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Tips For Rental Property Investment

Hello, property and potential property owners! Welcome to the RPM Distinguished Care blog, where we provide practical advice about property management! If you’re a return visitor, welcome back. We sincerely appreciate your support! RPM Distinguished Care specializes in managing successful rental properties in and around the Charleston area. We’re here to make your lives easier by giving you the resources you need to maximize profitability and have a successful rental property. We provide comprehensive property management services at every conceivable level. From advertising and marketing, to responding to applications, to inspecting and maintaining properties–there’s nothing we do not do. Further, we ensure tenant compliance, handle necessary evictions, and report directly back to you about revenue and profit potentials. We aim to make owning rental property as easy for you as possible, for as little money as possible. Check out the rest of our site to meet our team and discover what makes RPM Distinguished Care the best property management company in Charleston!


Our last article discussed landlords, property managers, and their responsibilities. Typically, a landlord is someone who owns a rental property, and the property managers act as on-site caretakers. Both landlords and property managers have responsibilities to ensure the safety of both the property and the tenants. We discussed some of the rights and obligations that landlords have, including enabling running water and keeping common areas clean and safe. We also touched on what types of things should be outlined in a lease. If you are interested in learning more about landlords and property managers, we encourage you to check out our last post!


Today, we’ll be talking about rental property investment and some helpful tips for doing so. Investing in rental property is a great way to build your portfolio and earn long-term wealth. However, it can feel difficult if you are unsure where to start, and it can be risky if you don’t know what to look for. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you’re making the right move, so if you’re interested in learning more, you’re in the right place!


Educate yourself


First and foremost, you’re going to want to educate yourself on landlord-tenant laws in the state you want to invest in. For example, The South Carolina Landlord-Tenant Act grants landlords certain rights and obligations, regardless of what the lease says. This includes that landlords must comply with building and housing codes that affect health and safety. (We touched on this in our last post!) You’ll want to thoroughly research these laws and understand them before jumping into an investment. Another thing you should be familiar with is home maintenance. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself: Do you plan on taking care of maintenance issues yourself? If so, are you knowledgeable of issues like carpentry and drywalling? If applicable, do you need a handyman license? Handyman license requirements vary by state. In South Carolina, a handyman does not need a license, but must register with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. You should also familiarize yourself with local zoning requirements and fair housing laws. It is important to do research on these laws to avoid any future disputes. 


Determine Your Goals


What are your goals for this property? This is one of the first things you should think about before investing in any property. Clearly define your short-term and long-term goals, and make sure they are attainable. In most cases, an investor’s goal is to make and increase their profits, but this is easier said than done. Simply saying that you want to turn a profit is too broad– Think more specifically. For example, how many rental properties do you want to attain within the next year? How much of an annual rate of return on your investment would you like to make? Inserting specific numbers and percentages in your goals is a great way to make them more attainable. You can also set monthly goals and quotas. Maybe you want to analyze 10 deals in one day, or talk to 5 new contacts per week. These are specific and measurable goals. Remember: It’s okay to start small.


Know the Numbers


It’s no secret that real estate investment is not cheap. Consider taking out a loan if necessary, but keep in mind real estate investment trusts. Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are companies that own income-producing real estate and allow investors to invest in properties. REITs will pay out most of their taxable income, however, investors are responsible for the income taxes. Keep in mind other possible costs, such as homeowners insurance, landlord insurance, property taxes, landscaping, and maintenance and repairs. It is also important to be aware of unexpected costs. Think about where you will be investing in. Is the area prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes or flooding? There is always the potential for an emergency, so be sure you have money set aside for possible repairs. Before you make an offer on a property, create a list of all of the monthly expenses associated with the property and calculate the return on investment (ROI). This can help you determine whether or not the property is a good investment for you.


Choosing the Right Property


There are a few things to keep in mind when looking at potential properties. Consider and check out the neighborhood to help determine the type of tenants you may attract. Is the property in an affluent neighborhood, or an undesirable area? This could affect property taxes. Take a look at what is around your property– Are there parks, restaurants, or gyms? Properties near these types of amenities can attract more renters. You may also want to visit the neighborhood at different times and speak to the renters in the area. Get their opinion on the neighborhood and their likes and dislikes about rental properties in the area. This can give you an idea of what locals are looking for, and if the neighborhood is worth your investment. Check out other rental properties in the area and see what the average cost of rent is. You’ll want to make sure that the cost of rent will cover your mortgage payment, taxes, and other expenses. Ask around or research if taxes are supposed to increase down the road– If so, the property may not be affordable for you in the future. 


Know When to Hire a Property Manager


Once you invest in a few different properties, you may find it hard to keep up with them all, and that’s okay, as long as you acknowledge this and seek a helping hand. Finding a property management company can take some of the weight off of your shoulders when it comes to maintenance. Typically, property managers can provide a range of services including screening tenants, collecting rent, handling tenant complaints, arranging repairs and other maintenance work, and paying property-related bills. If property investment is not your full-time job, you may not have the time or energy to tend to all of your properties. Another factor to consider is how close you live to your rental properties. If you are too far, it can be more difficult to manage urgent issues that may arise. Property management companies can also give you advice on new potential properties to invest in and help you determine a marketing strategy. Although hiring a property manager adds to your costs, it can be well worth it in the long run, especially since it means less work for you. It is important to research potential property management companies and find an experienced one that is the right fit for you and your properties. 


If you are a landlord or property owner looking for assistance in managing your property, feel free to reach out to us. RPM Distinguished Care specializes in residential property management and offers a range of services including communication, marketing, and advertising, thorough tenant screening and selection, full-service leasing, timely rent collection, regular evaluations, cost-effective and reliable maintenance, strict and compliant evictions, and comprehensive accounting. We utilize an online portal for owners to keep track of their property, including access to reports and financial statements. With over 30 years of experience, we know how to keep your property at its best. We believe in full-service and comprehensive property management. That’s why we take the time to understand each of our clients and help identify their most closely-held goals. Let us give you peace of mind that your property is in good hands. Use our website to request your free assessment and meet with our expert team! Thank you for taking the time to read this article and we hope to hear from you soon! See you next time!


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We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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