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When to Hire a Property Manager

When to Hire a Property Manager

Have you ever watched those DIY shows and thought, “Wow I would love to have a rental property. Buy it cheap, fix it up, get somebody in there, and manage it myself?” Today we’re going to talk about the pros and cons of whether you should manage your property or whether you should hire someone to do it for you.

Just remember there is no right or wrong answer to this question, it all depends on your personal preference, your personality, and your current circumstances. Some people are awesome at it and others, as I’m sure you’ve heard, have all kinds of horror stories. Tenants calling in the middle of the night about broken toilets, or stories about property managers that don’t know what they’re doing and let tenants pay late and do personal work on the property. These are all no-nos. Whether you hire a property manager or do it yourself, you will have to be involved to make sure everything runs smoothly.

The pros of self-managing your property are, you are hands-on, you’re the one collecting the rent. You’d be the one screening the people since the property is yours. You would be the one to call a contractor if anything broke and you’d be the one answering calls, if heaven forbid, something bad happened.

Unfortunately, self-managing a property is not an easy task. It calls for a good amount of commitment and being on site to deal with issues that can arise. It's your job to make sure your tenants pay the rent on time. You must also perform regular inspections. The mistake that a lot of homeowners make when they rent out their home is getting too comfortable and becoming friends with their tenant. This is a no! Your tenant is renting from you, you are their mortgage company. The first month that you let them get away with paying rent late, or if something breaks and you think it’s easier to let them fix it because they happen to be an electrician, painter, these are all things that end up turning sour in the end. It makes it harder down the road to collect rent from them. If you are up front, laying the ground rules, and letting them know what is allowed and what is not, it will be easier on both parties.

The pros of working with a property manager do come at an added cost but the best part for you is that it makes owning a rental property a lot easier. It minimizes the stress that the investor / homeowner can carry. Property managers usually have a great understanding of what to look for in a tenant, and because the property does not belong to them, it’s easier for them to lay the ground rules and to make sure that the tenant follows through with what they want. The property manager will be the one to take all the calls if anything were to break or if there’s an emergency on the property. They will be the ones to contact the handy man to deal with an AC repair or a hot water heater repair. They are the ones that take action against the tenant if the rent is not paid on time. They’re the ones that handle the eviction process and they’re also the ones that collect the monthly rent and the deposit on the homeowner's behalf. The property manager takes all the stress away from the homeowner for a fee.

There are cons to having a property manager, however, no matter how professional they are there’s always a chance that they will not manage the property the way you would’ve managed it yourself. For instance, they may be overseeing multiple properties, possibly hiring out for the work. It could also be someone that is overcharging you. There’s always a lot of questions that come with hiring a property manager, and we have an article on things that you can look for when hiring a property manager. It’s a great reference to asking the right questions during the hiring process. The more you know the more questions you can ask, and the better decision you can make.

In the end, no one is going to care about your property as much as you do. The ideal situation is to find a property management company that has the same standard as you do. Remember, we’re not looking for another job. We want our money out there working for us. Keep in mind that a property management company will never have a vetted interest like you as a homeowner does. They are just doing a job that they’ve been hired to do. It’s imperative to set the right standard for your property manager and lay the ground rules with them as well, let them know what you expect out of them.

You will have to stay on top of them to make sure that things are being done the way you want them done in the beginning. If they don’t meet that standard, don’t feel bad about going out there and finding someone that does. Remember, this is about your money, making money. Ask yourself if your time is better spent on another deal? Getting a property manager may be the right choice for you, remember this isn’t a one size fits all. Know what your needs are and follow your heart.

Areas of Review

Big picture takeaway points

Big picture takeaway points

  1. Only you can decide if you want to manage your own property or hire a pro to do it for you.
  2. Managing your property can be a huge commitment.
  3. Hiring a professional can be costly.


Self-reflection questions to think more about the content

  1. What would benefit me? Only you can answer this question as to if you have time and ability to manage a property yourself.
  2. Have I set a standard that I will follow and that my tenants and potential property manager will follow as well?

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