This article is intended to assist you decide if you should consider hiring a property manager.
1. Consider your distance to your property and number of visits you make.
The larger the distance the more chance there is to not keep a close eye on things, and that can result for a disaster. If you are near, you may be able to make the habitual visits required for maintenance, inspections, collections, etc., or else the farther you live the higher your travel time and expenses will be.
2. Your response to stress.
This is a strong one. We all like to think of ourselves as level-headed and even-keeled, but at the end of the day it takes a special kind of person to deal with the ups and downs of property management. Behind the apparently simple task of collecting rent every month lie a number of erratic problems which can push people to their limits.
3. Being in Control
Managing rental properties can become rapidly overwhelmin. There is always something going on which requires attention and it takes very little time for things to get out of hand. Hiring a property manager can provide an opportunity to regain control and restore steadiness to both your properties and possibly life in general.
4. Number of Units and Rentals you have.
Investors with large portfolios stand to reap important benefit by leveraging the efficiencies a property manager can offer. As your portfolio grows, your management challenges grow too and it becomes easier for things to fall through the cracks.
5. Experience when it comes to maintenance and repairs.
Maintenance and repair is a major component of land lording and if you question your skill to make certain the work is done well and in a timely manner, you might want to consider hiring a property management company. Finding dependable handymen and contractors can take a while and in the mean time you may unknowingly hire people that are unscrupulous, do poor quality work, over charge etc.
6. Success rate in getting your unit rented.
If you question whether you have the skills or the time to make this happen, OR if you have historically had an unacceptably high vacancy rate, you may want to consider hiring a property management company. Marketing, making calls, and showing the unit can take a substantial amount of time, but are critical tasks as vacancies will quickly eat into your profit margins.
7. Accounting and Record Keeping.
This area needs special attention and becomes an increasingly larger load for larger portfolios, from profit and loss statements to tax deductions etc. If you feel like this might be a weak point you might want to consider hiring a property management company. Some owners (especially those with a back ground in finance) will do just fine; others may opt to hire an accountant to help with the book keeping.
Your important meeting, special event, vacation, or personal crisis doesn't relieve you of your obligation to your tenant. It’s important to answer this question honestly, because when an emergency happens at your property you can't disregard it. These emergencies don’t happen all the time, but when they do you have to be willing to handle them right away.
9. Confronting Tenants
Late payments must be dealt with without delay, and while sometimes a friendly reminder is all that’s needed, other times, it can be a very challenging process ending in eviction. Running a successful rental business means enforcing the rules even it means evicting anyone who lost his job and won’t be able to pay rent anytime soon.
10. Understanding Laws Governing Land Lording.
Knowledge with contracts is also very vital as your rental agreement is the only binding agreement between you and the tenant. Ensuring the property is run in accordance with the law is serious in both preventing lawsuits and protecting yourself from legal responsibility if you are sued.
11. Your Precious Time.
At the end of the day, your decision to hire or not hire a management company should center on whether or not it is a good fit with your daily life and makes sense financially.