When you take the leap into investing in real estate, you may automatically assume that you’ll be the head honcho, in charge of all the maintenance requests and other duties that come along with owning properties and having tenants. Although there are definitely personalities out there that can manage their own properties along with their other life responsibilities, a lot of people find property management to be a trickier beast than anticipated.
With that being said, you know yourself better than most. So when you’re juggling multiple properties or looking into purchasing your first investment, ask yourself these questions. Hopefully, by the end of the list, you’ll have a pretty good idea if you can make it successfully (and as stress-free as possible) on your own or if you’ll need some help.
1. How many properties do I own (or plan to own) and where are they?
If you live far away from your properties and you own more than one or two, handling complaints and dealing with issues will definitely pose a bit of a challenge. (It may also leave tenants feeling like you’re harder to reach when/if they have issues.) However, if you’re new to investment properties and live within the same town, then it may be cost effective to manage yourself.
2. Do I have other time-consuming responsibilities?
This may seem like a no-brainer question, but although you may realize the responsibilities that accompany owning multiple rental units, you may not fully realize the scope and time-consuming nature of these responsibilities. You don’t want any of the things that you do on a daily basis to suffer from neglect, whether that’s family life or your career, and you certainly don’t want your first rental experience to fail. So acknowledge your responsibilities and take the best course of action.
3. Am I detail-oriented and organized?
This question is especially important to individuals who own multiple properties. This question of organization also extends into the financial realm—maintaining accurate records is crucial.
4. Do I have any prior knowledge/experience being a landlord?
This question is multifaceted. To be a landlord, you need to be aware and knowledgeable of the (sometimes frequently changing) laws and regulations of the state in which your properties are. But, there’s also the tenant aspect. Will you be able to handle the stress of dealing with complaints, possible evictions, and confronting tenants about overdue rent?
5. How would I handle an issue?
Being a landlord means being on call every day, all day. Although emergencies are rare (we hope), you’ll need to be able to handle the situation, which also means knowing how to handle the situation (from current laws and codes to just figuring out the best plumber in the area). Good property management companies not only know all of these rules, but they also have established relationships with vendors in the area.
Now that you’ve had some time to reflect and contemplate, how are you feeling? If you’re excited and ready to go, then there’s a good chance that you can make it as your own property manager. If you’re feeling a little uncertain or realize that you totally don’t want the headaches that come along with owning property and having tenants, then give Maureen Bryant and her team a call!
(For more reading on property management, check out this blog post and this one!)