Real estate investing can be lucrative, but it can also be time-consuming. The truth is, you’ll need to deal with repair requests, late checks, and countless other property issues. You may go months without a problem, but face certain weeks of never-ending issues. So what if you already have a full-time job or other responsibilities that limit your free time? Is real estate investing out of the question? Absolutely not. Here are 3 tips for investing in real estate when you don’t have much time to spare:
1. Invest in real estate that requires little upgrades or maintenance.
Depending on the state of your property, you’ll need to budget about 1 to 3 percent of your home’s value for repairs and maintenance costs. However, you can mitigate those annual expenditures (and the time investment that goes along with making them) by choosing to invest in properties that require little to no maintenance. These are generally newer properties (built within the last decade) that have been kept in good shape by their owners.
2. Proactively screen your tenants.
This is so important. Taking the time to screen your tenants may seem like an unnecessary time investment and one that prevents you from collecting rent as soon as possible, but it’s more than worth the proactive measure. Finding good tenants increases the consistency and reliability of your rent payments, reduces the chances of property damage, and mitigates your risk of needing to file an eviction. In this case, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.
3. Employ as much automation as possible.
If you aren’t using a property management service that already automates the bulk of your landlord responsibilities, make good use of an online service like Cozy, which allows you to collect rent payments online for free. You may also automate repair and maintenance requests via a website and a form your tenants can fill out at any time.