Real estate is an excellent investment opportunity both in terms of long-range growth in value as well as income from tenants in a rental property. However, there may be periods where no one is living at your property. This can be a frightening time for the owner. When a house is vacant, it is the most susceptible to vandalism, theft and illegal entry. There are several things that you as a landlord can do to protect your investment.

Install Alarms to Protect Your Vacant Investment Property from Theft and Vandalism

When someone tries to break into your property, you want something in place to scare them away. A loud alarm will send thieves running, especially if your property is in the vicinity of other homes. Modern home alarm systems can also be part of a larger security system that is monitored by a security company. They can notify the police when they detect an intruder. They also can notify you so that you can be aware of what is happening.

Install Security Cameras to Protect Your Vacant Investment Property from Theft and Vandalism

No one wants to be caught on video doing something illegal. Security cameras placed in prominent places will act as a deterrent, letting people know that someone is watching the property even though no one is home. Some of the most ubiquitous cameras on the market are motion-activated, so you don’t need massive hard drives to record thousands of hours of boring or useless footage. This footage can also be used as evidence in police investigations, which can help you recover stolen property.

Install Security Lighting to Protect Your Vacant Investment Property from Theft and Vandalism

Thieves and vandals want to remain anonymous. They want to sneak in and out of your property with no one knowing it. Motion-activated flood lights will expose bad actors as they come too close to your property. In addition, having outdoor lighting that runs on a timer or turns on automatically when it is dark gives the impression that someone is home. New LED light bulbs in these fixtures can burn for many hours before they need to be changed.

Meet the Neighbors to Protect Your Vacant Investment Property from Theft and Vandalism

Get to know the neighborhood around your property. More importantly, get to know the people living in neighboring properties. By developing good relationships, these people can be an extra set of eyes keeping watch over your place. You can let them know when the property is vacant, asking them to check in. You could also give them permission to park a vehicle at the property to give the impression of occupancy.

Mow the Lawn

If your property is going to be vacant for a while, it is important that you keep it properly maintained. In some cases, this is a matter of obeying local regulations about grass length. In terms of security, keeping the grass mowed helps people see that the place is being cared for. Most criminals do not want to enter a home where they think someone might be there. Proper maintenance, such as painting and lawn care, makes the property more attractive to potential tenants as well. Contracting with a local lawn service company to come once a week during the growing season is a small cost to maintain the long-term value of your investment.

Visit the Property Regularly to Protect Your Vacant Investment Property from Theft and Vandalism

The key to preventing criminal activity is to give the appearance of occupancy. There is no substitute for visiting your own property. Not only does this give the impression that someone is using the place, it also gives you the opportunity to address maintenance problems before they become more serious. If the property is near your home, you might try dropping by once a day when it is empty. Since most property crime happens after dark, you, a trusted friend or family member might spend a night or two at the property every week. By having some activity at your investment property, it will not look like an easy target to criminals.

An investment property can increase your wealth, but it is also a serious responsibility. If there is a problem with illegal entry, the property will both decrease in value and be harder to rent. By investing in security and giving the appearance of occupancy, you can discourage theft and vandalism and keep the value of your investment.

It is a lot easier than you think to start investing in real estate. Whether you want to be a landlord, flip homes or simply invest in companies that invest in real estate, there are many ways to get a quality return on your original investment. Join SWFL REIA for more helpful tips on breaking into real estate investment!

Stop making excuses — just get out and do it!

See you at a meeting soon!

The Southwest Florida Real Estate Investment Association is the leading source of SWFL real estate investing events that provide investment education and networking in southwest Florida. We analyze the housing market and foreclosures and provide information, education and networking events in order to build a network and knowledge base for investors and potential investors. Our members include real estate agent, brokers, investors, hedge fund managers, rehabbers, wholesalers and more.

Our SWFL REIA General Meeting is held in Fort Myers where we provide education on hot topics in investing and an opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow investors. You’ll get a chance to ask for advice from successful real estate professionals and even make a few deals on your latest projects.

To become a member, anyone can register as an individual, a couple, or a corporation. Being a member opens the doors for endless networking opportunities, advice from members with decades of experience, new ideas from entrepreneurs, camaraderie with those just beginning, and deals and contracts done in the meeting room. For those interested in Cape Coral rental property investment and/or Fort Myers rental property investment, SWFL REIA will be able to provide a network to help launch a successful investment career.

The SWFL REIA is known and respected as a source of current, actionable and useful information about the housing market in the area that we meet.

We meet twice a month.

Click here for information about the monthly luncheon.  

Click here for information about our nighttime general meeting. 

One of the premier sources for real estate investing networking and education is the SWFL REIA. In the real estate world, the SWFL REIA is different in that they do not do information product sales. Their meetings are focusing on the best ways of investing in real estate by collaborating with other property investors who are sharing their experiences.

We look forward to meeting you at a meeting soon!
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