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Landlord Tips

How Landlords Can Automate Income Expense Tracking

Landlords can automate income expense tracking with related services.

As we’ve already discussed, landlords need to keep good records of their rental property income and expenses. They need this information to satisfy tax reporting requirements. It is also valuable information to see if renting is generating positive income. Unfortunately, tracking income and expenses is time consuming and boring. With all of the options available from a spreadsheet to landlord accounting software, each one has its pros and cons. RentalIncomeExpense.com is a free tool and a way landlords can automate income expense tracking for their rental property.

Related Services to Automate Income Expense Tracking

Landlords who use ClearNow for online rent payment benefit from the automatic recording of rents received and service fees paid in RentalIncomeExpense.com. For example, when tenants pay rent via ClearNow, the rent landlords receive is automatically recorded in RentalIncomeExpense.com. Similarly, the fees landlords pay to collect rent online is also automatically recorded in the landlord software. So just by using ClearNow, landlords can save time and eliminate the need to manually record rental income and the associated expenses every month.

Designed for landlords, RentalIncomeExpense.com is simple yet powerful landlord accounting software. Because it is free, landlords lose little when trying it out before taking out their wallets and purchasing software for their rental property needs.

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Landlord Tips

The Art of Painting: Benefits for Landlords

Painting can make rental property look and feel new!

Landlords have a challenging job from finding the right tenants to maintaining the property’s condition. One often overlooked aspect of property management is the importance of regular painting. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of painting for landlords and why it should be an integral part of property maintenance.

  1. Enhanced Curb Appeal

First impressions matter, and this couldn’t be truer in the world of real estate. A well-maintained and freshly painted property will attract more potential tenants. It creates a positive first impression. Improved curb appeal helps reduce vacancy periods ensuring a steady income stream for landlords.

  1. Increased Property Value

Painting isn’t just about aesthetics. It also adds value to your property. When you invest in quality paint and professional painting services, you’re essentially increasing the worth of your investment. This can be particularly beneficial if you plan to sell the property in the future, as a freshly painted interior and exterior can boost your resale value.

  1. Protection Against Wear and Tear

Rental properties endure a higher level of wear and tear compared to owner occupied homes. Regular painting helps protect your property’s surfaces from damage caused by daily use, weather, and other external factors. For example, cracks in walls and ceilings can be entry points for pests such as insects and rodents. Regular painting helps seal these gaps, making it difficult for pests to infiltrate your property. Painting as a preventive measure can save you money on costly repairs and replacements down the line.

4. Tenant Retention

Happy tenants are more likely to stay longer, reducing tenant turnover and the associated costs of finding new tenants. A freshly painted property can make your current tenants feel more comfortable and satisfied, increasing the likelihood that they’ll renew their lease.

5. Energy Efficiency

When you paint your property, you have the opportunity to choose energy-efficient paint options. Lighter paint colors, for example, can reflect more sunlight, reducing the need for artificial lighting and potentially lowering utility bills for both you and your tenants.

Conclusion

The benefits of painting for landlords are not just a cosmetic enhancement for rental properties. From improving curb appeal and property value to protecting against wear and tear, the benefits are clear. So, if you’re a landlord looking to enhance your property’s appeal and long-term value, consider making painting a regular part of your property maintenance routine. The investment in paint and professional services will pay off in the form of happier tenants, reduced turnover, and a more valuable investment. And an added bonus is that landlords can expense the costs related to painting rental property. Be sure to track this expense with a landlord accounting tool like RentalIncomeExpense.com.

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Landlord Tips

Tips to Prepare for a Rental Property Showing

Cleaning and decorating can prepare for a rental property showing.

Landlords need to invest time and money to prepare for a rental property showing. Filling vacancies quickly affect the bottom line. The longer the unit stays empty, the less rent revenue the landlord enjoys. Here are some quick and easy things landlords can do to prepare for a rental property showing.

Clean Inside

The most ideal tenant will leave the rental property in the same pristine condition as when they moved in. Unfortunately, this is not reality. Standard wear and tear require landlords to clean the inside of the property. Investing in a cleaning service will save landlords time with this chore. Once the unit is cleaned, landlords can address maintenance issues.

Renovate/Fix

With a clean unit, landlords can focus on areas of renovations or improvements. For example, replacing flooring or appliances, repairing plumbing, or painting walls will freshen up the look and feel of the property. Similar to a cleaning service, landlords can schedule painters, electricians, and plumbers to address areas of concern.

Clean Outside

First impressions can be a deal breaker. If a prospective tenant cannot get past the exterior of the rental property, then the landlord loses a potential tenant. Landlords can hire lawn maintenance services to ensure the exterior of the property is in pristine condition. Cutting the grass, trimming trees, and power washing the building are simple steps that can create a clean and positive impression.

Stage to Prepare for a Rental Property Showing

For many, it is much easier to visualize a room when it is furnished. Landlords can help tenants make a decision by staging the property. In these cases, landlords can hire companies that take care of decorating the property so tenants can get a feel of how it would be to live in.

Conclusions

Landlords should keep track of the expenses involved when they prepare for a rental property showing. Using landlord accounting software like RentalIncomeExpense.com make it easier to track many of these expenses that can be deducted at tax time.

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Landlord Tips

Top Ways to Advertise an Apartment for Rent

Landlords have different ways to advertise an apartment for rent.

When it comes to advertising an apartment for rent, reaching a wide audience and showcasing the property’s unique features are essential. Equally important is understanding how your future tenants seek information. Here are three effective ways to advertise an apartment for rent:

Online Listing Platforms

In today’s digital age, online listing platforms are the go-to method for advertising rental properties. Especially for a younger or tech-savvy tenant, landlords should advertise on popular real estate websites such as Zillow or Apartments.com and create a compelling listing. High-quality photos of the apartment, detailed descriptions highlighting its features and amenities, rental terms, and contact information are important pieces of information to include in the listing.

Some allow you to include virtual tours using 360-degree photos or videos. This allows potential tenants to explore the space remotely and get a comprehensive view of the property’s layout and features. Virtual tours are especially valuable for attracting out-of-town or busy individuals who may not have the opportunity to visit the apartment in person.

Social Media Marketing

Harness the power of social media to promote your apartment for rent. Create visually appealing posts featuring photos or videos of the property and share them across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Utilize relevant hashtags, such as #ApartmentForRent or #CityNameRentals, to increase visibility. Consider running targeted ads on social media platforms to reach a specific demographic or geographic audience as a way to advertise an apartment for rent.

Local Advertising

While online platforms are crucial, don’t underestimate the power of local advertising methods to attract potential renters in your area. If you have an older or less tech-savvy tenant audience, eye-catching “For Rent” signs with clear contact information placed outside the property can be effective. Utilize local newspapers, community bulletin boards, and neighborhood newsletters to advertise an apartment for rent. Additionally, reach out to local real estate agencies or relocation services to see if they can assist in promoting the vacancy to their networks.

As landlords, advertising an apartment for rent involves cost. Keep track of advertising expenses as you normally do whether it be using an Excel spreadsheet or free landlord accounting software like RentalIncomeExpense.com.

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Landlord Tips

Superior Tool to Zillow Rental Spreadsheet

There are better tools than the Zillow rental spreadsheet for landlords.

If you’re searching for rental properties, you may have heard of Zillow. Zillow is a popular online real estate platform that allows you to search for homes, apartments, and other properties for rent or sale. It also provides some real estate tools including a Zillow rental spreadsheet, which is a tool that helps landlords track income and expenses. It is free to download and use, however, it lacks some features that are important to have when managing rental property.

Limitations of Zillow Rental Spreadsheet

  1. The spreadsheet is designed for up to five properties. If you start using the Zillow worksheet, you’ll quickly run out of room if you have more units. Or, if you have a roommate situation and want to track which individuals have paid rent, then you’re limited again. You need to add more lines to the spreadsheet to accommodate more properties.
  2. The Zillow rental spreadsheet does not generate reports. Do you want to know the profit and loss for an individual property? The Zillow worksheet only totals the income and expenses for all properties and shows that number as a cell. You cannot view profit and loss by month. Additionally, the worksheet cannot easily generate a report to help complete Schedule E, which needs to be filed at tax time with Form 1040.
  3. You need to know how to use a spreadsheet. When you download the Zillow rental spreadsheet, you will need to open it in a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to use it. And if you add additional lines to the spreadsheet, then you will need to update the formulas to capture totals. So you will need some knowledge of spreadsheets to comfortably and accurately navigate your data.

RentalIncomeExpense.com is a Superior and Free Tool

A better, completely free alternative is RentalIncomeExpense.com is designed for landlords. It is free. Landlords simply enter income and expense information based on Schedule E categories. You do not need to adjust formulas based on information you record. You can generate reports including profit and loss and Schedule E Helper with just one mouse click. And, there is no limit to the number of properties you can track.

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Landlord Tips

Winter Maintenance Tips for Landlords

Winter Maintenance Tips
Winter is a time of year when we need to be extra vigilant about rental property maintenance.

Landlording is a year round business. In other words, it is not a seasonal business. Winter is a time of year when we need to be extra vigilant about the maintenance of our homes. The winter months bring changes in weather and drops in temperature. Here are some simple winter maintenance tips for landlords to prepare.

Keep Tools at the Ready

In order to keep your property in top shape during the winter, you should make sure that you have all the necessary equipment at hand. In snow-prone areas, snow blowers and shovels are essential. For snow blowers, make sure the machines are primed and filled with gas and oil. Clean the machines in the fall so they are ready to use immediately in the winter.

Prep the Yard & House

Winter is a good time to trim bushes and cut back trees. Bad snow storms can knock down trees. You don’t want trees to fall on your property and cause damage. While you’re taking care of the landscaping, it’s a good time to also clean the gutters and check the chimney. Debris and water in gutters can cause more harm as temperatures drop. And having a clean chimney can prevent potential fire hazards as your tenant may want to keep warm by the fireplace. Changing filters regularly is among the winter maintenance tips for landlords. Additionally, you should check pipes and drains to make sure they are not frozen and try to avoid any possible water leaks by keeping gutters clear.

These winter maintenance tips for landlords will incur some form of cost. Fortunately, it is easy for landlords to track them in landlord software. By tracking expenses, landlords can run reports that may help make budgeting easier for future years. RentalIncomeExpense.com follows the Form 1040 Schedule E expense categories.

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Landlord Tips

How to Advertise a Home for Rent

Advertise Home for Rent
Landlords can advertise a home for rent online to maximize number of applicants.

When a vacancy becomes available, landlords need to know how to advertise a home for rent. Landlording is a business. And rental income happens with a paying tenant. So the sooner a landlord can fill a vacancy, the sooner the landlord will generate income. It can be a daunting task, however, to navigate the rental market and successfully advertise a home for rent. The following tips can help make the process easier and draw in more potential applicants.

First, it is important to ensure the home is in good condition. Investing in basic repairs and upgrades to the interior and exterior of the property can go a long way in attracting tenants. Such activities include painting, landscaping, and even just a good cleaning.

Next, create an eye-catching advertisement. Provide a detailed description of the home, benefits of living in the area, and your contact information. You can describe your rental home’s proximity to public transportation, schools, and nearby shopping centers to draw attention. Pictures of the interior and exterior of the home as well as of the neighborhood round out your written description. Consider staging the home with furniture and decorations to make it look more appealing to potential applicants.

Lastly, post the ad on multiple platforms, such as social media and online listings like Hotpads or Zillow. Another important step is to ensure that the home is priced correctly. Doing research into the current rental market and local rental rates can help determine the best rent for the property.

And remember, keep track of the expenses you incur when you advertise a home for rent with your landlord accounting software, like RentalIncomeExpense.com. That way, when tax time arrives, it will be easy to prepare your returns.

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Landlord Tips

Organizational Tips for Landlords

Organizational Tips for Landlords
Well organized records can make life easier for landlords.

Good organization is important when running a business. Landlording is no exception. Yes, it take time and effort, but having well organized records can make your life easier. Here are a few organizational tips for landlords to implement when managing their rental property.

Create a Filing System

One aspect of being organized is the ability to find things quickly and easily. With landlording, there can be a lot of documents. Documents include applications, leases, maintenance request, and communication between landlord and tenant. Going paperless is ideal, however, it may be inevitable to have some paper. So first, have a physical or digital filing system in place that is easily accessible and understandable to those who need to know. In a digital world, you would simply save files to the appropriate folder on your device, such as a laptop. If you have to deal with paper, it is good to invest in a scanner. That way, you can scan paper and then save the digital copy.

Track Income & Expenses

Another among the organizational tips for landlords is tracking income and expenses. This task is critical for two reasons. First, it enables landlords to know if their business is profitable or not. Second, it makes tax time easier. Landlords may not want to spend a lot of money on expensive or complicated accounting software. That’s OK. Because there are tools designed just for landlords that help track income and expenses and provide reports. For example, RentalIncomeExpense.com is a free tool created just for landlords. Plus it provides reports, like a Schedule E Helper report, that can assist at tax time.

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Landlord Tips

Landlords Can Make Tenant Lives Easier

RIE Tenant Easy
Landlords can make tenant lives easier in just a few simple ways.

Much has been written on ways to help landlords succeed. This blog post is not wholly different other than taking the view of how to help tenants. Happy tenants can make landlord lives easier. If there are ways landlords can make tenant lives easier, then it is a win win for both landlord and tenant. Here are a few easy things landlords can do for tenants.

Ways landlords can make tenant lives easier

Many tenants today consider the use of technology essential to daily living. One of the basic applications of technology is communication. Many tenants have smartphones, which allow them to be accessible anywhere. Landlords who communicate via text or email make tenant life easier. Talking on the phone, mailing letters, and meeting in person are time consuming, slow, and unappealing.

Smartphones are powerful tools. Beyond the immediate use of communication via text, phone, email, or information gathering from the Web, smartphones can be the key to your rental property. Literally. Landlords can install keyless locks on their rental property. With keyless locks, tenants do not have to keep track of a key. Depending on the type of lock, tenants can use a code or their smartphone to open and lock doors.

Something as simple as providing in unit clothing washers and dryers is a way landlords can make tenant lives easier. Carrying around clothes – dirty or clean – is not fun. Dishwashers are a standard appliance in rental properties. Why can’t washers and dryers be, too?

All of these simple ways landlords can do for tenants makes happier tenants, and they benefit landlords. By tracking these types of expenses, landlords can deduct these costs on their taxes as part of their landlording business. Free landlord accounting software like RentalIncomeExpense.com is an easy way to keep track of such expenses.

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Landlord Tips

Free Tools for Small Landlords

Free Tools Small Landlord
Free tools for small landlords help them succeed.

Small landlords own and manage at least one unit and maybe max out around 10. Compared to large property management companies, small landlords may be more price sensitive. To help them succeed, there are free tools for small landlords.

Free Income Expense Tracking

Regardless of size, landlords need a recordkeeping tool when managing rental property. For small landlords, accounting software like QuickBooks is expensive and overly complicated taking quite a bit of time to learn. On the other hand, an Excel spreadsheet is free, however, it isn’t powerful enough. It is not easy to create helpful reports from basic spreadsheets. RentalIncomeExpense.com is landlord accounting software that is free, easy to use, and generates meaningful reports.

Free Tenant Screening

Finding the right tenant makes landlording easier. The ideal tenant is one that will pay rent on time and keep the rental property in tip top shape. So tenant screening becomes really important. A free tenant screening option for small landlords is provided by SmartMove (a TransUnion service). SmartMove charges a fee for the credit reports, however, the landlord can designate the applicant (tenant) to pay the fee as many landlords bundle that fee as part of an application fee.

Free Vacancy Listing

Online advertising is one of the most popular and wide-reaching methods today. Landlords can advertise listings with a real estate specific site. Some are free like Realtor.com and Apartments.com. Others, like Zillow, charge a fee, however, Zillow owns other listing sites which means you maximize your reach as your listings are on multiple sites.

These free tools for small landlords can be effective and make landlording easier.