6 WebsiteCompass Feature Story Thinking About Becoming a Landlord? With interest rates low, you may be thinking beyond your primary residence to a property you can rent to others. The biggest benefit is a regular monthly income, but there are many other factors to consider before taking this step. Risky Investment While owning a rental property can provide the opportunity for an additional revenue stream, it’s not a guarantee. A home that goes unrented for several months equals a loss of income. Property Management You’ll always be on call to maintain the property, especially between tenants. Such maintenance may include cleaning, gardening, replacing old pipes, repainting, and many other tasks. Consider a software application like Rentec Direct (rentecdirect.com) to help. Business Savvy Being a landlord is being in business for yourself. But if you don’t understand the ins and outs of bookkeeping, taxes, legal matters, and the like, you may end up in over your head. Learn some of the basics at mysmartmove.com/SmartMove/blog/9must-know-tips-new-landlords.page. Repairs The property could require extensive repairs. Even if everything looks good when you buy, an unexpected storm or other disaster can create expenses that go beyond what your insurance covers. Time In an ideal scenario, you won’t have to put much time into being a landlord. But that’s not always the case. Situations in which you must oversee repairs or deal with a challenging tenant can force you to put in hours you didn’t expect. Communication Being a landlord means clear communication with your tenants. If you’re not a people person, you might have a hard time with this aspect of the job. Check out the advice at rentecdirect.com/blog/ the-best-communication-tips-for-landlords-and-renters. Virtual Versus In-person Tours With the pandemic came the need for virtual everything, and home tours are no exception. While it’s not the same as physically being in a house, virtual tours can provide enough information for some people to be comfortable buying on that experience alone. That’s why home sellers should understand what makes an effective video or virtual showing. The first key is high video quality, so viewers can clearly see all the home’s features. Another is sufficient time spent in each room. Finally, viewers appreciate an easy login process and the opportunity to ask questions. Sellers can also take the opportunity to show hard-to-reach spaces that potential buyers might not want to access in person, such as the roof or a crawl space. It’s not necessarily an either-or situation. To save time, many prospective home buyers are checking out video walk-throughs of homes on the market, then going on in-person tours to see the ones they like best. QUICK TIP: Considering house flipping? Check out 1-2-3 Flip (123flip.com) for loads of free resources.