Monday, November 09, 2009

How to keep investment real estate profitable in any economy.

Wherever your real estate investment is located—provided you bought it at the right price and terms—there are many ways to keep your property profitable. If you analyze your real estate, update and improve your investment team, review your long- and short-term investment plans and stay focused on the end result; your real estate portfolio will be a rock solid fortress that can weather any storm.


The first and most important thing is to carefully analyze your portfolio.

  • What properties are doing well?
  • Are there properties that are slowly leaking dollars like a dripping tap?
  • If so how can you fix them?

If you don’t know the hard numbers on your properties, then you are risking everything that you have worked for. Keep your budgets in line and carefully evaluate every purchase and renovation. Once you have a better idea of where you stand, you can start to recession-proof your properties. First, your customers are your tenants, so learn how to keep them happy and decrease vacancies. For example:

  • Provide Internet or free cable
  • Give lease incentives or rewards for rents paid on time, or even the best garden.

Increase your revenue by adding rental units to your properties or other moneymaking add-ons like renting garages separately, extra parking spaces or coin-op laundry facilities. You can also refinance your mortgages with longer amortizations, increase rents where reasonable or rent your properties furnished.

Evolve and involve your team

  • Is your property management up to par?
  • Are you getting discount rates for a big portfolio?
  • If you have few properties are they being managed in a way that will help you grow your portfolio?
  • Are their rates competitive and are they keeping your property in excellent resale condition?

Streamline your team. I don’t mean fire everybody and do it all yourself, but rather make your team out of the best players available in your area. Once you have the all-star team, get their input and advice, use their knowledge and experience to protect and improve your assets and your position in the market. Accountants can help you lower your taxes, lawyers can protect your assets, bookkeepers keep you aware of money liquidity and property management can up the cash output of your investment property.

Be aware

Be aware of longer-term trends and statistics. Don’t get caught up in the moment—especially when making decisions. There are both positive and the negative things that are happening in headlines. Take both sides into account and be realistic as you evaluate what’s really going on. Review your business plan both short-term and the long-term and adjust it as necessary. Don’t knee-jerk react, but also don’t drift back and forth without any solid goal in site. Have multiple investment strategies all with a clear exit in place.

This is not the first economic downturn the world has seen nor will it be the last. What is important is to mind your business and your properties to make them profitable no matter what comes your way.

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