Whether you're growing tired of late-night calls from your tenants or are just hoping to expand your portfolio of properties, you may be wondering if a property manager can help you streamline your rental process. While not every property needs a property manager, the services these individuals and firms provide can be invaluable for many landlords. Learn more about some questions to ask yourself before hiring a property manager.
Do You Need a Property Manager?
There are a few questions every property owner should ask themselves before they start looking for a property manager.
- How far away are your rental properties?
- How many properties do you have?
- How long have you managed your own properties, and what experience do you have?
- Is your property priced at the market rate?
- How well do you deal with tenants?
- Are you comfortable delegating control of your properties?
Having a property manager can take a lot of hassle and responsibility off your plate, especially if you're managing multiple properties in other states. But this delegation is a double-edged sword; a property manager may not make all the same decisions you would if you were exercising more direct oversight. If you're renting out your second home or family property, you may ultimately be uncomfortable outsourcing the management of this property for fear the property management won't care for it as well as you would.
A property manager can also help you find the "sweet spot" when it comes to rental rates. Renting out a property for a below-market-rate can seem like a good way to avoid turnover, but it presents its own problems. Often, a property manager won't wind up costing you much extra if they're able to build the cost of their fee into the rent. Property managers can also seek out and vet tenants, helping re-rent properties quickly after a lease ends.
What Should You Ask a Property Manager?
If you've decided that the benefits of having a property manager far outweigh the costs, you'll want to look for a property management company with experience and a good reputation in the cities your properties are located in. When interviewing potential property managers, ask questions like:
- What are some examples of tenant problems you've dealt with in the past? How did you handle them?
- How many other properties do you manage?
- Where do you draw the line between handling something yourself and getting the owner's input?
- Can you provide me with references?
These questions should help you get a better feel of how well you'll be able to work with a property manager. Looking to get started? Try a property manager like Kay Rogan: RE/MAX Realty Associates.