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How to Be a Long-Distance Landlord

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McCaw Property Management

Being a remote landlord is not something to fear. Technology has made things convenient for landlords to buy a property and manage it from a distance.

We recognize the challenges faced by long-distance landlords who are operating their rental homes from afar. This is why remote landlords must concentrate on the foundation of good property management to maximize their real estate investment.


1. Pick People You Can Trust 

It’s normal for all landlords to desire trustworthy tenants but it can also be easier said than done. For long-distance landlords, making the wrong choice can be detrimental since they don’t have the luxury of time to do a quick drive-by inspection on their property.

Visits can be seldom so if you have unreliable tenants, you can be facing a lot of problems and stress. It’s advisable then to do it the right way in the first phase of renting out your unit. Ensure your tenant screening process is effective. 

Set aside time to assess the background, check on credit, and verify the employment of prospects. Even if this can be a costly practice and requires valuable time, you’ll be thankful to know that you can trust the renter staying on your property.


2. Ensure Open Communication

When you have a top-quality renter, you need to focus on building clear and consistent communication. Given that you’re a long-distance landlord, you’ll need to trust your renters to report the issues surrounding your unit. 




It’s always preferable to know property problems early, so you can have them fixed right away. Not knowing what’s happening in your rental home can lead to unpleasant surprises on your visit.

Ensure tenants have your contact information, so they can call you with any property concerns. By doing this, you’re encouraging the renters to reach out at the first sign of a problem.

Taking a proactive step by initiating a monthly call with your tenant can also be a smart move. This is a great opportunity to touch base with your renters and ask how they’re doing and learn the state of your property. 


3. Arrange Time to Visit Your Rental 

At first, you might not be open to visiting your rental property often due to the costs you’ll be incurring. However, the US tax law considers visits to out-of-state rental units as fully-deductible expenses.

This means you can calculate the plane ticket costs, mileage, hotel charges, and meal costs and subtract them from the profits you generated from your rental home.


travel to rental


As a long-distance landlord, it’s best to plan a property visit at least once a year. These visits allow you to see how your rental is doing. It also permits you to check on your tenants and learn if they’re having a good rental experience. 

If you don’t arrange a regular visit in person, you’re left relying on your tenant’s statements on the condition of your rental. Given that your real estate investment is valuable, you should reduce the risks you’re facing by planning a physical visit.


4. Be Aware of the Competition

As a long-distance landlord, it’s difficult for you to gauge your competitors. You won’t necessarily know whether new rentals are being built or how much landlords are currently charging in your neighborhood.

Even if you live a significant distance away, make an effort to connect to the community where your rental is located. A lot of factors can impact the rental market such as changes in the demographic, government regulations, and the business environment.

Rental rates may go up or down while neighborhoods can progress or not. Not knowing what’s happening can lead to owning a rental that can be a step behind others in your neighborhood. You can end up charging too low, and not optimizing your income. You can also be charging too much compared to others which can result in tenant turnovers.


rental rates


As a long-distance landlord, it’s your duty to keep up with the local news and track the performance of the rental market. This ensures that you apply the right business decisions.


5. Link Up with Local Resources

Repair requests are expected so it’s a good idea to be prepared and have access to local resources. Local landlords can address the problem quickly or assign the right vendor. Long-distance landlords however, may have difficulty dealing with simple property matters.

Hiring vendors you have not previously worked with can present new problems leading to more stress and complaints from tenants. It’s best then for long-distance landlords to know the best local maintenance service companies so they can reach out when property damage occurs. 


How Local Property Managers Can Provide Support to Long-Distance Landlords to Ensure Success

A great decision that long-distance landlords can make is to hire a local property manager. Having a trusted team of experts performing the daily property management tasks will relieve your stress.

They can take on the marketing when a rental is vacant, perform tenant screening, craft leasing agreements and make sure that the full rent is collected on your behalf.


business partner


Another advantage that property managers offer is they can respond to tenant requests promptly, conduct walkthroughs, and do property inspections regularly. In addition, they have a strong network of vendors that handle property maintenance and repairs conveniently. 

If you’re a long-distance landlord, contact McCaw Property Management today!