UPDATED March 14th, 2022.

SJA Property Management would like to update this article to let Seattle apartment managers know how to manage their apartment investment effectively. Our philosophy on the subject has not changed and we stand by what we wrote back then. First and most importantly is educating yourself on tax laws and creating a list to prioritize as you manage your apartment. Advertising is a crucial part of real estate, as you want to fill out every apartment unit you own. An empty unit means potential money you aren’t receiving, thus slowing down your ROI. Lastly, the absolute best thing you can do for your real estate investment is to hire a professional property manager that specializes in apartments, like SJA Property Management! We make managing properties as stress-free and seamless as possible for everyone, especially apartment property owners. Our goal is to save you time managing property while also still maintaining a good relationship with your tenants. 

If you’ve decided to invest in real estate in Seattle, you’ll have to consider a few ways to manage your investment effectively to increase return on investment, and minimize your time use. Many people, especially first time investors with larger buildings tend to hire companies that offer apartment management in Seattle to save time and hassle, but you might also want to learn how to do things yourself.  Here are five tips you can use to manage your real estate investment as effectively as possible.

Educate Yourself

If you don’t know the ins and outs of tax law or paperwork and law between owner and renter, you have to learn it. A real estate management company in Seattle could handle all of these details but you will have to study up in depth on everything you need to know about managing and owning investment property. Subjects to pay special attention to include background checks, taxes on property, mortgage, rent income, market value, and of course, your expected profit.

Focus on Priorities
There are a lot of details that you could become involved in when it comes to renting out apartments. Whether you have a full house or a mostly empty lot you have to focus and prioritize your to-do list so that you keep your tenants happy.  For example, keeping records and paying taxes should always be on the top of your list. Renting out units will usually be one of your most important priorities, but if you haven’t done repairs, kept up with curb appeal, or have other problems, spending your time on getting new renters might be a waste of time.

Advertise Effectively
Anyone can put up a sign on their apartment building that they have units for rent, but you want to make sure that people know they are for rent. A common idea is to put up a sign in the windows or on the balcony of each empty unit, but if most of your units are empty, this might scare people away. Try placing just a few signs out at once, advertising in local newspapers, and remember to never underestimate online directories that will be affordable, or free.

Maintain and Improve
Part of your profit should always go towards maintaining and improving the facilities. Whether a new paint job, cleaning the outside windows, paying for a janitor to keep the lobby clean, or even replacing old lights, tile, or sheetrock, you should spend part of your profit in making your investment better. The better your building, the more likely you are to have happy tenants and to rent out your units faster. If you can afford it, try putting 10% towards improvement. One of the benefits of hiring a Seattle real estate management company to handle this for you is that we have the connections and the experience to get maintenance, cleaning, and improvement services done quickly and affordably.

Improve Time Management
Last but not least, your time is extremely valuable. Whether you’re focused on keeping the investment you have or prefer to invest in more property, you need your time to be managed effectively. Driving to and from your apartment complex, handling tenant complaints, or picking up checks can be a hassle that you don’t have the time for. If you want to do everything yourself, you probably have to spend more time setting up time conscious management systems such as certain times when it is most convenient for you to take complaints, online billing systems (that often cost money), and managing repairs. Hiring a company like SJA Property Management that focuses on apartment management in Seattle could be more time saving than you think!