You probably think of a real estate agent as someone you should call when you want to buy a home or sell a home. Indeed, they can help with these tasks. But if you are a landlord who is looking to rent out a space, you should also call a real estate agent. There are a few things they can do for you to make your life and obligations as a landlord easier.
The changes you should make to a home before renting it out may be different from the changes you might make if you were to sell the home. For example, the home might have worn-out carpet. If you were going to sell the home, you would want to replace that carpet so as to not turn off buyers. If you are planning to rent out the home, on the other hand, you might want to leave the carpet in place so that your renters do not ruin a brand-new carpet. A real estate agent can walk through the home with you and give you guidance on the updates that are worth making and those that are not worth making. They will make these recommendations based on what they know renters are looking for in the area.
It can be really hard to put a price on a rental unit when you cannot go inside and see comparable rentals in the area. If you price the home too high, you may go months without a tenant. If you price the home too low, then you miss out on income. A real estate agent will have been inside a lot of other rentals, and they will also know the local market well. They can give you the ideal price for your rental to maximize income without turning off potential renters.
Perhaps the most valuable thing a real estate agent can do for you is finding you renters. They will show your property to clients of theirs who they know are looking for a new home to rent. They'll also share the news about your rental with other agents in their network. This will take a lot of the pressure off you and will probably help you get the property filled sooner.
Hiring a real estate agent to help you rent your place out is different from hiring a property manager. Once your agent finds you a renter, their work is done, whereas a property manager will continue working with you.
If you need help renting out your home, a real estate agent can be a great resource.