If you're interested in taking advantage of the long-term wealth that owning successful investment property can provide, there are a few steps you should take which can help to make this new venture a positive one.

For whatever reason you find yourself heading in this direction, starting with the right perspective—and being armed with practical information—can shelter you from the dangers that plague DIY Port Charlotte property owners. Plus, following the expert insight we provide as a seasoned Port Charlotte property management company can help you maximize your return on investment!Free Make Ready Checklist

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Whether you're about to dive into the world of real estate in the Port Charlotte area, Punta Gorda, Bradenton, Sarasota, or Lakewood Ranch, these tips are designed to serve any investor along the Gulf Coast. It's always wise to 'look before you leap' into any rental properties to save yourself some future 'heartache' that could have been easily avoided.

Foreword: The following article is not a substitute for legal counsel. If you need immediate help with a pressing issue, turn to a competent attorney or Gulf Coast Property Management for real-time assistance!

Price Your New Rental Property Correctly

This is one of the first hurdles that many would-be investors struggle to clear, and it's because owning rental property requires you to shift your perspective to what renters value.

  • If the rental property you're preparing for a future renter is one that you or a family member previously lived in, you’ll need to set emotion aside.
  • Determining your rental rate for the property should always be done with thorough research and solid information, not a 'gut feeling' about what you think your Charlotte County property is worth.
  • One option is to invest in rent comparison tools that can help you dig up the data you need using the average rental rates in the Port Charlotte area.
  • Another option would be to employ skilled property management services with insight into the Port Charlotte rental market developed from years of experience.

Whichever option you choose, you can avoid the pitfall of basing your new rental rate on memories and emotions.

Many property owners can quickly find themselves priced out of the market when they lean too heavily on past experience with a property. However, you're not trying to give away a free rental, either; you can't afford to underprice your property.

Mortgage payments, taxes, and insurance don’t stop just because a property is vacant; help yourself find a new renter quickly with the right pricing from the start! You'll also find that the process of rent collection is a whole lot easier when you've taken the time to research this correctly.

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Set up, Define, and Separate Your Business From Personal Affairs

Professional Communication

In most cases, it’s a good idea to establish a business-based P.O. box and phone line. Unless you want potentially uncomfortable (and inappropriate) texts sent to your personal number when one of your residents is having maintenance issues, this is just common sense.

Fortunately, you can easily and inexpensively get a separate phone number to use for business. This business number can be set up to forward to your existing phone so that you never miss a crucial call or message.

Separation of Finances

As a skilled Port Charlotte property management company, we suggest setting up a separate checking account. It can be helpful from a tax perspective to keep your investment finances separate as much as possible from your day-to-day funds outside of being a rental property owner. It will also make handling any paperwork that much easier.

For the investors we serve, an owner's portal where property owners can quickly access and view financial statements like these is just another element of our full-service approach to property management. 

Should you decide to set up a business entity to further separate your business from your personal assets, you’ll want to speak with an attorney and a tax professional before you make a single purchase.

Many early-stage investors assume they can always jump on a purchase and move things around later to the business side. Unfortunately, this approach can actually get quite complicated—and cost you considerable time and money when you fail to consider good counsel up front.

Your Lease Comes First

Before you ever even consider acquiring your first residents, you'll need to work with your legal counsel or property manager to draft a rock-solid lease. Be careful when downloading any form of lease agreement off the internet unless you know it comes from a reputable source.

Often, these 'free' documents are loaded with language that's detrimental to property owners. If you need help nailing down your lease before you begin the tenant screening process, just call us today! As an expert Port Charlotte property management firm, we're happy to steer new investors out of the weeds and towards profitability.

That brings us to the last point: you need excellent renters! Decide what your ideal residents look like on paper before you start seeking applications with your rental property listing. A good rule of thumb is to weed out renters with a repeated history of evictions or to seek our applicants with good references from previous rental homes.

  • Do you want your new residents to be non-smokers? Will you be accepting pets in your rental property? These are all things you want to decide up front.
  • You’ll then want to work with your Port Charlotte property manager or attorney to develop the application you'll use to fill in the gaps on your new renters.
  • With this base covered, you'll have all the information you need to run credit and background checks or entrust them to a secure third-party screening service.

Proceeding Professionally With Hands-Free Income

With the above tips, you can get your investment property business off the ground with a strong start! However, the workload of even a single rental can quickly surprise many property owners.

If you want to enjoy professional levels of income from a future rental property, it helps to work with a professional Port Charlotte property management team! We've got the skills, experience, and resources you need to enjoy passive real estate income the elite way—passively!

Working with a property manager is the easiest way to protect your new investment property. However, if you choose to strike out on the path alone, we recommend that you first download our FREE resource, Protect Yourself and Your Investment: A Guide for Landlords in Manatee & Sarasota Counties.

It's full of additional insight and information you need to secure your long-term wealth through real estate from the start.

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