SHOULD YOU HIRE A PROFESSIONAL PROPERTY MANAGER?
You’ve probably considered managing your own rental property. And who wouldn’t? Passing on management fees saves you money up front. But property managers do much more than collect rent checks, and it’s up to you to decide if those are tasks you can—and want to—handle.
Reasons to Hire a Property Manager
Do you own multiple properties? If so, you should consider hiring a property manager. Running a large portfolio is time-consuming and stressful, but management companies have the staff and resources to juggle a portfolio that will make your life easier.
Living far away from your rental is another reason to hire a local manager. Who wants to drive long distance or fly to meet with contractors, do inspections or collect back rent? Let a management company handle it.
Hiring a property manager also has lifestyle benefits. A landlord’s job is a 24/7 and property issues will inevitably interfere with holidays, weekends and family time. If you prefer not to spend your time on late night calls, screening applicants, or collecting rent, considering hiring a property manager to handle those tasks for you.
Lastly, hire a manager for their knowledge. Work with a professional if you don’t know federal housing laws or how to handle escrow and trust accounts. A simple error like mishandling a security deposit can have dire financial ramifications
What Does a Property Management Company Do for You?
Managing a property takes time – lots of time. If you’re managing your own property, you’ll deal with everything from repairs to contracts. It’s about knowing not just what to do, but also how to do it. With only one house, you won’t get back much return on the time you invest. It’s simply not worth the learning curve of figuring out the legal and business standards for effectively managing a property.
Advice About the Market
The rental market is extremely localized. Home prices and rental rates differ drastically depending on your property’s location and specs. Only real estate agents have the software with the most reliable information on the market. So, if your manager is a real estate agent, they can access the information needed to market your property at the right price.
Sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Movato allow free submission from the public. This skews rates and distorts the information. MLS, however, keeps the public at bay and real estate agents in the business.
Offer Legal Knowledge
After you find the right tenant, you need a proven lease. Otherwise, you can spend weeks deciding what to include and how to address certain issues. In Texas, you’ll want to use the Texas Real Estate Commission Resident (TREC) lease – a contract only licensed managers can use. Use this reliable document, crafted to protect the owner while following the law.
Establish Business Relationships With Tenants
One of the most underappreciated benefits of property managers is the business relationship they maintain with tenants. Managers are used to enforcing contracts and having necessary conversations with tenants. Plus, they understand the lease, so they feel confident handling breaches of contract.
Sometimes owners don’t know how to handle difficult situations. If they’re unsure of their legal rights or the contract specifics, they’re likely to let the tenant get away with offenses.
It can also be difficult for owners to collect fees for late payment or early termination if they become emotionally invested in a tenant. Stories of family illness or hardship often persuade the owner to forgive the debts owed.
A property manager knows what’s fair and legal, and has experience enforcing the policies established in the lease. It’s not a matter of insensitivity. It’s a matter of upholding the agreement.
Provide Proven Systems
How does property management work to everyone’s best interest? Successful management groups have processes in place that make the rental situation better for the owner and for the tenant.
When a tenant is late on rent, breaks the lease, houses unauthorized guests, or damages the property, managers have the systems in place to respond appropriately. They know what to enforce, how to collect, and what legal steps they can take to resolve problems.
Reasons Not to Hire a Property Manager