Whether you’re new to real estate renting or someone taking on more rental properties than you can handle, deciding whether or not to hire a property manager is a big deal. Hiring a property manager is essentially handing off all of the landlord duties. While you will ultimately still be in charge of your properties, you’re giving another person permission to be your voice.
What Exactly Does a Property Manager Do?
A property manager performs practically all of the tasks that relate to renting out your property to tenants. A property manager will advertise and show the property to possible tenants. They will also have the responsibility of screening and interviewing renter applications. Once they’ve determined who is the best fit for the property, a property manager will prepare the lease or rental agreement, collect rent and fees every month. A property manager is responsible for managing maintenance and upkeep of your property to keep tenants happy. A property manager will take on the not-so-fun tasks such as addressing tenant issues, pursuing evictions, and implementing rent raises. Overall, a property manager will be a first-hand person who does everything a landlord should do to take care of renters and ensure tenants are happy.
Why Hire a Property Manager?
The biggest reason for hiring a property manager would be to take the weight off of your shoulders as a landlord. Perhaps you’ve taken on too many properties and can’t juggle everything happening. Hiring a landlord can take a huge load of stress off of your shoulders as you are essentially hiring someone to take over as the primary point of contact for renters. On the other hand, maybe you’re a new landlord and you don’t feel comfortable yet taking on all of the responsibilities that come with owning rental properties. If you can afford to hire a property manager to take care of those things for you, do it. Your ultimate responsibility as the landlord is to take care of the property and keep tenants happy and safe. If hiring someone to take on those duties is necessary, by all means- go for it!
Pros to Hiring a Property Manager
The biggest positive to hiring a property manager to represent you and your property is the fact that they take the weight of daily property management tasks off of your shoulders. Now, there are also a few other great pros to hiring a property manager.
Let’s take a look at the positives:
You Are No Longer the First Point of Contact: Congrats! You’re no longer the first point of contact when your landlord needs something in the middle of the night. Let your property manager handle all of the unexpected calls while you act as the backup emergency only contact.
You Don’t Have to Screen Tenant Applications or Hold Interviews: Trying to find the best tenants for your property is a big deal. It’s mentally draining and time consuming. Now you’ll have someone who will take care of this for you. Be sure to give your property manager a checklist of things to tick off as they’re looking for ideal renters. It’s important that you’re both on the same page.
You Don’t Have to File and Maintain Property Paperwork: Similar to sifting through renter applications and properly organizing them, you’ll have the luxury of having your property manager handling the important paperwork coming through for the property.
You Won’t Have to Worry About Property Maintenance or Issues: Your property manager will act as the first point of contact when it comes to property maintenance issues. They will hire who needs to fix what and ensure your tenants that their issues will be completely handled by your property manager.
They’ll Represent You and Your Property in Legal Matters: Whether you’re being sued by a former tenant or you have a renter who regularly gets knocks on the door from law enforcement, your property manager will be able to properly represent you in sticky situations.
Cons to Hiring a Property Manager
Let’s face it- Whether you hire your best friend, brother, or a property manager who has 20 years experience, they are simply not you. Will they use their best judgement to make you happy as their boss? Sure. Will there be a time where they make the wrong decision and you’ll question if you should have hired them? Probably.
Let’s take a look at the negatives:
You Have to Pay for a Great Property Manager: Like most great things in life, hiring a reliable and experienced property manager doesn’t come cheap. You will have to consider how much you’re going to pay them and if this is going to be a full-time gig for someone who is in it for the long haul of your property. You’ll want to hire a face that gives tenants a sense of ease and comfort and they turn to them for anything they need.
The Property Manager Isn’t Taking Care of Their Own Baby: Think about it - There’s a huge difference in taking care of your own kids (if you have them) and taking care of somebody else's. Sure, all kids are cute and fun but ultimately you’re going to take care of your child 100% all of the time only if it were your own. This property isn’t owned by your property manager. They’re doing their job to represent you.. Yes, you will want to hire someone who will act like they’re running everything like you would but in the end, you are the property owner and will care about everything more than anyone.
They Can Only Make Their Best Judgement: Even if your property manager always wanted to make the best decision with you in mind, they physically can’t make the exact decision you would. They're going to need to use their best judgement when it comes time to handle situations that pop up. As the property owner, you’re going to have to let go of the fact that they’re a different person and may make different calls. Communication between a property owner and property manager is key if maintaining a good relationship and positive work environment.
Now that we’ve gone over both the positives and the negatives to hiring a property manager, what do you think? Are you ready to take the leap and put your property in somebody else's hands or do you need more time to solely run your business? Whether you’re ready to make the leap or not, take some time to step back and consider what would be best for you, your property, and the welfare of your clients. Hiring a reliable property manager at the right time in your business venture as a rental property owner can be a wonderful thing for your sanity and future as a business owner.
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About the author
Ashley Orlowski is the Digital Marketing Analyst for VerticalRent. She has a passion for writing with both landlords and renters in mind. She strongly believes enrolling and utilizing VerticalRent and VerticalRent Community can greatly benefit all parties involed and help encourgage better landlord/renter dynamics and stronger roommate relationships.