Top Reasons to Hire a Property Manager
Being a landlord is not for the faint of heart. While rental property investment can be a rewarding and positive experience, the actual management of both the property and the tenant can quickly turn in to an overwhelming responsibility. Hiring a licensed, professional property manager can be a good solution for rental property owners that are inexperienced, overwhelmed or simply don’t have or don’t want to take the time it takes to manage a rental property successfully. The following list includes reasons to hire a residential property management company and explains why the benefits of hiring a professional far outweigh the costs.
A good residential property manager (PM) or management company can help increase your success and minimize your costs and risks, thereby making things simplified and possibly even more enjoyable for you.
A Good Property Manager Will:
Have Extensive Knowledge on Rental Market, Rates and Property Value
An experienced property manager (PM) will understand and be completely familiar with the local rental market and the ability to determine the highest rental rate possible for your property. Properties that are priced too high will sit empty, while the other properties that are priced appropriately will get rented. Knowledge of rental rates is a critical component to keeping vacancies short-lived and keeping cash flowing. In addition, a knowledgeable PM will be able to quickly provide tips and make recommendations as to what the property needs to increase or maximize rental rates.
Have Property Marketing Expertise
PMs and their extensive network of property advertising and marketing have the know-how to best promote a property both online and offline to maximize exposure. Maximizing exposure helps find tenants faster and that in turn, reduces the cost of a vacant property. Shorter vacancies equals better cash flow.
Find the Best-Qualified Tenants
An experienced PM follows a thorough process for screening and evaluating prospective tenants. The extensive screening process includes checking and verifying rental history, criminal and eviction history, rental references, employment, credit scores and other references as needed. A good, quality tenant that has passed the screening test is the best foundation for a successful rental experience and the relationships that ensue.
Have Knowledge on Federal, State and Local Housing Laws
A licensed, professional PM will be familiar with and in compliance with property laws and regulations locally as well as federally and state-wide. Abiding by these rules and regulations, complying with fair housing regulations, the American with Disabilities Act and other applicable local, state and federal laws will assist property owners in avoiding a law suit. This alone can pay for the management fee many times over.
Have an Extensive Network of Vendors and Other Professionals
A PM that has been in business for awhile will have a vast network of tested suppliers, contractors and vendors that provide reliable, quality work at reasonable prices. Since these professionals have already been vetted, costly mistakes can be avoided. Plus, many of these professionals offer discounts to PM’s because of their repeat business, which many individuals may not be able to negotiate on their own. Using a well-connected professional PM to coordinate repairs and maintenance can save money as well as time.
Efficiently Manage the Day to Day or Month to Month Duties
A good PM will have several efficient processes to manage everything from timely rent collections to routine inspections and financial reporting. A full service residential property management company will take care of several ongoing, repeating responsibilities related to the property. Such services include: timely rent collection, late notices, property inspections, monthly financial reporting, property bill payment, property notices and repair or maintenance coordination. Having efficient systems in place not only reduces problems, but also directly addresses problems if and when they do appear, extremely quickly. Since time is money, saving time in these daily operations ultimately saves money.
Extensively Document Property
PM’s perform property inspections and document the condition of the property before, during and after a tenancy. Problems or issues that are found during inspections can quickly be dealt with prior to the faults turning into expensive items of disrepair. Furthermore, disputes with the tenant between the condition of a property before and after the tenancy in regards to the return of their security deposit are practically eliminated with digital and written documentation. Many individual property owners not familiar with security deposit escrow laws and/or those unversed in property documentation can needlessly become engaged in time-consuming and costly arguments and/or lawsuits.
Maintain and Provide Thorough Accounting Reports
In addition to managing your property’s needs, property management companies will provide financial reports including the property’s income and expenses both on a monthly basis and in a year end report. Some companies will even allow owners to access a portal with live, up to date account information 24 hours a day. Organized and systematic reporting streamlines the process during tax season and having a company that keeps track of all of the financials means that property owners don’t have to spend needless hours gathering information when it is most needed. Additionally, come tax season, most management fees are tax-deductible.
Handle All Requests and Emergency Calls
This is a major reason many people hire property managers. Most people do not want to be on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to handle maintenance or repair requests and they certainly do not want an emergency call in the middle of the night. PM’s take care of all calls, allowing property owners to avoid the emergency calls, the complaints and the requests. Essentially, PM’s will handle all of the headaches of property management for a property owner.
Save Property Owners, Time, Money and Provide Peace of Mind
The bottom line is a great residential property manager or management company that is skilled, experienced, knowledgeable, professional and extensively networked are well prepared to manage rental properties to the property owner’s benefit. They are well-versed in the unique challenges present in the rental world and know how to efficiently manage property by maximizing rents and income for the property owner as well as reduce or limit issues, problems and costs. Ultimately, a residential property manager can save a property owner time and money, as well as provide peace of mind.
If you do decide to hire a property manager, please take the time to interview companies or managers and shop around. Not all residential managers are created equal. Please check out the National Association of Residential Property Managers at the following link: http://www.narpm.org / to find a licensed professional that will abide by Standards of Professionalism, the Code of Ethics and numerous Landlord/Tenant Laws.