When Should You Hire A Property Management Company
Property owners choose to work through a property management company for many different reasons. For instance, here are some of my own reasons for contracting with a property management company when, several years ago, I decided to relocate my family:
- Distance - I was moving to a new city nearly 8 hours away. I knew I wouldn't be able to be present.
- Tenants - Distance made it difficult to show the property to potential tenants, deal with tenant issues, or to check on how the tenants were caring for my property.
- Time - I did not have the time to travel back and forth to my property, nor the time to find the best solution to problems as they would inevitably arise, nor the time to keep up with legal and social news - both essential tasks in property management - in a city I no longer lived in.
- Expense - When I did the math, it was actually far cheaper to hire a property management company to handle my rental.
- Time is money.
- Traveling a long distance is expensive.
- A mistake in hiring 'sight unseen' by phone a less than honest and/or competent contractor to repair A/C, heating, plumbing, or others issues could cost big bucks.
- Not knowing that the tenants were damaging the property or not being present often enough to do preventive maintenance could also lead to major expenses.
- Not knowing the local market well enough to set the appropriate rental rate could, if too high, leave the place vacant too long, or, if too low, not cover all the real expenses.
- Expertise - I wanted the expertise of a property management company that was local. I wanted the people who managed my property to not only know the unique laws and market within the county where my property was located, but have their finger on the pulse of my particular community. I really liked my neighbors there and didn't want them to have to deal with a 'bad' tenant in my house.
Of course there are other reasons for deciding that it is time to hire a property management company. Maybe some of these describe your circumstance:
- You just don't like or want to manage your property. That's fair. All that goes into successful property management isn't for everyone.
- You have more properties than you have the time, interest, and/or abilities to manage by your self.
- Your current circumstances no longer allow you to continue managing your properties. These circumstances might include a change in your health, the loss of family members who used to help you manage your property(ies), you are traveling more for work or in retirement, you are facing legal issues that will occupy your attention for many months, etc.
- You have several units that require hiring a resident manager, but you don't want to be an employer and deal with payroll, taxes, etc.
- You were recently 'burned' by a 'tenant from hell' and you no longer trust your instincts for discerning people of character and/or the tools needed to screen for those who have sufficient means to pay the rent on time.
- You are not a people person and/or you know that you are too soft-hearted to require tenants to meet their contractual obligations.
- Your significant other is putting pressure on you to either sell your property or to hire a property management company. Maybe you know that the real estate market in your town isn't 'right' quite yet and you need to wait another year. The only realistic option is to hire a property management company or face a relationship melt-down.
- Your tenants have increasingly asked for higher tech options than you want to deal with. They want to pay their rent electronically and be able to contact you wherever you are by text or email. Maybe you only feel comfortable working with conventional checks, paper and pencil ledger books, snail mail or land line communication, but you realize that either you must change, get out of managing properties yourself, or hire someone else who utilizes all the modern tools.
We've heard many reasons why people decide that they need to consider a property management company. Whatever your reasons, we promise to help you find the solution that best serves your circumstance, even if - as in my own circumstance - it is best to refer you to another company in another city or state that will meet your needs there better than we could.