18: Ten Ways to Make the Most of Tough Times in .NET

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18: Ten Ways to Make the Most of Tough Times
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Securing Tenants
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Be kind to your tenants: That s one of the best ways to ensure they stay with you for as long as possible We discuss landlord tenant relations in s 13 and 14, but we would be remiss here if we didn t mention fostering good tenant relations as a means of weathering a tough economy To get some perspective, consider the opposite scenario how tenant turnover diminishes property value: Greater vacancies, less income: Sure, a tenant who gives notice and leaves may gift you with her deposit, but how quickly are you going to be able to rent out the unit she s vacated, especially if the rental market goes soft A good unit may rent out quickly, but you may face delays depending on market conditions, the time of year, and other factors Moreover, the less income you have to show for it, the less valuable your investment is as an income-producing property Potential purchasers aren t the only ones who want to know your property s income and performance Lenders perceptions are also influenced by a poor performance, and affect how much they re willing to give you to finance other projects Tenant replacement costs: As with any business, income isn t the only measure of performance Margins are also an important indicator of how good an investment your business is Tenant turnover not only threatens income, but also narrows your margins by forcing you to advertise and spend on other expenses you wouldn t have faced had the tenant stayed Word of mouth: Just as positive tenant experiences can be good advertising for you, bad experiences may get around and reduce demand for your property Disgruntled tenants warn friends not to rent from you, and you may end up with only the most desperate or unaware tenants not the kind you want, because they put your investment at greater risk of damage Bad will: Just as goodwill figures into the price purchasers are willing to pay for your property, bad will reduces the premium the property commands Bad will accounts for detractions like poor location, or in the case of tenant turnover, undesirability, low demand, and generally bad karma You may never know the extent of the property s bad reputation, but it could be playing a role in making your property difficult to lease out and, ultimately, to sell Convinced We thought so Respect your tenants, and a stable cash flow follows Don t respect them, and you might not only lose income, but also cause the value of your property to suffer
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Part V: The Part of Tens
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Tough economic times mean tough times for landlords The introduction in 2010 of a harmonized sales tax in BC, for instance, was greeted with great concern among residential landlords who couldn t pass along to tenants the extra tax the government was about to levy on some of their operating expenses The legislation governing rent increases didn t allow it, narrowing their margins Rising mortgage rates and other factors can also crunch your income as a landlord When expenses start outstripping possible rent increases, you face a couple of options You can either start to raise rents more aggressively, find new opportunities to generate revenue (something we discuss in 13), or address your expenses review where you re spending money and invest in upgrades, or shop around for a better rate on your mortgage A property that s become a money loser will be more difficult to sell, unless you can promptly find someone with the capital and long-term vision required to make it work Many investors rejig their portfolios on a regular basis; you should consider this, too, especially if you anticipate a sudden rise in expenses that s beyond your means to accommodate
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