There are many things required to manage a rental property. Some of the basics of being a landlord are:
- market and advertise the rental
- screen and select tenants
- create and sign leases
- collect rent
- maintenance issues with the home
- perform evictions
- accurately account all income & expenses
These tasks require financial knowledge, handy-man skills, customer service, and the ability to understand laws and regulations.If you have these, or can learn them, then there is only one other thing you need – time. Being a landlord requires time.
A landlord has to make-ready and show units to potential tenants. They need to review and sign leases. They have to answer calls, any day and at any time, about leaking faucets or broken appliances. If you haven’t found a tenant before your vacation, then it will sit vacant (and not earning rent) until you get back. You may miss your daughter’s soccer game on Saturday because the dishwasher has overflowed and there’s water everywhere in the kitchen.
As a property investor, you need to evaluate what your time is worth. Ten dollars an hour? Fifty? One Hundred? The average landlord will spend over 50 hours per year on each unit to find a tenant and to manage and maintain the property. If you are not able to perform the required tasks, or you deem it not worth your time, it’s time to look for a property manager.
Hire a property manager
While a property manager does cost money, it is normally a minimal amount when you look at the big picture. A property manager would be able to fill your vacancies faster, deal with late night maintenance calls, and utilize their vendor contacts to get you the best pricing on repairs. Most people, when they need an oil change, don’t climb under their car. They take it to a shop and have a professional do it. Even with the high level of technology in today’s cars, it would not be that hard to change your own oil — but, having someone else do it, is worth it for most people because it saves them time and they know that their expensive asset will be maintained correctly.
That’s what a property manager will do for you. Keeping you informed about your home, getting quality tenants and making sure you receive the maximum rental income. Making sure that one of the most valuable things you own is well cared for.