In the words of every magazine cover, blog and self-helping newsletter: New Year, New You? Well, let us be the first to say, hopefully not, because we quite like the “old” you.
But we shan’t go quietly into 2013. How about some resolutions? Not the impossible, annoying, guilt-ridden-when-they-don’t-quite-happen kind, the completely possible, totally probably, small-steps kind (i.e., the best kind). We have chosen five resolutions to be our spirit guides in property investment and landlording. Mind you, they are not necessarily going to get you to the upper echelons of property investment straight away but you bet your happy-new-year-ar*e that they will get you all the closer to financial freedom.
APIA 2013 Resolution #1: Get Paid On Time
Rent is the lifeblood of landlording, it is your main income source, your mother’s milk, the very reason why you play this sexy game of residential property investment. So why-oh-why would you not want to be paid on time every time?
Delinquent tenants get away with not paying rent over and over again because their landlords are not vigilant at following a rent arrears protocol. We are not saying you should be Ebenezer Scrooge about it, but at least be in a position to know exactly where you are on the rent ledger at any given time. We will say this again, property investment is a business, treat it like one. You would not be dishing out credits left right and centre if you are running a traditional business, so why would you tolerate rent arrears? Come to think of it, there are another 12 months to go before you risk a visit from the Ghosts of Christmas, go ahead Scrooge-up all you want!
Depending on the size of your portfolio, there are several resources available to help you keep track of rent payments. At the very least all landlords should have ready access to the bank account that is receiving rent and get into the habit of checking statements every single week. Beyond that you can get super fancy-smancy by utilising the various cloud-based tools that are available for landlords. Xero accounting is a great cloud software that has built in integration with your bank account and gives up up-to-the-minute report of your bank statements. Click here for a free trial account. If you want to really blow your mind, we are also happy to learn that PocketRent is now fully Xero integrated with an automatic rent reconciliation feature, so you have the ease and convenience of running a multi-property portfolio with one single product. APIA members get an on going 10% discount for PocketRent subscription and free trials can be accessed by going here. Gone are the days when landlords have to wait until the end of the month to reconcile rent payments. It is now super easy for you to stay on top of your tenant’s rent payments (or lack thereof).
Once you have established a habitual monitoring system for rent payments, it is time to get yourself a rent arrears protocol (RAP) down pat. For the March APIA Classroom (7th March), we will be taking members through a basic RAP which can be customised to suit individual situations. Keep an eye out on our events page for registration closer to the time.