stay focused on your property or your portfolio. We will treat them like they’re our own investments, and we’ll make sure they are earning you as much money as possible.We will preserve the condition of your asset by maintaining it and protecting it against tenant damage, vacancy costs, and liabilities. We’ll keep an eye on preventative maintenance and make plans for long term upgrades and updates so we can help you maximize your rents over time and attract well-qualified residents.One of the most important services your Portland property manager will provide is help with the local market and the rental values. The amount of rent you’re able to earn on your property will really depend on the location. The same house might earn one rent in one neighborhood and something completely different in another neighborhood. Your property manager should understand the nuances of each neighborhood and help you approach the pricing, marketing, and screening appropriately.

Property Managers Act as Your Firewall

Something that’s often overlooked when we talk about the benefits of professional property management is that we really become the firewall between you and your resident. As an investor, you don’t want to make decisions based on emotions and what you think you should do. Your property management company will have a completely unemotional approach to managing your home and working with your residents.The decisions that are made will be based on the law and the lease agreement. We keep it that simple.Property managers will always treat your rental property like a business that’s designed to make you money. Without a good resident in place, that business doesn’t earn anything. So, you need the property management company to put up a firewall and protect you from the emotions and the personal relationships that can sometimes plague investors who manage their own homes. If you’re new to the industry, you may not understand how difficult it can be to manage residents. Figuring it all out once you already have a resident in place is difficult and dangerous. That’s where the property management company really comes into play and becomes so vital to your success and the success of your investment.If you have any more questions about what you can expect your property management company to do for you, please contact us at Mynd Property Management. We can tell you all about our own services and what you should expect when you have someone professionally managing your Portland rental home. It’s an important relationship, and one you should take seriously. Let us know how we can help you make more and worry less when it comes to your investments.You can also visit our Facebook group of investors, which is called Master Mynd. It’s a real estate investors’ club, where you can exchange ideas with other owners. Check out our weekly podcast as well, called The Myndful Investor. We invite leaders in real estate and property management to talk about their success and, more importantly, their failures. There’s a lot to learn from this relatable content.

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What Are Tenant & Landlord Responsibilities for Rental Properties in Nevada

If you are a resident living in a Reno rental property, you want to make sure you understand which maintenance issues you’re responsible for and which ones the property owner will take care of.This is usually market specific, and today we’re talking about what is pretty typical in Reno.

Lawn Maintenance and Landscaping Responsibilities

In Reno, you always have to ask about lawn maintenance and landscaping. We get extreme weather in this part of the country. There will be snow in the winter and high, hot temperatures in the summer. If your landscaping is included, make sure you know this. Otherwise, you might be expected to pay for the landscaping service. If you don’t know how it works, look it up in your rental agreement or talk to your landlord.

Changing HVAC Filters

Changing filters for the heating and cooling system is usually a resident’s responsibility. That’s an expectation for many landlords. You have to participate in protecting the HVAC. It’s an extremely expensive unit, and it keeps your heat and air conditioning working well. Make sure you’re changing your filters, and protect the HVAC. It also keeps your home efficient and your energy bills lower.

Winterizing the Irrigation System

Figure out if you’re responsible for winterizing the property’s irrigation system. Sometimes the owner puts this on the residents, and you’ll want to be prepared. In the spring and summer, having a professional come out to service and inspect the irrigation system is a great way to maintain it.

If You See Something, Say Something

Make sure you’re proactive about reporting maintenance needs. If you see something that needs to be repaired or replaced, report it. You might expect the owner or property manager to know certain things, but we often don’t know unless you tell us. If there’s a leak, it could affect the safety and the habitability of the property. Don’t ignore it. Report the problem to the owner or the property manager.Make sure you document everything, because you don’t want to be responsible for something you reported. If a landlord doesn’t respond and the problem gets worse, at least you’ve documented that you made the report.Always make sure you’re complying with the lease agreement.If you have any questions about how to manage your maintenance responsibilities, contact us at Mynd Property Management. You should also contact us if you’re looking for a Reno rental property. If you want to talk to us about renting a new home, please contact us. Our website has all our available leasing instructions and properties, and you can search by parameters like square footage, price, etc.

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The Absolute Best Questions to Ask When Hiring a Portland Property Management Company

If you’ve decided to hire a professional property management company in Portland, Oregon, you’ve made a smart choice. Good investors know that their success depends on the team they surround themselves with, and they don’t waste time trying to manage their own rental homes.You want to make sure you’re hiring the best possible fit for your investment goals and your portfolio of properties. So we’re talking today about what kinds of things you should look for when you endeavor to hire the best property management company in Portland.There are a lot of choices. How do you know which property management company to pick?You have to ask some questions, and we have some suggestions.

Sophistication Counts in Property Management

We have spent more than 30 years in the property management industry, and one of the things we have learned is that sophistication can work in your favor and make you more money.When you begin looking for property management services, you’ll find many well-meaning but very small mom-and-pop businesses. The effort is there, and they clearly love what they do. But, the sophistication level is lower than it should be, and their follow through is rarely where it needs to be.So, you end up having a property management firm that tends to be very reactive rather than proactive. It’s not that their intentions are bad, it’s more like they don’t have the capacity to meet your needs. Some of the smaller management firms are running around playing whack-a-mole, just putting out fires. They can’t be strategic and they can’t deliver the sophisticated services you need.You want a property management company that is proactive. Look for an innovative company that’s modern and on the cutting edge of everything that’s happening in property management and real estate investments. You need a company that’s willing to invest in technology so that they can proactively take care of the things you need.Here’s an example of how a proactive property management company operates. They might suggest to you that the furnaces in your rental properties get tuned up in the off-season because it’s less expensive to have a heating specialist out in the middle of summer. Having those furnaces inspected and serviced will save you money in December because you won’t have a more expensive repair and your residents won’t be calling because the heat doesn’t work.That is being proactive. This type of sophistication and forward-thinking saves you money and in some cases, it can save you a lot of money.

Licensing and Insurance: Cheaper Vendors Aren’t Better

You also want to make sure you are using a property management firm that only uses licensed, insured, and bonded maintenance companies. Sometimes you might feel like you’re paying more for these professionals, but these are companies that will warranty their work. They have a good, strong reputation in the marketplace and value your business. They will take care of you and your residents and treat you like valued customers.When it comes to maintenance, cheaper is not necessarily cheaper, and it’s definitely not better. You’ll end up spending more than you think you are saving. We have learned this first-hand. There is a cost of doing business and there is a cost of getting things fixed and doing it right.In Steve’s early days as an investor, he thought he was saving money, but when maintenance provider had to go out to a property three times, he actually ended up spending more to get the work done right. And, he found himself with frustrated residents. It’s hard to deal with an issue like that and to continue spending money on the same problem. If he had hired a licensed and insured professional to fix the problem the first time, it would have not only saved money but stress as well. Get the right person in there. Get the job done and do it right and move on.

Ask about Communication and Responsiveness

And when we talk about the level of sophistication a property management company needs, you need to be sure to ask the right questions.You want to know how quickly they respond to tenants. And you will want to know how quickly maintenance issues are resolved. Ask a potential property manager if they have any preventative maintenance programs. At Mynd, we strive to respond to everyone within 24 hours and to have all maintenance requests closed within seven days. A lot of times we actually do better than that. If you can run a business like that, your residents are going to be very happy. It will increase retention and allow for healthier rent increases.

Talk About Investment Goals

When you are looking for a management company, make sure they are in alignment with your goals and your strategy. Make sure they can help you get there. You don’t want to choose a company just because they’re the cheapest company on the block. They could very easily lead you in the wrong direction. There could be mental frustrations and lawsuits that come with that.Make sure that whatever company you choose, they are in line with what you want for your investment property.We would be happy to answer any questions you have about how to find a Portland property management company or what we can offer you that other managers can’t. Contact us at Mynd Property Management for more information.You can also visit our Facebook group of investors, which is called Master Mynd. It’s a real estate investors’ club, where you can exchange ideas with other owners. Check out our weekly podcast as well, called The Myndful Investor. We invite leaders in real estate and property management to talk about their success and, more importantly, their failures. There’s a lot to learn from this relatable content.

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Selecting the Right Resident for Your Reno Investment Property

Selecting a resident can be one of the scariest parts of being an investor sometimes. Screening and leasing our rental properties is not something we do all the time. If you’re a self-managing landlord who is looking for a resident to occupy your vacant property, you might not be up to date on all the current laws and requirements. You may keep your residents for a long time, so you only go through the screening process every few years.Filling your Reno rental property is certainly stressful. It’s a process that’s hard to control while you’re making money. When you buy an investment property or renovate a rental home, you’re controlling the whole process. But, when you’re picking someone from the general public to live in your asset, it can be difficult to do.There are a lot of things you should consider when you’re choosing a resident, and in this blog, we’re focusing on the top three things to look at.

Reno Residents Need to Demonstrate Financial Stability

Financial stability is absolutely the most important thing to look for when you’re screening applications. You need to be sure the resident moving into your home has the means to afford your property. Make sure the resident has been employed by a stable company or has a traded that’s stable and in demand. You can use employment references to talk to employers and make sure the company won’t be shutting down or moving in a year.Private landlords who manage their own rental homes don’t always take the time to investigate a potential resident’s finances. This is a mistake. Financial stability is important and can be a huge indicator of whether you’re going to have your rent paid on time every month. You don’t want to place a resident who you assumed was financially stable because they were able to come up with the security deposit and the first month’s rent, and then find that resident is coming up short three or four months later. Spend some time looking at credit and debt and income.

Check Rental Histories and References on Reno Residents

References are important. Just like when you call for employment references, you want to call for landlord references as well. On each application, we ask for prior rental references and maybe personal references as well. Almost every rental application asks for them, and it will only take you five minutes to make the phone call and ask for some information.When you’re talking to a landlord about a current or former resident, consider asking that person for a second tier reference as well. Perhaps a neighbor or a vendor can speak to whether a particular resident was easy or difficult to work with. You really want to spend some time exploring who a prospective resident is.

Identify the Resident’s Current and Future Housing Goals

Identify the person’s short term and long term goals before you begin the screening process. You want to know how long they plan to stay. If they’re here for work, they might want to rent for only a few months while they work on a project. That’s not going to be a good fit for you if you’re seeking a long term tenant. Maybe a resident is looking to buy a home in a few years and wants to save some money and rent while they get to know the Reno area.Knowing short term and long term plans will help you fill your vacancy with the right resident. Some investors prefer the stability of a long term tenant. Others like having the higher rents that come with short term tenants. Look for what you want and identify the types of residents who fit with your investment goals.

Follow Fair Housing Laws

Make sure you’re screening each application consistently and fairly. You need written policies, procedures, and standards that explain your screening process and qualifying criteria. Otherwise, you can get into some fair housing trouble.Here’s an example. Perhaps you have a rental property that you expect will rent quickly, so you set very high screening standards and deny a tenant who applies because his income doesn’t match your requirements. After three weeks, you have not found a resident, and you’re starting to panic as your vacancy grows more expensive. So, when another applicant wants to rent your property and their income is too low, you approve them for your property anyway because you’re desperate to get the place rented.Not only is it a bad idea to lower your standards; it’s also illegal from the perspective of the first applicant who had the same qualifications and was denied.You don’t want to loosen your standards or become desperate. When you’re selecting a resident, make sure you have your qualifications in writing, and follow them consistently.Putting the right or wrong resident into your property is the difference between a successful investment experience and a horrible one.Standards protect you against litigation and they hold you accountable. If you have strict and reasonable criteria that you follow, it won’t be hard to find a well-qualified resident.We want you to be smart about managing your Reno rental property. Please contact us at Mynd Property Management. We’re always happy to talk about real estate and answer any questions. Even if we’re not managing your home, this is something we’re passionate about, and we love talking to other investors.You can also visit our Facebook group of investors, which is called Master Mynd. It’s a real estate investors’ club, where you can exchange ideas with other owners. Check out our weekly podcast as well, called The Myndful Investor. We invite leaders in real estate and property management to talk about their success and, more importantly, their failures. There’s a lot to learn from this relatable content.

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Preventive Measures for Marijuana Use in Your Reno Rental Property

In Nevada, recreational use of marijuana is legal, and has been since January of 2017. Adults 21 years of age and older are permitted to vape and smoke, but many landlords prefer to keep this activity out of their rental properties. As a property owner, you need to know what you can do to protect your investment.The problem that owners are running into is that this is a billion dollar industry, and as more states legalize marijuana and marijuana products, it’s harder to push back. Realistically, marijuana will likely be legalized throughout the country, in a year or two. You need to be prepared to combat the smoking inside your home or your unit.

Strict Reno Lease Provisions

Everything that happens at your rental property starts with your lease agreement. It’s important that you have a strong lease with specific expectations and responsibilities. It’s not enough to just tell your residents that you don’t allow smoking of any kind inside the property. You have to include the language and the prohibition in your contract.Make sure the language is clear. You don’t want to say “no smoking” and leave it at that. This type of vague statement won’t cut it anymore. Be specific about what isn’t allowed. List everything from tobacco to marijuana to vape pens. Vaping has becoming extremely popular among millennial tenants, and that’s one of the largest growing demographic populations. You have to be clear that it’s not allowed inside the property because many of your residents won’t think that vaping counts as smoking.

Communicate with Your Residents

Have a conversation with your residents before they move into the property. While most of your lease signing and communication may be electronic, you want to make sure that you’re clearly establishing the rules of living in your property. Explain that you are renting that property to the residents with the expectation that there will be no smoking of any substance.Set clear standards and consistent boundaries. When you have done this in writing and in person, there is no excuse for your residents to violate the lease agreement or smoke in the property or claim they didn’t know if wasn’t allowed. If you discover something that’s a violation of your no smoking policy, you can feel comfortable that you gave them the information that they needed, but they ignored it and now must face the repercussions.

Prepare to Make Repairs and Maintain your Investment

Have a team of professionals lined up to treat the property if you discover a resident has been smoking inside. You may or may not notice that there are residues on the wall, but if someone has been smoking marijuana or vaping inside the property, there will be residue. You’ll need to take care of your walls, paint, carpet, and surfaces. Be ready to repair and replace these things, and work with expert vendors and contractors who have done this type of work before.A lot of people don’t realize that vaping inside a property creates a chemical film or residue on the walls and ceiling. There may only be trace amounts of it that are hard to notice, but on a larger scale, that residue can affect the color and texture of your paint. There’s not a lot of data yet about the long term effects that these chemicals can have on your property or on the residents who will be moving into the property after someone was in there smoking.With results still in the discovery process, we don’t know if there’s any special cleaning that can be done, and it’s probably best to do a full repaint if a resident has been using vaping products or smoking marijuana. We haven’t dealt with these chemicals widely throughout the industry, so we don’t know what it’s going to do to sheetrock, carpet, tiles, and other services. It’s possible that over time, you’ll see a couple inches of saturation and it won’t help to just paint over it.This is understandably a big fear for investors. It’s terrible to have to deal with an unknown expense that may be so large even a security deposit won’t take care of it.

Expensive Reno Rental Property Renovations: Case Study

A recent experience with a Mynd client illustrates the importance of knowing what’s going on at your rental property.At the end of 2018, a new owner asked Mynd for a professional opinion about a situation he had encountered. His tenant had been living in the same rental property for many years. Everything seemed to be going well, so the owner never did any inspections and no maintenance requests were ever submitted.When the tenant moved out, the property had a very strong smell. The heavy odor of marijuana hung in the air and had saturated the walls, ceilings, floors – everything. The owner had to file an insurance claim, and the insurance company required an investigation which was a very time consuming process. Ultimately, a remediation company had to be hired to treat the odor. This amount of work is similar to what an owner would have to go through with fire or water damage. Air purification steps were taken and the walls had to be treated.It’s hard to say whether that property is 100 percent back to where it was.As a rental property owner, you’re taking a huge risk when you don’t have a tight eye on your resident.Make sure you’re staying up to date on all the laws pertaining to vaping and marijuana use. If you’re not sure how these things apply to your Reno rental property, please contact us at Mynd Property Management. We have a lot of experience getting owners out of stressful situations.You can also visit our Facebook group of investors, which is called Master Mynd. It’s a real estate investors’ club, where you can exchange ideas with other owners. Check out our weekly podcast as well, called The Myndful Investor. We invite leaders in real estate and property management to talk about their success and, more importantly, their failures. There’s a lot to learn from this relatable content.

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Portland Rent Control Explained by a Professional Property Manager

Today’s topic is one that’s becoming more and more popular in multiple areas of the country, and that’s rent control. Recently, the whole state of Oregon passed rent control laws, and now some revisions are being made in several cities.We asked Scott to give us an idea of what’s happening with rent control in Portland and throughout Oregon.

Portland’s Real Estate Market

Portland is very progressive and not the only region with rent control laws. The trend recently has been for states to shift the rulebooks more towards resident protections. Understanding the local Portland economics is important because when you are talking about rent controls, there is always a driving force behind why rent control is being implemented.Portland has been one of the hottest investment markets in the nation for quite a long time. It’s also had an acute housing shortage. This has created expensive rents, and many residents are struggling to pay for housing. So, Senate Bill 608 was passed in February of 2017.

Understanding Senate Bill 608

There are two main parts of this bill.The first is an actual cap on rents. There are a lot of exceptions. For example, if a home is 15 years old or newer, it’s fully exempt because they want to keep driving the development and construction of new homes. But, if the home is more than 15 years old, landlords are limited to a seven percent rental increase, plus the CPI or Consumer Price Index. Over the last two years, it has resulted in a rent increase that can go no higher than 10 percent.This is pretty reasonable and not terribly limited. As long as you are staying close to market rents, a 10 percent increase is not going to limit your profitability or returns in Oregon.The second part of this bill addressed no-cause evictions.Most people associate the word eviction with being forced out for nonpayment of rent. That might be true but there is also a no-cause eviction, and that typically means a landlord is not renewing a lease. The big change in Oregon is that if the resident has been in the property for more than one year, landlords cannot do a no-cause eviction or ask for the property back with a 30-day notice period.This is significant. It applies to month-to-month residents as well if they’ve been living in the home for more than a year. This, combined with the law that says you can only increase rents once a year means that you have a bizarre leasing situation. If you have a vacancy on February 1 and you want to fill it, you might do a five or six-month lease so you’re at the point where the next vacancy is in the summer. But in Portland, the new laws mean your lease end date and the date you increase your rent are likely to be two different dates.The problem for landlords is that this provides a much shorter window of time to determine whether this is a resident you’d like to keep. Waiting out a full year before you decide whether you want to renew the lease is no longer possible. It gets you in trouble because it doesn’t allow you to do a no-cause eviction, in which you simply decide to look for a new resident or do something else with your property.We’re now recommending an 11-month lease instead of a full year lease. This is the only way to maintain leverage when it comes to removing residents we’d rather not work with. In the past, you could remove a resident with a 30-day notice and get your property back. Now, you need to have a documented reason to evict the resident, such as nonpayment of rent, lease violations, or criminal activity. That’s not possible anymore.

Portland Property Management and Legal Knowledge

Understanding these laws is critical, and many investors aren’t even aware of them. When you read the legislation, you can either trust your own ability to interpret the laws or you need to hire a really good real estate attorney. You can also hire a good Portland property management firm that will know the rule book and handle the legal issues for you.Rent control and eviction laws are different depending where you are in Oregon. With the housing shortage, Portland has a stricter rulebook than the rest of the state. There are additional new rules on security deposits and accounting restrictions.You’re running a business when you invest in a property and rent it out in Portland. Businesses have laws, and it is your responsibility to abide by these laws and regulations. You have to take this seriously because the government takes this seriously and they are going to hold you accountable.Don’t try and figure out all the different laws on your own. As we said earlier, laws are always changing. They’re always being updated depending on the market and the people who are in power. And the trend both nationally and in Portland is to move closer to a tenant-friendly set of laws and regulations. This means you have to know exactly how the laws affect your properties and your investments.If you have any questions about rent control in Portland, Oregon, please contact us at Mynd Property Management. We have processes in place to protect our owners and investors against the problems that can be encountered with rent control and evictions.You can also visit our Facebook group of investors, which is called Master Mynd. It’s a real estate investors’ club, where you can exchange ideas with other owners. Check out our weekly podcast as well, called The Myndful Investor. We invite leaders in real estate and property management to talk about their success and, more importantly, their failures. There’s a lot to learn from this relatable content.

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