Are you a real estate investor who frequently travels? Maybe you navigate around your home country, or perhaps you fly overseas to find more investments or vacation with friends.
Regardless of where you journey, it can be nerve-wracking to leave behind your investment properties for long periods of time. You worry about whether a tenant might experience a serious problem; if you’re not there to fix it or call in expert help, you could end up in big trouble.
If you’re frequently on the road or in the air, the following tips will help you maintain your investment properties and take care of your tenants while you’re away.
- Hire a property manager
When you’re not around, you should have somebody local who can step in when a tenant needs something or if an emergency should occur. Instead of asking a friend to babysit your properties, hire a professional property manager instead.
If you’ve never worked with a property manager before, it’s something to consider doing full-time, not just when you travel. Green Residential in San Antonio, for example, helps investors by managing all their landlord duties.
With this type of assistance, you won’t have to collect rent, screen tenants, or deal with evictions. Everything will be handled on your behalf, including repairs and maintenance.
There are major benefits to hiring someone to manage your properties year-round, but it’s critical while you’re gone. Imagine being in another country and one of your tenants suffers a leak in the roof.
Being so far away will make it hard for you to coordinate repairs with a local contractor. However, a property manager could handle the issue swiftly and update you when it’s all been taken care of.
- Insure your properties
We hope you never tell anyone inessential when you’re leaving town. If people were to know when you’re gone, you might suffer some property damage to your vacant units.
The best way to obtain peace of mind while you’re traveling is to insure your properties so you can be certain you’ll have enough to cover the expense of repairs. At a minimum, you should carry the following insurance policies for each investment property:
- Hazard and fire insurance
- Liability insurance
- Sewer backup insurance
- Flood insurance
- Umbrella insurance
In addition to the above policies, you could also take out:
- General contractor insurance
- Loss of income insurance
- Builder’s risk insurance
- Terrorism insurance
Not all investors will need every one of the aforementioned policies, so speak with an attorney to find out which policies would be ideal for your situation. For example, you’ll only need builder’s risk insurance if you’re renovating a vacant property.
- Perform inspections before you travel
Before you head out on the road, perform a property inspection to see whether you might have any major problems just waiting to happen. You can arrange this type of inspection with your tenants by giving them the proper notice required by law.
Check for such warning signs as water damage in the roof and walls, cracked cement, insect infestations, rodent droppings, missing window screens, and anything else that stands out. Also, talk to your tenants directly before you leave and ask them if they need anything repaired.
Sometimes tenants forget to report problems, or they’re accustomed to landlords who don’t respond. By asking your tenants if anything needs fixing, you’ll not only be protecting your property, but also strengthening your relationship with your renters.
- Look for more properties while you’re traveling
If you’re in the market for additional properties, consider looking for places to buy while you’re out of town. International property investments can be highly profitable, and if you hire a local property management company, you won’t have to do the hard work.
If you’re going to another state, out-of-state investments can also pay off. It’s a common practice for investors to buy property in other states.
For example, many investors buy real estate in Idaho because the cost of living is lower than average and the value appreciation is surprisingly high. It reached 34.6% in 2021.
Other popular investment locales are Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia. Of course, you can also purchase holdings in tourist areas to list as a vacation rental or turn into a full-time Airbnb business.
What’s right for you will depend on your goals, but you may be unaware of how many excellent options you have.
Travel with peace of mind
Leaving your investments behind while you travel can be stressful. No matter how far you go, the best reassurance is to hire a professional to look after your investment properties.
Hire a professional property management firm today so next time you travel, you’ll have plenty of peace of mind, because you know your properties and tenants are in good hands.