Traveling during the holidays has its pros and cons, but if you don’t plan your trip correctly, there will be a lot more cons than pros. While proper planning can be time-consuming, it’s still worthwhile.Either you’re going to see family that you haven’t seen in a while or you’re taking a vacation to a special place, like Disney World or New York City. Whatever the case may be, you’re going to need a few holiday travel tips to get you through the transportation portion of your trip.If you’re traveling by car, then the first tip is simple. If possible, avoid interstates and major highways that run through medium or large cities. The best example here is I-95. If you plan on driving on I-95 during the holidays, you better be prepared for some downtime. This more so the case in the north than the south. Believe it or not, it’s possible to avoid serious traffic on I-95 in the south. All you need is a little luck, which usually means no accidents or construction. As far as traveling in the north goes, your best bet will be to leave at night. This can cut your trip down by a considerable amount. The only negative is that, other than interstate truckers, the people you find on the interstate at night are not often the best drivers. In some cases, they are either reckless teenagers or drunks. Use caution.When traveling by road, another good tip is to pack your own sandwiches. Having to stop for lunch can really kill your momentum. If you insist on stopping because your legs will need a rest, or some movement, Subway is always a good idea. But choose the right Subway. When they’re in a gas station, they are not as well kept. The vegetables are not as fresh and the meat looks as though it has been sitting out all day. Finding a stand-alone Subway always gives you a better chance of a good meal. And there is always going to be a gas station nearby.If you’re traveling with children, a good way to keep them from whining is to buy a backseat television screen. Trust me; it’s worth the investment. It will also last well beyond your road trip. As far as bathroom breaks go, make sure everyone goes even if they tell you they don’t have to go, but if you’re a parent, you already know this.If you happen to be brave enough to travel by air during the holidays, pay careful attention. First and foremost, get to the airport three hours early. This might sound like a lot of extra time, but when you combine traffic and tight security, it’s actually cutting it close. If you arrive early, sit and read a book or play a game with your kids. Try your best not to bring any carry-on luggage. This can make the difference between a smooth trip and a disaster. If you do bring a carry-on bag, make it small. And when everyone is rushing to leave, take a deep breath and keep reading in your seat. You might be the last one off the plane, but your vacation will begin in an eased state of mind.If you follow these general rules for holiday travel, you will increase your odds of having a successful and memorable trip.
Don’t get freaked out about the term “rental property management”, it sounds threatening but all it really means is:A game plan to keep your rentals headache free, cash flow animal .Does that sound a little better than rental property management?You better believe it does and guess what. Managing rental apartments is simply a matter of having the proper mind set and doing some planning in advance.I don’t care if your talking about one two family property, a six unit property or twenty rental properties, having a game plan for managing your rental units is key!Before I go any further, you should know that I always manage my own rental units. The most I ever had was I believe 42 units comprised of 2-6 unit buildings. I would never have an outside property management company manage my properties. It costs too much, they do a lousy job in my experience and its easy to get ripped off. I knew a roofer who had a gig set up, where he would give a kick back to the guy in charge of getting bids for a property management company!Learning whats involved ahead of time for managing rental houses will save you a lot of time and aggravation.Your rental property management plan has to cover:
Who is going to do the basic maintenance repairs,i.e. clogged sink or toilet, broken facet, doorknob ,window, electrical plug not working, etc. Are you going to do any basic maintenance? If not, you’ll want to find handymen that won’t break the bank. How do you find these guys?
Will you be able to financially handle more severe problem, such as roof leaking, need to replace a hot water tank, need new furnace, vacancies…
How to screen tenants. After all, they are the source of your profit center.
How to manage your tenants so that their personal/financial problems are not your concern.
When someone moves out or you evict someone, who is going to prep the apartment for the next tenant.
Speaking of evictions, do you know how to do one? How much does it cost? How long does it take?
How to adapt the proper mindset for successfully owning rental property.
You have to have a property management plan that works for you. This is key. You see, some people are white collar, some are blue collar, some are hands on, some can’t and don’t want to know how to turn a screw driver, every bodies situation is different. Understanding this and having a system to manage your property will keep your rental property a cash flow animal.Let me rephrase that. Having a property management plan that works for you will keep investing in rental property headache free and running like a well oiled machine.Having your rental units be a cash flow machine is a primarily a function of buying the rental property at the right price. However, even having bought a multifamily house at the right price, you can end your rental property being a cash flow animal without a good property management plan.Remember, a good rental property plan will
Help you find good paying tenants who won’t do much more harm to your apartment than normal wear and tear.
Allow you to charge top rent because your apartment warrants it.
Make sure things get fixed quickly and cost effectively when needed.
Keep your tenants happy, so you don’t have frequent vacancies due to poor property management.
Make owning rental property stress free.
Understanding what a rental management plan should entail and implementing it will make your rental property business enjoyable and successful.