Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, renting out overseas property has already become somewhat common, and it’s only going to get more common.
The change so far can be attributed to the general travel restrictions leaving property owners temporarily stuck in countries they didn’t intend to occupy for so long, requiring them to manage their property from afar.
And the further change over the horizon will stem from the prevalence of remote working making it so much more viable for people to visit and purchase property in other countries. Once efforts to contain COVID-19 have proven sufficiently effective to resume previous levels of air travel, we’re going to see renewed interest in seeing the world.
Due to this, knowing how to manage a rental property you can’t easily visit in person is set to be a valuable skill for ambitious property owners.
In this post, we’re going to run through some core tips for getting it done. Let’s get started.
Lean on IoT technology for oversight
A huge advantage of living in this time of technological wonders is that there are so many things you can now achieve online, and many are specifically relevant to property owners. You can view houses and surrounding areas online.
You can consult a professional, such as a mortgage broker, online. You can list your property for rent online (even without an intermediary service if you prefer).
But it isn’t those things that matter here: it’s the tools that allow ongoing management of your property, and it’s for that reason that we need to look to IoT (internet of things) services.
Using IoT technology, you can remotely monitor and control things like property temperature, resource use, and security cameras. Should you be adjusting these things while there are renters around? No — but you can make those systems available to the renters, and use them between rentals to lower costs and help to keep your property safe.
Set clear lines of communication
When you take responsibility for managing an overseas property, you need to decide how you’re going to support renters. After all, you have various implicit or explicit obligations. If a pipe bursts or the electricity board develops a fault, the onus is on you to arrange a repair in a timely fashion — and being in a different time zone won’t be a viable excuse.
Accordingly, you should establish clear lines of communication before you rent out such a property. Make it clear how you can be reached, at what times you can be reached, and how quickly you can guarantee a response.
You’ll need to give some ground (you can’t reasonably expect renters to wait until midday for you if it’s early morning for them), but you should be able to find a reasonable arrangement that works for everyone.
Hire someone local to represent you
As much as you can achieve through the internet, there will always be tasks that don’t quite warrant the immediate hiring of plumbers, electricians, or other such workers. Issue inspection is one such task.
Suppose that renters claim that there’s a dangerous issue with your circuitry, but provide photos that aren’t very convincing. Sending out an electrician just to inspect things only to find no issue would be needlessly costly — so what’s the alternative?
Well, if you hire a general assistant who lives near the property, you can use them to check out such issues at a much lower cost. It can get complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. They can take high-quality photos to show you, and even liaise with local workers on your behalf if you’re otherwise occupied. You could hire a local property manager outright (more expensive, but more useful), but it may be unnecessary.
Using these tips, you should be able to capably manage a rental property from overseas. It isn’t the ideal arrangement, but it’s more workable than many think. Good luck.