When asking yourself, “Should I hire a property manager?” consider all factors. After all, buying investment properties is one thing; managing your properties is another entirely. It may be tempting to consider taking on the role of property manager for your rental property to keep costs down. However, it’s also important to consider what you gain in convenience by working with an experienced property management company and how that might translate to cost and time savings, ultimately creating more efficiency and keeping your renters happy.
Time and experience
There’s no doubt about it; managing one property yourself comes with time-consuming challenges. They take effort and experience to handle. If time is valuable to you, it may quickly become more affordable to hire a property management company that can efficiently execute time-consuming tasks rather than spend your time learning the ropes and carrying out these tasks yourself.
Remember, the idea of a rental investment property is to maximize profits. Those profits can quickly circle the drain if you calculate your time against the rate of an experienced and efficient property manager. If you could be working (earning money) but instead are working on your rental (not earning money), there’s an opportunity cost.
Coordinating maintenance and repairs
Even the best rental investments require ongoing maintenance as well as surprise repairs. Plus, the wear and tear of rental tenancy take a toll over time. If you have the time and experience to coordinate upkeep so that your investment property remains in perfect working order, the DIY option might be suitable. But most landlords quickly discover that coordinating rental repairs not only includes the time and cost of their labor, but it can become significantly less expensive when you have a manager.
The right property manager has a well-established network of high-quality contractors who can handle any job, including emergencies. That kind of benefit often outweighs the cost of managing an emergency repair on a holiday, especially if you live any distance from the rental unit.
Tenant management is a significant piece of the puzzle for those considering the DIY approach or hiring a professional property manager. Avoiding vacant rentals can seem like a simple, multi-step process, but it’s more involved than most owners realize. Going through the motions of advertising, vetting applicants and prepping the property for a new tenant seems relatively straightforward.
However, finding new tenants who will live quietly, minimize wear and tear, and always pay on time can be a monumental challenge. Qualified property managers already have the means to vet these qualities. In addition, dealing with a bad tenant without overstepping local laws takes experience — something property managers can effortlessly take off your plate.
Your physical distance from the unit may be more convenient if you’re less than a mile away. If your investment property is farther away, it significantly limits your responsiveness and your options. This is particularly true if you rent out a vacation unit where turnover requires more management more often. By involving a property manager, you can essentially be in two places at once. You can live your life and enjoy your holidays while your property manager handles untimely repairs and tenant turnover.
Smart Home Automation
Nothing else benefits all parties involved like smart home automation. Features like smart locks offer safety to renters, easy access for maintenance teams, and convenience for owners and property managers who want to provide access to renters without having to be onsite. Home automation can make life easier for everyone. You can DIY a smart home, but many property managers now offer these features because of their high value. For example, automation that regulates HVAC systems, monitors for water leaks, and controls lighting for efficiency offer various money- and time-saving benefits.
You’ll save money thanks to the early detection of problems. Your property manager can quickly and easily communicate and coordinate with contractors to get things fixed fast. And automation ensures renters have the best possible experience. Those five-star reviews and on-time rental payments are much more likely when renters feel safe, cared for and have a positive, high-tech experience.
So, DIY Management or Rental Management?
There is a lot to consider. The time and experience of a property manager can be invaluable and optimize profits when you calculate the DIY time spent on your investment. Coordinating maintenance and repairs is challenging, especially if you don’t have a network of contractors and relationships that will reliably get the job done, even on holidays. And tenant management is one of the most challenging pieces of the puzzle. Proximity is also a key factor, making a property manager invaluable as a way for you to be in two places at once.
Finally, smart home automation is an increasingly important feature of successful rentals. It benefits the renter, the owner, and the property manager. By choosing to invest in a property manager who utilizes automation features, you’ll ensure the best possible experience for all involved.