How to Become a Hands-Off Landlord in Charleston - Article Banner

There are several different paths to becoming a landlord. Some people will buy rental properties specifically so they can assume the role of rent collector and housing provider. Others become landlords by inheriting a property or moving out of their home but deciding not to sell it right away. 

However you came to own a rental property (or a portfolio of them), you’ll need to decide what type of landlord you want to be. Are you looking to be over-involved? Do you want to maintain control of every part of the process, from marketing the home to showing it to screening tenants, signing a lease, responding to maintenance, and keeping up with the accounting. Or, do you prefer to be more of a passive investor who makes the big decisions but leaves the day-to-day work to professionals?

There’s a difference between a hands-off landlord and one who wants to make it a full-time job. Before you can rent out a property, you need to decide what type of landlord you want to be. 

Evolving into a Hands-Off Landlord in Charleston

Talk to experienced investors, and they’ll tell you that the answer is pretty simple. You want to be hands-off as much as possible. 

Your success with any Charleston rental property – whether it’s a single home or a collection of multi-family units – depends on your ability to step back from the operations. Even if you want to be part of the process, you need to trust your property managers and the other professionals you’re working with. We have the experience, the resources, and the systems to take the lead on what needs to be done. 

You have better uses for your time. 

Most of the investors and landlords we talk to aren’t renting out a property because they want a second job. For most owners, the goal is to earn income every month and leverage equity and appreciation as time goes on. 

A successful hands-off landlord in Charleston understands the importance of professional partnerships and treating the rental property like a business.

Here are some strategies for being more hands-off.

Develop Your Investment Goals with a Hands-Off Approach

Every successful investor creates a set of investment goals that helps to drive the direction they take in real estate. You won’t know what success looks like if you haven’t established your own investment goals. 

The reasons you have for investing are unique to you. It’s important that you understand why. Why are you investing? What do you hope to earn in cash flow and appreciation? Will you hold this property for one year or 10? What is your exit plan?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you focus on becoming more hands-off as a landlord and investor. You’ll understand that to reach your goals, you’ll need the support of professionals like property managers. 

If you have not set your own investment goals, do so with the intention that you’ll not micro-manage every part of the leasing, management, and maintenance processes. There are better uses for your time and skill.  

Remember You’re Running a Business

When you rent out property – even one property – you’re essentially owning and operating a small business. 

Real estate can easily become emotional, especially when your bid isn’t accepted on a new acquisition or your tenant isn’t paying rent on time. It’s easy to take these things personally, even if you’re an experienced investor. You might feel the need to exert more control when things don’t go the way you planned or wanted. 

Instead, take a step back and put some distance between you and your problem. 

Detach yourself from the property. It’s not your home that you’re living in. It’s an investment. It’s a business. 

Every decision you make needs to be based on data and facts, not emotions. Handing over most of the process to your Charleston property management partners will make everything more manageable. 

You Don’t Have to Call Yourself a Landlord

If you want to be hands-off, consider changing your language. Are you a landlord or an investor?

Landlords must:

  • Deal with tenant complaints
  • Collect rent
  • Show vacant homes
  • Coordinate maintenance
  • Stay up to date with rental laws
  • Manage rental property accounting

Is this the work you want to do? 

Instead of being a landlord, think of yourself as a real estate investor. None of the successful investors we work with are worried about security deposit mistakes and plumbing issues. Instead, they’re reviewing their earnings and leaving the operational work to us.

Landlords do everything themselves. If you’re a landlord, you’re marketing the property and screening residents. You’re managing showings and negotiating lease agreements. You have to maintain the home and respond to tenant issues and conduct routine inspections. You have to collect rent and figure out what to do if it’s late. You have to know the rental laws and ensure you comply with them. 

All of this hands-on work takes time and knowledge. It’s better to be hands-off, where you can spend your time doing the things you do best. Property management is what we do best. 

Help yourself transition out of the hands-on landlord mindset to the hands-off investor mindset. It’s the difference between feeling like you have a second job and enjoying passive income. 

Rely On Your Charleston Property Management Professionals

Partner with Property ManagerWhen you partner with professional and experienced Charleston property managers, you don’t have to be hands-on with your rental property. You know that it’s already getting the attention and the service it needs. A good property manager will take care of every part of the leasing process. We’ll keep up with ongoing management tasks and we’ll respond to maintenance. We can handle lease renewals and mediate disputes and conflicts. 

To be a successful investor in Charleston, let your professional property managers do what you hired them to do. Put together a smart team of experienced professionals to give you advice, resources, and support. The most important thing to remember is that you’re running a business. You don’t need to be hands-on.

We’d love to help you reach your goals and take a more passive approach to your Charleston real estate investments. Please contact us at Meridian Residential Group.

Meridian Residential Group in North Charleston provides both single-family and multi-family property management in the Charleston, SC area, including in North Charleston, Summerville, Goose Creek, and Moncks Corner, among other cities.