Renters in the US spend about $485 billion on rent each year. It’s easy to see why investors would want a piece of that pie in the form of their Fairfax rental homes. However, your return on investment as a property owner depends largely on finding reliable renters.
Fairfax rental property owners face the challenging task of vetting potential renters successfully, especially while simultaneously navigating the obstacles created by the economic landscape during the pandemic. With these issues in mind, there are certain must-haves property owners should be considering when it's time to investigate a new applicant:
- You'll need thorough background checks
- You'll want to take a look into their credit and verify income
- Take a look into your applicant's previous rental history—and verify it
- Tighten up your lease agreements by giving them a thorough review.
If you are an investor or property owner in the Northern Virginia area (NoVA), the following guidelines may help you to make smart choices that will stabilize your investment during turbulent times.
Note: This blog post does not act as a substitute for legal counsel. When in doubt, consult with your trusted attorney or the Fairfax property management experts at Renters Warehouse DC/NOVA for real-time assistance!
Hiring a Property Manager Is the Best Option
Put simply, hiring a full-service property management company is the absolute best option for investors—especially if you live abroad. The professional services of our expert team here at Renters Warehouse can assure that all tenant screening is done with your interests in mind. There are multiple reasons why hiring professionals is the best option.
- As a property owner, you save time rather than being bogged down by the tenant screening processes
- Professional background checks are extensive and thorough while serving as your buffer
- You receive professional assistance with licenses, inspections, and paperwork
- You benefit from broad marketing strategies that reduce vacancy.
Hiring professionals to manage the tenant screening process means that investors have peace of mind knowing that their real estate investments are in capable, experienced hands—and that their income stream is as secure as it can be in the current market.
Advantages and Disadvantages to Vetting Renters Yourself
Some Fairfax rental property owners prefer a hands-on approach to their investment business; understandably, they might be reluctant to delegate matters to professionals. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to the 'DIY' approach when it comes to finding the right renters—and these must be weighed against each other to determine the best course of action.
- You'll have firsthand experience gained in varied aspects of property investment
- You'll be able to address any issues with a potential applicant directly
- You won't have to pay any external fees to get the job done.
Although these advantages may seem desirable to some, they do come at a cost for the investor.
- You'll spend countless hours and precious resources on the day-to-day work of managing your investments
- That includes keeping up with shifting demands and changing rental laws and regulations
- Your time to make additional investments will be limited by your workload
- You increase your liability by handling tenant screening directly.
There is a quantifiable cost involved in shouldering all of these responsibilities as a property owner. In fact, taking advantage of the pooled experience and resources of a Fairfax property management company would not only eliminate many of the disadvantages we listed above but could even help you save money in marketing and maintenance costs.
Why not take advantage of professional property management services—and the benefits of such an alliance?
What Kind of Services Should You Seek?
An investor who hires a full-service property management company receives the benefits of various services. Not all companies offer the same services—or even the same quality of service. The following are the services offered by superior Fairfax property management:
- Handling rental property showings and marketing in the Fairfax rental market
- Completing a thorough background and credit check on each potential renter
- Assisting with all lease documents, inspections, and necessary rental licensing
- Offering guarantees on the renter placements they make to protect your ROI.
Your Decision Matters
The decision of how to handle the vetting process rests completely in the hands of the investor. Given that there are certain must-haves for a successful tenant screening, a property owner cannot afford to skip any of the steps involved.
While you may still feel inclined to be involved in the process, working with a Fairfax property management company can shelter you from unnecessary liability. In a time where some are forecasting uncertainty, and others are claiming that the industry is on the rise, smart investors see the need to stay informed and ahead of the market. Working with a full-service property management professional is just one way to do this successfully.
You can learn more about how to successfully grow your portfolio when you download our free guide to real estate investing in the NoVA area!