Property Management Tips for First Time Owners

Property Management Tips

By Property Management Systems

PORTLAND, Ore. – Are you getting started with owning rental property in Portland Oregon for the first time? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Although it’s a great time to own rental property, especially in Portland where rents and property values have appreciated significantly over the last two years the reality is that if you’re just getting started with owning rentals there are mistakes that you want to avoid making including the following:


It’s extremely common for enthusiastic new property investors to overextend themselves to acquire property. However, this leaves them without adequate cash reserves to tackle emergency maintenance or survive vacancies. Many landlord mistakes, such as a failure to invest in preemptive repairs, sufficient insurance, or marketing efforts, stem from this basic problem.

Being a Soft Touch

“I let the marginally qualified tenant in because they seemed so sincere and needed someone to give them a chance.” My advice is to get the best tenant you can for the area (even if you have to drop the rent a bit to do it). Run their credit, call their references, and don’t be afraid to say ‘no.’

Missing Move-In Season

Statistically speaking, apartments that are vacant in October could be vacant for months. In most areas, the best time to lease is the summer. People don’t move much during the holidays; so, once September comes, it might make more financial sense to cut your rates than to risk a vacancy. If you have a current tenant, don’t let your lease go month-to-month in the fall.

Being Too Lenient

You can generally cut some slack to a tenant who’s already proven him- or herself. However, many landlords report that when their expectations are too lenient early in the lease, tenants come to expect that kind of flexibility in the future.

Going Without a Lease

No veteran landlord will advise you to rent a property on a handshake. Get a professional lease agreement. Have an attorney look it over and identify potential trouble spots, or hire one to write it for you.

Failing to Treat Your Rentals as a Business

This problematic mindset can take many forms. The most dangerous is probably the failure to use entities to protect yourself from potential liability. You’re taking a big risk when you own the property directly, in your own name, instead of via a corporation or limited liability company (LLC). Other dangerous landlord mistakes include commingling personal and real estate operating funds, poor bookkeeping, renting to friends and family, and failing to invest in expert legal and accounting advice when needed.

Not Hiring a Property Manager

Besides the tips mentioned in this article, one of the most important mistakes that you want to avoid making at all costs is not hiring a property manager.

Hiring a property management company to professionally manage your rental property is important because doing this will help you to AVOID the bad habit of trying to manage your rental property and do all of the work yourself.

Many owners make the mistake of thinking that they can do everything including rent collection, maintenance, and service calls but what they don’t realize is that they are actually spending more time doing these things than they thought when they could be investing their time, money and energy into growing their portfolio or rental properties.

At Property Management Systems, we can offer you the following services:

  • Marketing your property – This includes professional photos, video walk through, custom web page, advertising your property online and promoting your property to our network of Realtors®.
  • Tenant selection & Tenant Placement – You can have confidence that the most qualified tenants will be chosen and placed in your rental property.
  • Rent collection – Never worry about not getting paid on time or chasing tenants again!
  • Customer service – Instead of your tenants calling you on nights or weekends, they will call us.
  • Maintenance – We handle all phases of maintenance at your rental property so you don’t have to.
  • And more!

Hire An Experienced Property Manager

Contact the team of experienced property managers at Property Management Systems today by calling us at (503) 515-3170 or click here to connect with us online.

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