You may have decided that once you invested in rental properties that your days of leisurely weeks-long vacations were over. However, with proper planning, there’s no reason landlords should avoid getting away from it all and enjoy some rest and relaxation. Everyone needs a break now and then, especially when life involves all kinds of responsibilities, which can be pretty stressful. It’s all right for managers to take a vacation as long as they take the proper steps before they leave. With the right strategy and proper planning, even the busiest of landlords can take off for a vacation without stress.
#1. Pick the Right Time
If you plan to take a vacation as a landlord, timing is everything. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to take a vacation at the drop of the hat, but if you plan ahead and choose to go at a time that’s most convenient for your business, you should be just fine. As far as the best times of the month, consider planning your vacation a week or so after rent is collected so you can get that month sorted out, then relax fully on your vacation. Even if you have an automated system that collects disbursements, you’ll still want to be present in case of technical glitches or malfunctions.
#2. Finish major tasks first
Never try to take off when you’re in the middle of a major project. Trying to leave during substantial renovations, for example, will be disastrous. To avoid worrying about work the whole time you’re vacationing, try to wrap up any major tasks before you leave. On top of that, avoid starting any big projects right before your vacation. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself and come back to the shortest to-do list possible! Plan your trips accordingly so you won’t leave anybody hanging and you can enjoy your vacation.
#3. Find a Sub
Being a landlord is often a one-person undertaking, but that will have to change if you want to take a vacation. Going somewhere overnight is one thing, but if you’re planning to head out of town for several days, you’ll need to find someone who can take over your duties while you’re away. Consider temporarily hiring a professional property management company, a local or virtual assistant service or turn responsibility over to your full-time maintenance worker. No matter what, you’ll need a go-to person for emergency and non-emergency issues. Other options for your replacement are another landlord (exchange vacation time!), a trusted relative or another experienced friend. Whoever you choose, this person needs to be able to take care of your real estate business while you vacation.
#4. Notify the Residents
One of the worst things you can do as a landlord is fail to notify your tenants ahead of time when you’re going to be unavailable. Not only will your tenants become frustrated – you’ll have to deal with phone calls from tenants while you’re trying to relax. So, try to tell them a few weeks in advance when you’re going out of town. Let them know that non-emergency maintenance issues may be delayed by a few days while you are gone and that you appreciate their understanding. Provide them with contact information for the person you’re leaving in charge, as well as the handyman, and any other contacts they may need. You’ll also want to inform contractors and vendors of your coming absence. This includes landscapers, maintenance workers, property management companies, and anyone else you work with periodically.