DO I NEED A PROPERTY MANAGER FOR MY RENTAL HOME?
BY PAUL CROWDER
If you own rental property or are considering purchasing one or more investment homes, you may be asking yourself this question, "Do I need a property manager for my rental home?". April and I purchased our first rental in 1999 and made the decision to manage it ourselves. We soon came to the realization that this was no simple task. Here are three essential points that you will want to consider to help you decide.
Your property will likely need some renovations and updating. You're going to have to get bids from contractors, shop for materials, and make decisions while considering cost verses value-added. For a property investor who is just starting out, making the wrong decisions can be costly.
Hiring a property manager who is both knowledgeable and experienced at making these decisions can be a real benefit that can save you a lot of time and money. The property manager you select should be able to advise you.on what and when work should be completed as well as tell you what work is unnecessary. It is important to make sure the property manager has a network of reliable, cost effective repairmen and service providers.
Once you get the property closer to rent-ready condition, you'll need to make decisions on marketing and finding new tenants. Renting the property when it's vacant is typically the most time consuming and toughest part. It is important that you make sure that you are in compliance with state and federal housing laws throughout the process.
You'll need to place rental ads, respond to emails and phone calls as well as meet with prospects to show property.You will probably have a few no-shows and likely have to show it several times. Then you must review applications, pull credit reports and complete criminal background checks.You will then need to call employment,past landlord and personal references,
Once applicants are selected to be your new tenants, you'll need to prepare a lease, meet with applicants to review the lease and collect deposits.You will then need to meet with the new tenants at the property on move-in day for a walk-through, collection of initial rent payment and to give them keys to their new home. Finally, you'll have to finalize your lease with the previous tenants and resolve the security deposit.
Good property managers are skilled at finding and screening tenants quickly and can handle the process for you. Professional property managers will also have a good understanding of applicable state and federal housing laws.
First and foremost, It is important to always treat your tenants with respect, be attentive to their needs and work to resolve issues fairly with them. If you follow this advice, it should lower the hassle of owning rental properties.
Once tenants have moved in, the day-to-day management begins. Besides collecting rent payments, you'll have to deal with about three to five minor issues per year (like the neighbor's loud music or barking dog). Figure on one or more issues requiring a plumber, electrician or other contractor. You should also be prepared to handle majors issues such as a flood, fire or non-payment of rent by your tenants. Routine maintenance and inspections can often help prevent other more costly issues from occurring.
Hiring an experienced property manager can be the right choice for you if you're super busy with your personal life or if you are not interested in handling the day-to-day management responsibilities. A quality property manager can do a great job for you and help maximize your real estate investments..
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Paul Crowder has more than 15 years experience and is Owner / Manager of Crowder Properties. He has a strong passion for all things real estate with a proven track record of success as a Real Estate Investor, Property Manager and Realtor.