When Should a Rental Property Owner Consider a Property Manager?
Many rental property owners choose to manage their properties personally, with good results. For others though, successfully managing a rental property can be overwhelming and difficult. For such owners, choosing to hire a professional and experienced property manager like Martin Feinberg is a natural choice.
Below are five things to consider when deciding whether or not hiring a property manager is a good option.
Distance to the Rental Property
It’s usually fairly easy for local rental property owners to visit their properties to conduct inspections, do showings, handle maintenance issues, and deal with tenant problems. For those owners who live farther away from their investments, managing the property will automatically be more difficult. Travel time and cost will go up, and the ability to stay on top of repairs and tenants will go down. Owners should be realistic about their abilities to make sure their properties are being managed well if they live far from them.
Rental property owners need to be honest about their abilities to tolerate the anxiety and stress that comes with being a landlord. While collecting rent sounds simple in theory, owning an investment property actually requires a lot of interpersonal skills and other kinds of knowledge. Rental property owners should ask themselves how they will handle tenant disputes with neighbors and other tenants, violent domestic disputes, illegal businesses being conducted on the property, late night parties, unapproved tenants and pets, property damage, HOA issues, late or nonpayment of rent, or a tenant that decides to sue. How such questions are answered can help illustrate whether hiring a property manage makes sense.
Rental property owners need to ask themselves whether or not they have the time to take on the burdens of property management. Managing a property typically takes a great deal of time and owners that are already overwhelmed with their current responsibilities are ill equipped to handle the added stress of being a landlord.
Number of Properties Owned
While managing one rental property might be doable, adding multiple properties to the business can make things much harder. Most investors with large portfolios positively benefit from utilizing a property manager.
Rental property owners should consider their experience with finding cost-effective, ethical, and efficient contractors. Many experienced property management companies have access to a portfolio of known contractors and maintenance providers and have working relationships with everyone from landscapers to pool inspectors to emergency plumbers. Having access to that kind of information and so many working relationships is one reason that many property owners choose to hire a property management company in the first place.
Property vacancies and marketing efforts typically take up a large amount of time and money for property owners. Extended vacancies cause profit margins to go down and poor marketing also adds up to a lot of wasted money. Owners that need assistance to fill units in a timely manner should consider hiring a property management company.
Many rental property owners don’t understand the level of tax and accounting experience required to manage property rentals. For those owners with a strong background in finance, the problems will likely be doable. For those without such experience, handling profits and losses and other tax questions might be more than expected.
Tenants can need access to a landlord at any moment, day or night. Emergencies happen, even on holidays or when the owner is away on vacation or otherwise unavailable. Property owners need to understand that being a landlord means being accessible to their tenants 24/7. For those owners who know they will not always be able, or want to, respond, hiring a property manager will be necessary.
Being a landlord means being willing to have difficult conversations with tenants. Late payments must be handled immediately, evictions might be necessary, and the need to confront tenants about lease violations cannot be ignored. Owners who feel that they are unsuited for these kinds of conversations should consider a property management company.
Knowledge of Laws and Regulations
It is incredibly important for property owners to ensure that their rental properties are complying with local, state, and federal laws. Ignoring this area will open an owner up to lawsuits. Landlords must also have a basic understanding of contracts and rental clauses to protect from other liabilities. Those not familiar with such laws and protections should use a professional to protect themselves and their assets.