The most important words to any real estate investor are “cash flow”.
There are three ways you can improve your cash flow in your Minneapolis duplex: buy a different property, increase rent, or reducing your expenses.
While some landlords tighten their budgets by simply ignoring maintenance items (and ultimately costing themselves more money down the line), there are some things you can do to increase cash flow without creating a deferred maintenance crisis.
Best of all, many of these cost-saving measures are also good for the environment.
What is one of the biggest recurring expenses for most landlords? Utilities.
Let’s start with water. A leaking faucet or running toilet may seem like a small issues, but the extra water usage they create can result in a huge water bill quickly. How can you keep this from happening?
Many landlords fix common plumbing problems before they even begin. Examples include replacing toilet flappers annually whether they need it or not. Some even so go so far as to replace diverters, faucets and shower heads regularly. Low flow toilets and fixtures also help reduce water consumption and bills.
Additional resources may be wasted by having the temperature on your water heater too high, resulting in a higher gas or electric bill than is necessary to provide hot showers for tenants.
One of the most inexpensive and maintenance reducing steps landlords can take to cut costs may be as easy as contacting your local electric utility to purchase LED lightbulbs and take advantage of energy efficiency rebates they offer. LED bulbs use 70-90 percent less energy and last 15 times longer than conventional bulbs, resulting in lower utility bills and maintenance costs.
If you pay for the heat in your building, a programmable thermostat. It is a good idea to put this thermostat either in an inconspicuous space, or inside a locked box to keep tenants from altering your settings.
Many utility companies offer rebates on these items, so you may be able to not only reduce your utility bill by installing them, but your maintenance bill as well!