When Should You Hire a Property Manager?
Being a landlord is not only time-consuming but it’s also a role that may require a level of management skill sets and expertise that extend beyond what you as a landlord can offer. So how do you know if it’s in your best interest to invest in a rental property manager or management company to help supervise your income properties? Here are some key indicators:
1. You’re feeling in over your head
Perhaps you were once able to cover all the bases as a landlord when you first launched your real estate investment business, but since your business has grown to multiple that need simultaneous overseeing, you’re feeling overextended. Being a landlord, and a good one, means not only attending to the upkeep of the property itself, but it also requires actively catering to the needs of your tenants. This means open lines of communication, rational and professional receptivity to their needs, consistency in rent due dates and late notices, extensive knowledge of FHA laws as well as local and state regulations, etc.
All of those expectations can be overwhelming to fulfill across multiple properties. Keep in mind that your rental properties and the operation of them is a business and therefore should be prioritized as one.
If you feel yourself starting to flounder in maintaining a smooth-running real estate investment business, it may be time to hire a rental property manager to help you support your endeavors before you end up with dissatisfied tenants.
2. When passive income becomes not so passive
Most people pursue investment opportunities in rental real estate specifically for the purpose of utilizing it as a supplementary stream of income—a side hustle if you will. Later down the line, depending on the profit appreciation and portfolio growth of a given investor, some pursue investment in income properties as their main income source. With that being said, the vast majority of landlords are just managing properties for relatively hands-off cash.
When you’re suddenly spending more time trying to manage your income properties as a landlord than perhaps in your primary career or on other personal commitments, it may be time to get professional help involved.
3. When you need a helping hand that doesn’t supersede you
Depending on your needs, your property management can oversee as much or as little as you want. You’re still in charge, so need to worry about a loss of control. Your income properties are still your business, a property manager is just there to help everything go as planned.
So, what roles exactly do everyday property managers typically superintend? Let’s run just through a couple:
Handle tenant recruitment, pre-screenings, background checks, and placement, so you know who exactly is occupying your property and can preemptively sort out applicants with red flags on their records to mitigate any risk
Properly promote and advertise the house so reach a wider and more comprehensive audience, hopefully filling vacant properties more efficiently and under fast turnaround times
Collecting rent consistently and securely so you don’t have to worry about whether or not a tenant paid that month, and if their payment was on time
Enforce lease parameters so tenants don’t take advantage if they see an opportunity to, also mitigating risk of inconsistent payments of property damage
Make sure you’re not underselling yourself by conducting routine market analyzations and comparisons against other rental properties similar to yours
How to Find Reliable Property Managers in Springfield, Virginia
A quick Google search of property managers in Springfield, Virginia can provide you with the information you need to get in touch with leader management companies in the area. Or, if you’d prefer, reach out to the real estate agent who facilitated the original property purchase for recommendations. Especially if your former agent is local to the area, they should have some treasure trove management options for you to choose from.
When weighing your options, be sure to pay close attention to customer reviews and ask questions. How the property management company advertises itself is one thing, but the past experiences of their former clients are going to give you the most realistic perspective. Further, there is a big difference between what owners say and what tenants say.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! When trusting someone else to represent you through your personal business, you want to be certain that you and your rental property manager are on the same page.
Consider coming up with your top three choices and giving them a call. Here are some questions you might want to ask:
How long have you managed residential income properties?
Do you currently manage any properties nearby? If so, how many? If not, for what reason?
What professional training and certifications do you hold?
Do you have any extracurricular management experience?
Are there any hidden fees to be aware of?
What is your marketing/tenant screening/rental collection process?
Use these questions to sculpt accurate comparable profiles for each of your prospective property management choices and the use the process of elimination to narrow down your scope. Hopefully in doing so, you’ll be able to find a property management partners that agrees with your investment ambitions and helps your income property endeavors reach their full potential.