Have a complete list of pre-screened vendors programmed into your phone:
- 24 hour electrician
- 24 hour plumber
- eviction attorney
- lawn care
- general repair
- appliance repair
- carpet/floor coverings
- pest control & removal
- temporary landlord to watch the place when you're on vacation
- tax preparer qualified to prepare returns with rental income
You may want to have at least 2 vendors for each category
There are lots of things you have to know. The first thing is that Massachusetts is very pro-tenant so pick your tenants carefully. The number one rule is that an empty apartment is better than an apartment with a bad tenant!
I would also recommend joining a landlord group. There is a group called the Massachusetts Rental Housing Association (MRHA - http://www.massrha.com). If you go to their web site, you will see several local groups that exist. It's a great way of networking and getting educated.
They also sell a book called the Successful Landlord. This is a good book to have to help you.