While every investor’s situation is different, there are certain scenarios and factors that typically pre-dispose owners to hire a property manager as opposed to handling the rental and maintenance process themselves and going it alone. We’ve assembled the list we think are top five considerations in deciding if you should hire a property manager.
1. Are you maximizing your property’s value and income? Keeping your property in top shape and keeping vacancies low are key to maximizing your property value and income stream. Advertising the home/unit, fielding renter calls, and showing the property can take a considerable amount of time but are critical to keeping vacancies low. Maintenance and repairs are another significant component to keeping your property in “rentable condition” to achieve a maximum market rate. Hiring a property manager assures you that the skills, knowledge, and time commitment are in place to keep your property producing.
2. What is your time worth? Behind the seemingly simple task of collecting rent every month lie a number of unpredictable problems that can push people to their limits of time, knowledge and stress. Ask yourself if your time is better invested focusing on your job, family, or perhaps even enjoying retirement.
3. How far do you live from your rental property? The larger the distance you live from your rental property (or if you spend a lot of time on the road traveling) the more difficult it will be for you to keep a close eye and finger on the pulse of your property. In the long run, personally handling your own property from afar as an absentee owner will likely prove infeasible.
4. How many rental properties or units do you own? As your real estate portfolio grows so do property management challenges and it becomes easier for things to fall through the cracks. Hiring a property manager can provide an opportunity to regain control and restore stability to both your investment properties and life in general.
5. Are you protected by your contracts, insurance, and record keeping? Aside from managing the physical property and tenants “in the field”, each property also needs special attention and tracking “in the office.” From being protected legally in the case of a bad tenant, to being assured your insurance provides adequate coverage, to having accurate income and tax records at your fingertips, there are many critical back office aspects of being a landlord. Experienced property managers are experts in all of these aspects and can provide you with the peace of mind that your property is not a liability or problem waiting to happen. Ultimately, it’s your decision but we believe that professional property management is the only way to go.