Here are some great online resources for residential landlords–whether you’re self-managing your rentals or currently have a property manager:
BiggerPockets.com: Hands-down, this site is what it claims to be–“a complete resource for anyone looking to succeed in real estate investing.” Not for the accidental landlord, this site is for the active investor who owns or is building a rental portfolio (there’s a lot of great stuff for flippers, too!) and seeks answers to any questions about buying and holding rental property.
It’s a membership-based site, but there is a free version landlords can use to access and post on the Landlord & Tenant Forums to network, ask advice of other landlords, and take advantage of totally free education, like “How to Evict a Tenant: The Ultimate Guide” and “Tenant Screening: The Ultimate Guide”. There’s an insane amount of free tools for investors to use in making purchase decisions and landlords managing tenants, as well as opportunities for networking with other landlords as THE social media platform for real estate investors.
NARPM.org: You’ve gotta know when you’re done self-managing and it’s time to hire a professional. The National Association of Residential Property Managers is a great place to start. The association lists member property managers and companies all over the country–many of whom have professional property manager accreditation(s). Just click the site’s “Search Directories” tab to access its Property Managers Search feature, where you put in your city and state and get a list of property managers in your area to start calling and vetting companies.
Zillow.com: The real estate listing site has a mind-blowing “Rentals Resource Center” that offers free access to articles on landlording, webinars, tools and forms, and information on landlord laws such as Fair Housing and Section 8. (Always be sure to consult your individual state’s Landlord & Tenant laws in your respective state code as well, which can be accessed through your state’s bar association.) Added bonus: you can list your available rentals on Zillow, too (it’s not just for home sales).
123Landlord.com: This web-based landlord software from SuiteBlue, Inc. allows for easy management of rent collection and work orders, and has a free version you can use if you only have a few tenants. There are loads of these websites for self-managing landlords, but we’ve heard that this site is one of the most cost-effective and easiest to use. You can also use it to create reports, manage ACH transactions, send forms and letters, and much more. The “Professional” level service starts at $13/mo for 12 tenants.
Fabcogroup.com: Fabco has been helping landlords screen tenants and handle rental collections since 1943. Depending on the number of rentals and tenants you have, you can purchase a membership for about $100/year with an additional per-application fee to screen the tenant’s rental, credit and criminal background prior to approving a rental application. Reports contain 7 years of background information (unless the applicant is a convicted criminal–then the information dates back to the occurrence of the crime).