The Top 9 Reasons You Need a Property Manager
By: Kevin Ortner - Renters Warehouse
So many aspiring landlords have the perception that owning rental property will be much like a dream come true. They’ll sit back and collect the rent—automatically of course—while their tenants take the utmost care of their properties and look after them as though it was their own. Cut to an image of them running off to retire to a beach-side village in the Caribbean, and the tenant continues to occupy the property forever - and ever.
Sadly, a few months into it all, reality comes crashing down and provides the full visual of how things really are. Instead of rent being automatically deposited directly into your account every month, there’s the tenant who stridently refuses to pay. And then there are the three o’clock in the morning phone calls alerting you to the running toilet. And of course, there’s the Herculean task of trying to keep the occupancy rate higher than the vacancy rate.
It’s not too long before the dream of being a landlord is replaced with the question of “How can I escape from this nightmare?”
We know that you're already busy. The last thing you need is another responsibility to add to your already unwieldy to do list. While owning rental property can be an excellent way to generate additional revenue, it's also time-consuming, and very much a hands-on job. Most landlords can expect to easily spend about four hours a week managing a rental!
Luckily there’s a solution: a property manager is a smart way to make life so much easier. For many time-crunched real estate investors, this is what makes owning rental property possible to begin with.
If you’re already a landlord, or considering purchasing rental property, here are nine reasons to support the fact that you need a property manager on your side.
- An End to Pesky “Wake Up” Calls
There’s a problem at the rental property, and as the landlord it’s up to you to fix it. With a property manager on your side, you’ll be able to say goodbye to any late night calls. When a problem arises, the property manager will be able to respond accordingly.
- Supercharged Tenant Sourcing and Screening
Property managers have access to a wide variety of resources that allow them to source tenants quickly, helping you to keep vacancy rates down. In addition, they’re also able to thoroughly screen tenants. They know what to look for and what questions to ask to find top quality candidates.
- Avoid Messy Legal Problems
Keeping up with landlord/tenant law can be time consuming and quite costly if you’re not up to speed. New regulations are constantly coming into effect, and staying out of trouble depends upon complying with these laws. A professional property manager should be experienced with landlord/tenant law and help to navigate the various complexities to make sure you stay on the right side of it.
- Gain a Better Income With Your Properties
As per aRent.com Property Owner and Manager Report survey, a whopping 85 percent of property managers reported raising their rental rates in 2013. An experienced property manager who knows the market is familiar with that sweet spot: the amount of money that can be realistically charged without risking longer vacancy rates.
- Keep an Eye on Your Property Without Having to Watch It
Whether you’re a long-distance landlord or live just down the block, keeping an eye on your property is vital. Having a property manager around means that your home will be checked on routinely. This is especially important during vacancies since empty properties are prime targets for vandals and would-be thieves. A property manager will be able to keep the property well-maintained, helping to give it a lived-in appearance.
- You Can Stop Being the Bad Guy
As a landlord, it’s your job to enforce the terms of the lease. Unfortunately though, this is easier said than done. When a tenant brings in one-too-many dogs, or there’s an issue with smoking indoors, things can get ugly – fast. With the help of a property manager, you don’t have to show up and try to reason with the tenant who’s arguing the merits of turning backyard trees into firewood. Instead, let your property manager take care of it.
- Never Hear “The Check’s In the Mail” Again
The check is always in the mail! As a property owner, you depend on the rent arriving on time each month. When this doesn’t happen, there can be a great amount of time and effort involved in tracking down the rent. Letting late rent payments slide can create a situation where the tenant is able to live in your property rent-free for as long as it takes to evict them. A property manager will be your no-excuses rent collector, and will work to take immediate action if the rent is late. They’ll document all of the steps taken, and remain in compliance with the law.
- No More Dreaded Evictions
Evictions are the absolute worst. There’s a tremendous amount of red tape surrounding the lawful eviction process, and no, changing the locks while the tenant is away just isn’t an option. A good property manager is on the ball, and able to handle evictions for you –quickly, efficiently, and in compliance with state codes and regulations.
- Have the Freedom to Invest in Better Housing Markets
Lastly, property managers make life easier –oh so much easier, in fact that you may be tempted to invest in a few more rental properties. With a property manager, you’ll even be able to invest in properties that are out of town –since you won’t be managing them yourself –it won’t matter where you invest. This allows you to take advantage of more affordable or growing housing markets.
Owning rental property can be a great way to invest –but as you can see, having a property manager can make your life so much easier. If you own rentals, but are feeling overwhelmed –do yourself a favor and look into getting a property manager to take some of the load off. Trust us. You won’t regret it!