Should I Hire a Property Manager?
If you own property that generates income, you understand managing the property can stress out the most organized rental property owner. Although it appears a do-it-yourself approach makes financial sense, the fact remains you have to devote several hours a day to keep your rental property running smoothly. This brings us to an important question.
What a Property Manager Can Do for You
A property manager is much more than a babysitter who handles maintenance issues for your rental property. In fact, hiring the right company can move the burden of you managing a rental property onto the shoulders of a qualified professional who is trained to run rental properties.
Establish the Correct Rental Rates
You can perform research on Craigslist and other forms of classified advertisements to establish rental rates for your property. However, a professional rental management company will conduct thorough and accurate research to determine the correct rates for every rental unit. The company will find the right balance between maximizing rental income and keeping the lowest possible vacancy rate.
Collecting Rental Income on Time
One of the most frustrating things for a property owner to do involves trying to hunt down tenants to collect monthly rent payments. With a property manager on site at least five days per week, collecting and depositing rental payments on time becomes a stress-free part of owning a property.
Attracting the Right Tenants
An experienced property management company will have developed a proven system for attracting the best tenants. From conducting background checks to acquiring credit reports, your property manager will make sure the type of tenants you attract will pay rent on time and most likely remain tenants for years to come.
Interacting with Tenants
If you have 100 tenants living at your property, you have 1001 reasons why each tenant will contact you. From requesting a quick fix on a toilet to asking you about granting a payment extension, interacting with tenants can take a large chunk out of your days. Hiring a qualified property manager allows you to focus on your full time job or a hobby the you have pursued in retirement.
Effectively Promoting Your Property
With years of experience, a property management company will know how to get the word out about your rental property. From drafting appealing online advertisements to managing customer reviews, a full time property manager can handle all of your marketing efforts. This includes interacting with prospective tenants via social media networks.
Compliance with Government Regulations
As a rental property owner, you have to deal with a long list of government regulations at the local, state, and federal level. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires property owners to install ramps to make access easy for everyone. A property manager can help you navigate the often complicated maze of government regulations.
Affordable Way to Run Your Property
You know that time is money and with a highly rated property management company, you can use more of your time to make more money. Another thing to think about is that by hiring a property manager, you can save money by not wasting it on needless repairs and losing it because of lawsuits. For example, Utopia Management charges a flat 8% comprehensive rate for all residential management services.
What to Consider before Hiring a Property Manager
The first thing that comes to mind when deciding whether to hire a property manager is to consider the number of units you have to manage. You might be able to take care of one building that has 10 units, but it will be impossible to stay on top of your job and manage multiple buildings that hold hundreds of units.
Here are some other factors to consider:
Do You Have Property Management Skills?
Managing a property should not be considered an on the job training project. Just because you are a successful attorney or a business owner does not mean you have the skills to manage one or more rental properties.
Location of the Rental Property
Like most long distance romantic relationships, maintaining a long distance relationship with one or more rental properties will probably not turn out well. What is the rule of thumb for how close you should live near a rental property that you own? Twenty or more miles will make it difficult for you to maintain a healthy management relationship with your tenants. You also have to factor in the time it takes to make a round trip for visiting your rental property.
Struggling to Find Tenants
As we mentioned, finding the right tenants requires the professional skills of an experienced property manager. Even if you have the time required to run a rental property, you might not have the marketing skills to fill all of the vacancies. Empty units equal an empty bank account.
Speaking of Time
Many property owners fell into ownership through a family will or another type of business transaction. The sudden responsibility to manage a rental property can be a shock for someone who works full time in another career. Managing a property is a full time job and if you already have one, then you should consider working with a highly rated property manager.
Owning a rental property can be a lucrative business, if you decide to hire a professional rental property management company.
Peter Evering, a property management and real estate expert, is the Business Development Manager of Utopia Management.
With a hands-on presence throughout California and Nevada, Utopia Management has been providing professional rental property services since 1994, at some of the lowest rates available.