Every good landlord needs a dedicated space to manage properties and accommodate tenant needs adequately. A rental office serves as a central location where you can complete everything from making phone calls and meeting tenants to managing finances and storing files.
Without it, staying organized becomes nearly impossible. While renting commercial space may not be feasible, your home could be the ideal place to set up shop.
Whether you use a spare room, the basement, the attic, a guest house, or the garage, there are a few things you’ll need to keep your rental business in order.
A Quiet Space
One of the most significant challenges about setting up a home office is the many distractions. There are so many things that could impede your productivity, from televisions and snacks to kids and pets. While the space for your rental office doesn’t have to be large, it does need to be quiet. Try choosing the room or area in your home that’s furthest away from these distractions.
If you plan on meeting with tenants in your rental office, accessibility is another factor to consider. As you don’t want strangers wandering throughout your home, it is ideal to find an easily accessible space. A guesthouse or garage, for example, is a good choice because they’re detached from the home or have separate entrances. If you have individual access for your basement, an enclosed back porch, or a den near the front door, these would also be ideal places to set up your rental office.
Computer, Desk, and Chair
Trying to complete tasks sitting in an old chair and spare table you find around the house may work for a while, but you’ll find that it’s not comfortable or efficient. At the very least, every rental office needs an efficient computer and a comfortable desk and chair. As you shop for new or used office technology and furniture, be sure to keep factors like quality, comfort, and functionality in mind.
Though technology has made it easier for businesses to reduce their paper consumption, keeping physical files is essential for property owners. There’s a lot of paperwork you’ll need to manage, from leases and contracts to insurance policies and legal documents. Having a place to store these items keeps you from losing your mind when locating them later.
Depending on how many properties you manage and how much paperwork you have, you can opt for a portable file cabinet or a few two or 4-drawer file cabinets. You’ll also want to ensure you have enough hanging file folders, files, and labels.
Printer or Copier
With the creation and management of rental documents comes the need for a high-quality printer, scanner, and copier. As a decent printer could cost you several hundred bucks, you can save yourself time and money by searching for used printers for sale online. You can also save money by looking for all-in-one printers. These are devices capable of printing, faxing, copying, and scanning.
Shelves and Storage
From oversized binders filled with updated property management laws to your favorite career development books and knick-knacks, you’ll need shelving units and storage to keep your things organized. If your workspace is small, you can opt for wall shelves, which are relatively easy to install yourself. However, if you have more space to work with, a few cheap three or 4-shelve bookshelves work just as well.
After acquiring the essentials for your home rental office, the last step is adding some personal touches. Personalization helps to improve your mood, increase productivity, and enhance your brand as a landlord. You can apply paint, hang photographs or artwork, throw down an area rug, plug in some table or standing lamps, incorporate plants, and much more.
Your role as a landlord may not require you to be in the office every day for 8 to 10 hours a day, but you need a designated workspace when it comes to managing your properties. If commercial office space is more than your budget can handle, creating a rental office at home is a practical solution. The above elements can help you turn any room in your home into the perfect base for your business.