Cash flow, along with property appreciation, is the reason you invest in real estate. Rental property is an income generator secured by real property that you own.

There really are no other significant reasons to buy a rental unless you want to holdcash flow tips the property for long term gain and enjoy the positive monthly cash flow that not only pays your mortgage, taxes and insurance but there’s still plenty left over for maintenance costs. Why buy a rental property if you’re in the negative every month? It just doesn’t make sense. So if cash flow is king, you want to squeeze every bit of profit that you possibly can, right? Here are a few small ways to bring in that extra buck.

When you finance a rental and obtain a mortgage, the monthly payments are due on the first of the month, with few variances. You can have your monthly payment auto debited from your checking account or pay it on your own. However, if you make your payments 15 days past the due date, you can be hit with a 5.00 percent penalty on the payment. For a $1,000 principal and interest payment, that’s another $50 deducted from your cash flow.

Take a look at your homeowner’s policy. Can you make any adjustments to your policy that can save you money? Speak with your agent and see how you can lower your premiums by installing smoke detectors or fire extinguishers. Is your deductible palatable? Can you have a higher deductible and reduce your premium?

The next time you get your property tax bill, take some time to see if you’re being offered a fair assessment. You’re provided an opportunity each year to protest your taxes so contact your real estate agent to compare the assessed property value with other properties in your area. If you feel the taxes are too high, document your case and protest your tax bill, lowering your taxes.

And finally, instead of cutting overhead, can you increase the rent? Where does your monthly rent fit in with other rentals in the area? Has it been a while since you’ve had a rate increase? Are your tenants getting too much of a bargain? When finding ways to increase cash flow, sometimes it’s easier just to increase the cash.