5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Property Manager
As seen in the July 2014 issue of "Apartment Owner Association" magazine, by: Chanda Gunter w/ Real Property Management
Whether you intentionally purchased an investment property or you became an "accidental landlord", be prepared to wear many different hats. Being a landlord isn't for everyone, but the vast majority of home owners are "do-it-yourself" landlords, meaning they take on all the responsibilities of being a property manager. While many are successful, even more struggle with basics like rent collection, maintenance, and evictions. Here are 5 great reasons to hire a property manager so you get can back to enjoying your life.
1. Screening Tenants
The most important step you can take as a landlord is proper screening of a potential tenant. No one wants to expose their neighbors to known criminals and sex offenders, but fewer than half of DIYers check the sex offender database, criminal history, credit, and references every time before renting. Please check with your local legal counsel on local, state, and federal laws and ordinances.
2. Showing the Home
Time is valuable. For each day your property sits vacant, it costs you on average $40 per day. The time you spend all day Saturday and after work hours to show the vacant property is invaluable. Wouldn't you rather be doing something else? Plus it takes time to get a home rent-ready with cleaning, repairs, replacing and cleaning carpet, changing locks, and countless other maintenance projects.
3. Ethics and Legal Issues
Many home owners-turned landlords are not familiar with state and local laws let alone fair housing, evictions, and lease terms. One false move and you are now in the middle of a legal battle. By having a professional property manager on your side, showings and evictions are handled correctly and legally.
4. Rent Collection
Chasing down your tenant every month for a rent check is unnecessary and can be exhausting, especially if you live out of state. A professional property manager should have a system in place to allow for automatic and online payments, as well as tracking of payment history and any other financial transactions between tenant and property owner.
5. Maintaining the Property
Property maintenance is probably the most time consuming and expensive part of being a homeowner. A rental property increases those expenses and time commitments even more because of the potential turnover in the home. Every time a tenant moves in or out there are added expenses such as cleaning, repairs, re-keying locks, marketing and advertising, showing the home, screening, and signing a new lease to just name a few. Maintenance is key to leasing the home and retaining a good tenant.
Hiring a professional property manager is a great way to avoid life interrupting moments like missing your son's big game to fix a leaking toilet, taking off early from work to show the home, or canceling vacation plans because of the financial strain of a non-paying tenant. It's time to take back control of your life, your investment, and your future. Hire a professional property manager like Real Property Management.