Suppose you have put your St. Cloud home on the market, but the number of showings is signaling that your asking price is not attracting much buyer interest. In most cases, you will notch the price down to a competitive level. That’s simply responding to the real life market in real time.

But if you have no need to sell within a limited timeframe—and you are disinclined to accept what the market is supporting at the moment—you have the option of waiting. If you also aren’t in residence at the property, you have another option, too: you can turn the property into one of the St. Cloud rental homes that keep cash coming in while the market continues to improve.

To make the most of the home rental solution, one major management issue is a systematic approach to maintenance. If you hire one of St. Cloud's experienced property management firms, that will be high on their priority list. If you decide to take on the job yourself, it will fall to you. Although good tenants can be considerate, watchful guardians of your property, to assure that your asset that retains its value when you aren’t in residence, regular inspections should be part of the rental home arrangement. Surprise landlord visits are to be avoided, but when regular inspections have been agreed upon and advance notice given, there should be no reason for anything other harmonious cooperation—particularly if generally agreed-upon good practices are followed:

⦁    Communication. There should be no ambiguity about why routine inspections are necessary. Every home needs to have its systems and structural integrity proactively maintained. No matter how thoughtful and careful a tenant may be, Father Time needs to be held at bay in ways the owner is most likely to spot.
⦁    Teamwork. If at all possible, at least one of the responsible tenants should be present during inspections. Not only does this deter any possibility of accusations of theft or other mischief from materializing, it’s also that much easier to foster an atmosphere of cooperation instead of confrontation. At its best, a successful inspection yields more than a checklist of items to be attended to. It gives the tenant assurance that their quality of life is part of your goal as landlord.
⦁    Privacy. When issues arise that should be photographed—for communication with maintenance professionals or for legal documentation—care should be taken that they never include personal items (like family photos, pets, people or valuables). This is a privacy issue that is universally observed, but too easily overlooked. Don’t!
⦁    If the above Communication and Teamwork ideas run up against a reality where the property is being neglected in any substantial corner, personal on-the-spot confrontation is generally regarded as likely to yield negative results. You will have documented the problem, and the best way to handle it is to address the issues with the tenant formally—and in writing.

When St. Cloud properties convert into St. Cloud rental homes, they can also acquire an extra asset—because that’s exactly what a good tenant is. And if the time comes to ultimately list the property, it might find a whole new group of prospects—investors interested in St. Cloud rental homes that come equipped with long-time tenants. Call me!