Buying property and renting it out to tenants can seem like a profitable investment. However, take note that buying a house and furnishing it are not the only responsibilities of a landlord. To name a few other tasks, you’re in charge of making sure your tenant pays rent on time, major repairs are done, and your tenant isn’t disturbing the other neighbors. In extreme cases, you’re also responsible for evicting unruly tenants, which could get messy.
This can be very difficult to do especially if you’re not familiar with the responsibilities of being a landlord. But this should not deter you from choosing to invest in properties. Instead, consider hiring a property manager if you feel that their services can help you.
What Is a Property Manager?
A property manager is a third-party (either a person or a company) responsible for the day-to-day operations of running a real estate property. Simply put, they’re in charge of the landlord duties that you, as a property owner, cannot or might not want to handle.
Property owners and real estate investors who rent out their properties may not want to deal with certain responsibilities they have to do for their tenants or simply because they live too far away from their property to be an effective landlord.
Property managers often handle apartment complexes, retail malls, and business offices – usually buildings with multiple rent spaces. However, some property management companies handle other types of properties like houses and condominium units for property owners who want all their properties taken care of.
Responsibilities of a Property Manager
A property manager is basically the middle-man for property owners renting out their properties. They handle all the responsibilities so that you can be a hands-off property owner and simply collect the income of your properties. These responsibilities delegated to property managers include:
- Supervising building maintenance and repairs
- Cleaning and repairing/supervising the cleaning and repairing of shared spaces (for apartment complexes, offices, etc.)
- Resolving the complaints and concerns of tenants and their neighbors
- Collecting rent
- Advertising available units, showing them to potential tenants, and leasing them out
- Screening potential tenants to make sure they can pay rent or won’t cause trouble in your property
- Updating the property owner regarding the status of the property
Qualities of a Property Manager
Property managers do not necessarily have to have a college degree or have experience in real estate. However, there are certain qualities that make a good property manager. Ideally, a good property manager must be polite and accommodating to attract tenants and handle any emergency repairs on the property, but they must be assertive when necessary especially when collecting rent on time or dealing with complaints.
It’s not necessary for property managers to live on the property. Property management companies usually have their employees visit the site when necessary, but they usually don’t live there. If you’re hiring a person rather than opting for a company, that property manager will receive a salary. If you choose to let them live on the property so that your tenants have 24/7 access to the property manager, it’s common for property owners to give free or discounted rent for them in the property.
Advantages of Hiring a Property Manager
The biggest advantage to hiring a property manager is the fact that you get to receive income from your property while being a hands-off landlord. The property manager handles all the aspects of renting out property, so you can sit back and watch the rent come in. This is a very helpful service if you live far away from your rental property or if you have multiple rental properties scattered around a city, state, or across the US.
Being hands-off on the property management aspect of renting means you have time to focus on other parts of your investment. Rather than having to deal with all your tenants, you only need to deal with the property manager. If you have a bad tenant that’s causing a problem, it will be your property manager’s headache to deal with.
Disadvantages of Hiring Property Managers
The most noticeable cons, on the other hand, is the fact that you’ll have to pay property managers, so you won’t be getting 100% of the rent your tenants pay. Property managers charge a fee for their services.
The property manager’s fee depends on the manager or company charging: some charge a fixed fee, while others charge a percentage of the rent collected. With at least 80,000 property managers in the United States, it’s up to you to find one that meets your pricing.
Property managers are a good idea if you want to avoid the hassles of becoming a landlord. Simply hire them, and they’ll be in charge of the operations a landlord is supposed to handle. However, if you think you have the time, patience, and qualities to become a landlord and rake in all the rent you’re owed, and you only have a few properties or tenants to handle, then there’s no need to hire one. Ultimately, it’s up to whether you’d rather have higher revenue from your properties or the convenience of being a hands-free landlord.