Using a Property Manager vs. Flying Solo
Whether you are a first time landlord, or a seasoned pro, hiring a professional can ease the burdens of owning a rental property. Depending on your experience, real estate portfolio, and overall objectives, hiring a property manager can relieve stress so you can concentrate on more pressing affairs. Among the many benefits of using a property manager are the following:
- Legalities: Unless you have experience as a property manager, you may be lost when it comes to the specifics of landlord/tenant law. A skilled property manager will have unique knowledge on the legalities of owning and managing property.
- Enforcing the lease: The landlord/tenant relationship is often fragile and fraught with tension. PMs are much better at resolving property issues, especially those regarding late or partially late rent.
- Tenant issues: Heating, snow removal, malfunctioning appliances , plumbing blockages , and other tenant issues can take up a lot of your time. A PM, on the other hand, can tend to these and other tenant dilemmas for you.
- Contractors: An experienced property manager will have connections to local contractors and subcontractors so that maintenance issues can be resolved swiftly and cost-effectively.
- Maintenance and emergencies: Emergencies happen at the most inopportune times. Property managers offer 24 /7 emergency availability so that your tenants’ needs and concerns are always handled promptly—and you are not awoken in the middle of the night to deal with property issues.
- Listing and showing the property: Listing and showing a property can be incredibly time consuming for landlords. A property manager can handle prospective tenants, inquires, no-show appointments, and applications, so that you can concentrate on other projects and investment opportunities.
- Resident selection: As a landlord, you want reliable tenants. Experienced PMs typically have a more rigorous tenant qualification process, which often results in more qualified tenants. They are also more knowledgeable about the red flags that you might miss when selecting a potential tenant.
- Out of state or overseas: Owning and managing property overseas or out of state can be extremely challenging. A local property manager helps resolve these challenges. The PM knows the area and tenant population, is available to address any issues if and when they arise, and ensures the smooth operation of your property.
Benefits of doing it yourself
It rarely makes sense to manage your own properties. Yet there are a few reasons why you might consider doing so:
- Maintain control: Some property owners feel a need to maintain constant control. If you want to be a part of every decision regarding your property, or if you enjoy the process, you may be better off managing your own real estate.
- Saves the management fee: No property manager means no management fee. However, remember that often the management fee can be a deductible expense, so the savings may not be as big as they initially seem. In addition, an experienced property manager can save you time and money by dealing with tenant issues, property maintenance, and other time-consuming tasks.
- Bigger tenant pool: PMs are only looking for quality tenants. If you’re willing to work with applicants who have less than perfect credit or marginal background checks, you may be better off managing your own property.
The pros of hiring a property manager far outweigh the cons. They can handle difficult property issues skillfully so that you save valuable time, increase your property’s revenue stream, and protect your investment.