Additional Property Management Questions
Property Management requires a large commitment of time and effort. We’ve previously written about why you should hire a property manager but we wanted to touch upon some additional questions to ask yourself when you’re deciding whether you want to manage your investment yourself, or hire a company to do it for you. The following questions are designed to help you determine if you should consider hiring a property manager.
- How far do you live from your property?
If you are close, you may be able to make the regular visits required for maintenance, inspections, collections, etc. Otherwise, the further you live the higher your travel time and expenses will be. The larger the distance, the more temptation there is to not keep a close eye on things, and that can be a recipe for disaster. You should plan making monthly scheduled visits, and there is always the potential for a middle of the night emergency call that requires your immediate attention. Does this work for you?
- Are you willing to be on call 24/7/365?
It’s important to answer this question honestly, because when an emergency happens at your property you can’t ignore it. Your special event, important meeting, vacation, or personal crisis doesn’t relieve you of your obligation to your tenant. These emergencies don’t happen all the time, but when they do, you have to be willing to handle them immediately. Can you handle being called at 2 in the morning to handle an emergency?
- How do you deal with stress?
This is a tough one. We all like to think of ourselves as level-headed and even-keeled, but at the end of the day it takes a special kind of person to deal with the ups and downs of property management. Behind the seemingly simple task of collecting rent every month lie several unpredictable problems that can push people to their limits. Ask yourself how you would react in managing the following situations:
- Fights with other tenants/neighbors or domestic disputes
- Conduct of illegal business/ Loud Parties
- Additional unauthorized occupants/pets
- Trashing the property
- HOA Violations
- Non-Rent Payment
4. Are you currently overwhelmed with your property?
Managing rental properties can become quickly overwhelming, even for experienced investors. There is always something going on that requires attention and it takes very little time for things to get out of hand. Hiring a property manager can provide an opportunity to regain control and restore stability to both your properties and even life in general. Another thing to consider is how many rental properties you have. As your portfolio grows so do the management challenges and it becomes easier for things to fall through the cracks.
- How much experience do you have with maintenance and repairs?
If you can’t do it yourself, do you know who to call? Finding reliable handymen and contractors can take a while, and in the meantime, you may unknowingly hire people that are unethical, uninsured, do poor quality work, over charge. Maintenance and repairs are a critical component of property management and if you question your ability to ensure the work is done well and in a timely manner, you might want to consider hiring a property management company.
- How quickly are you able to get your unit rented?
Advertising, answering calls, and showing the unit can take a considerable amount of time, but are critical when trying to rent your property. If you question whether you have the skills or the time to make this happen, or if you have historically had an unacceptably high vacancy rate, you may want to consider hiring a property management company.
- Are you capable of handling the accounting and record keeping for your property?
From owner statements to tax deductions, this area needs special attention and becomes an increasingly larger burden for. Some owners may opt to hire an accountant to help with the bookkeeping. If you feel like this might be a weak point you might want to consider hiring a property management company. Also, from a financial standpoint, your decision to hire or not hire a management company should hinge on whether it is a good fit with your lifestyle and makes sense financially.
- Are you willing to confront tenants about late payments and possibly eviction?
Many new owners dislike feeling like the bad guy and try to be understanding by making exceptions. The problem is that this only invites additional abuses and excuses by tenants. Late payments must be dealt with immediately, and while sometimes a friendly reminder is all that’s needed, other times, it can be a very confrontational process ending in eviction. Running a successful rental business means setting aside your heart and enforcing the rules even it means dealing tough circumstances.
It is our commitment at Caron B Realty to provide our clients and tenants with the highest level of service. We have a wide network of vetted vendors and offer preferred pricing for home maintenance and repair work. We have the skills and resources to market your property to an extensive audience and we achieve significantly reduced vacancy periods. We offer full service accounting and record keeping, with easy access to documents online. We pride ourselves on being available to handle any situation at any time, day or night.
To learn about our property management services, contact our office at (808) 593-9826.