Although a property manager is not a necessity for the owner of every rental property, the truth is that the combination of the right landlord with a competent and able property manager can really be a very helpful and rewarding experience. If you are considering such a coupling, the nine questions that follow can be a great help in coming to a determination on the best property management.
1) Is The Rental Property Involved Near To Your Home?
The fact of the matter is that the further away from your home that the rental property is, the more difficult it is to manage properly. For example, if you reside in New York and the rental property is located in Florida, things like maintenance issues, tenant complaints and even making certain the rent is collected on time are big concerns best handled by efficient property managers. In the long run, they are going to make certain everything is properly taken care of and can actually be saving you money at the same time!
2) Exactly How Many Units Do You Actually Own?
It goes without saying that your responsibilities increase along with the number of units that you own. The more tenants involved, the more complaints, maintenance concerns and of course, vacancies that will occur. And should your units be spread over a variety of different locations, you will be spending a great deal of time traveling to them to deal with the issues of the properties concerned.
3) Just What Experience Do You Have In Handling Property Management?
You should keep in mind that if you are seeking to invest in the real estate market and do not have any experience in the field of property management, seeking out competent property managers makes the most sense.
The fact of the matter is that taking too long to fill a property, or hiring a repair person to fix a problem which is not competent, will all have a big effect on your potential positive income. And you certainly do not want to have to deal with things like being accused of being a slum lord because proper repairs are not made or being discriminatory because you have no understanding of the Fair Housing laws.
For these and a variety of other reasons, you want to make certain that the property manager you do hire is a competent and able one. Failure to do whatever research is necessary to ensure this is a major mistake and one not to be made!
4) Is Hiring A Property Manager Something You Can Afford To Do?
You have to carefully assess your financial situation before hiring a property manager as there are, of course, costs involved in obtaining one. On average, the costs that a property manager will charge will range between 4% and 10% of the property’s monthly gross income. Typically, the 10% fee applies to a single-family rental property while those instances where the property is ten units or greater will garner a fee somewhere in the 4% – 7% range.
You should also be aware that many Mesa property management companies also charge a fee for placement of a tenant in a vacant property and this may range from a few hundred dollars up t a full months rent.
5) Do You Currently Have Sufficient Time To Manage Your Property In A Competent Fashion?
If you are investing in property while you are holding down a full-time job and do not have the time to devote to the attention to the property that it requires, hiring a good property manager is truly a priority. Always remember that managing a property takes time and time is money. If managing the property is going to interfere with making money on your job, or if it is going to restrict you from investigating and moving onto other ventures that can benefit you, locating and employing an able property manager makes so much sense!
6) Are You Willing And Able To Cede Control?
The scope of what the property manager does can range from everything from the collection of the rents due to the filing of the taxes on the property. Do you have it inside you to give that control over to someone else? And even though they do have the necessary experience and proper certification to carry out these matters, is their passion for the investment as intense as yours?
7) Are You Willing To Accept The Potential Liability Of A Manager For Your Property?
You must always be aware that along with their ability to make decisions on your behalf, property managers can also make mistakes on your behalf, and these could be quite costly. Very often the agreements with them contain a “hold harmless” clause that places the responsibility on the owner of the property rather than the manager for instances other than gross negligence.
As an example, let’s say that in the search for tenants, the Fair Housing laws are violated by the property manager and a complaint is lodged. The truth is that you may be held liable even though you did not do this because you are the one who hired the property manager!
8) Do You Have Problems With Your Cash Flow Or A High Vacancy Rate?
Able property managers have good skills locating and screening tenants efficiently to fill the vacancies and they also typically have an extensive list of reliable repair-persons to meet all emergencies. In addition, they will usually have a good grasp of the landlord-tenant laws, and this is so important in reducing the risks of having to deal with a lawsuit.
9) In Dealing With Tenants, Just What Is Your Tolerance Level?
Is the stress of dealing with maintenance issues, complaint, and evictions bothering you and taking its toll? Always remember that the competent property manager is so adept at handling the tenant-landlord conflicts. They are simply great at serving as the buffer or middle-man for all these issues and concerns. And very often, understanding they are dealing with a third party leads the tenant to conduct themselves in a more professional manner!