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Rental Property Investing: Organizing for Success

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One of the most important success factors for any rental property investing business is the ability and willingness to stay organized.  You must be an organized person to manage rental property due to all the moving parts associated with this type of investing activity.  And one of the best ways to remain organized is to buy a large filing cabinet and maintain an effective and efficient filing system.

Here is the filing system I use:

  • Master file for each rental property:

    1. One file for each apartment at that property (contains that unit’s tenant information and documentation, the CO for that unit, and any other unit-specific info).
    2. Property insurance file
    3. Property tax file
    4. Mortgage file
    5. Survey & deed file
    6. Utility file
  • Master expense file – one for each year
  • Acquisition file (HUD-1, closing docs, appraisal, MLS listing, etc.)
  • Bank account file
  • Business entity / LLC file
  • Former tenant file
  • Denied applicant file
  • Landlord forms file
  • Miscellaneous file

Having your “backroom” organized will pay dividends in terms of efficiency, which is very helpful because, as you already know, time is money.  Additionally, an organized and effective filing system will come in handy around tax time, because it will help ensure that you don’t miss out on any of the deductions for which you are legitimately entitled.  Hence, your tax refund will be maximized. 

In the final analysis, if you replicate my filing structure, I guarantee that you will feel more in control of your rental property business than you did before.  The simple knowledge that you will be able to locate any document at the drop of a hat provides a reassuring feeling.  The bottom line is that it is much easier to be successful and maximize your cash flow when you are effectively and efficiently organized.

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