Q: I’ve just bought my first rental property. Do you have any advice for me on renting it out? And, do you have any recommendations for books I should read?

A: Congratulations on purchasing your first rental property. Let me be the first to tell you, making it a financially successful endeavor takes a lot of hard work and plenty of patience.

The most important thing you can do to make your investment successful is to find good quality tenants. There are a lot of ways to do this. But offering a great property at a great rental price will yield tremendous results.

For example, when Carole places an ad to rent her Oakland, California rental property, she puts it on the market at a very competitive rate or even slightly below the going market price. She will typically get dozens of potential renters knocking at her door from a single ad. The last renter she had offered to repaint the unit for her if she would let him sign the lease.

In addition to offering the unit at a competitive price, be sure to follow any local rules or regulations on tenants. You don’t want to run afoul of any local laws.

As far as books go, I like anything by Robert Irwin. I also enjoy reading Robert Shemin’s books, like the Millionaire Real Estate Landlord. For tax information, Nolo Press publishes Every Landlord’s Legal Guide, which I’ve found helpful.

Feb. 3, 2007.