Time management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control of time spent when completing activities with the overall aim to increase effectiveness, efficiency and productivity. For a student landlord better time management can help streamline the process of managing their portfolio.
Being a student landlord will likely mean the management of multiple properties, each with multiple tenants. These may provide a constant stream of tasks, and activities to balance on a day to day basis. Many landlords choose to employ a letting or managing agent to take part or the whole responsibility off their hands. However this can be an expensive option as letting costs may reach 20% of property income for a fully managed HMO property.
This may become worse as letting agents are no longer permitted to charge fees for activities such as check ins, referencing and other administration, and may begin to pass this income loss onto their landlords.
This may be the right option for some landlords, however those who are considering this due to the time it takes to self manage should consider these steps before signing away such a large proportion of their rental income.
Seeking the advice of an experienced professional will not always be a cost effective option, however in certain scenarios it can definitely benefit you and your property. Whether it be structural, legal or something else, seeking an expert opinion may eliminate a large cost in the future.
Collecting and saving as much information as possible when running your rental portfolio will result in a better understanding of the properties and the market. Maintaining records of all financial incomings and outgoings will make financial decisions simpler.
Keeping records of all communications, such as between tenants and contractors, may avoid confusion in the future. Recording and filing items as they occur will save time when it comes to calculating tax returns.
Value Your Time
This is an important consideration when streamlining a property management operation. Time is money, and it is important to know what your time is worth. Understanding this will aid in the decision making process, especially in regards to completing tasks yourself or delegating to another party. You can usually save time or money, rarely both.
A job which takes a professional 1 hour may appear expensive, completing it yourself could seem like the more economic option – unless it takes a great deal longer.
Finding the value of time will involve tracking the amount of time spent on the various tasks associated with being a student landlord, such as viewings, marketing and maintenance. Knowing how long is spent on each and the income from the property will allow for this calculation.
Technology can save time
Valuable time could be wasted by not using electronic communication such as email. Writing letters and scheduling face to face meetings used to be commonplace in property management, however valuable time can be saved by sending an email or text. Students may prefer this method of communication.
Whilst direct debits may attract a small cost, they can also save time when compared to collecting rent in cash or cheque. Time taken and cost of going to the bank to deposit should be factored in.
The more preparation that is done, the easier the letting and management process will be. During periods such as the end of term when most students have vacated, check properties and identify any potential issues which may occur. Rectifying these issues early will reduce the amount of visits needed to the property over the course of the next year. Getting the property prepared for the coming winter is also advisable, checking pipes, insulating, and inspecting the roof should all form part of this. Many letting agents will not conduct these checks and will often charge an additional fee if asked to.
However a large portfolio will require more time, depending on the size and proximity, it may be more economic to hire someone else to conduct these checks.
Another tip for time saving is before the tenancy ends, inspect the property with the tenants and explain what they need to do to get their deposit back in full. Not only will this motivate the tenants to clean and repair any issues, but also reduce the time needed to do this yourself.
Conclusion – Time is money
Property management can take up a large amount of time, and landlords should take measures to reduce this. All time is valuable and this should be factored into decisions made regarding properties.
There are countless ways to improve the time management as a property manager and should be utilised not only to avoid using a letting or managing agent but also to increase the financial success of the rental portfolio.
Pads for Students. 2019. Accessed 22nd November, 2019, from https://www.padsforstudents.co.uk/blog_article/tips-for-improving-time-management-of-your-student-property/
Landlord Vision. 2019. Accessed 22nd November, 2019, from https://www.landlordvision.co.uk/blog/save-time-managing-properties/