Owning a rental house is one of the most tempting sources of income around. After all, who wouldn’t want to get paid every month while sitting at home watching TV or working on a new hobby?
But the truth is: rental property management is far from a passive source of income.
From start to finish, there are unforeseen tasks and emergencies that can crop up and make property management a headache. That’s why many landlords decide to hire a professional property manager to handle the everyday details for them.
But what does a property manager do and how can they improve your experience as a landlord?
What Does a Property Manager Do?
There’s a lot more to rental property management than meets the eye.
Here’s a small selection of the things your property manager can handle for you.
1. They list your property.
As a landlord, your primary concern is finding a responsible tenant who will pay their rent on time and leave the place in great condition. But finding that “dream tenant” relies on another important step: listing your property.
Inexperienced (or lazy) property managers might post an ad on Craigslist or put up a yard sign and leave it at that. There’s nothing wrong with those platforms, but finding the perfect tenant is one thing you should never be lazy about.
A good property manager covers all the bases by listing your property on MLS listings, websites, email newsletters, and more.
2. They find your “dream tenant.”
Can you tell the difference between a dream tenant and a nightmare tenant before they move in? Are you able to wait for the perfect family to come along rather than jumping at the first person willing to give you a deposit?
Tenant screening can make all the difference in your experience of being a landlord.
The right property management company knows that a good tenant is worth every second it takes to find them. American Home Team’s 4-point background check looks at employment and rental history, character references, and criminal/credit checks so you can rest at ease with the knowledge that your real estate is in good hands.
3. They handle the finances.
If owning a rental home were as easy as picking up a check every month, no one would need to hire property managers. But because this is real life, things can get a little complicated.
Along with collecting rent, you’ll also have to do the appropriate paperwork (like your taxes) and follow-up on late payments (or even evict tenants as necessary).
A good property manager will collect rent and all the accounting for you. All you need to do is look over the reports.
4. They take care of the maintenance.
As any homeowner knows, all properties need to be repaired and/or upgraded from time to time. And usually, this occurs as a middle-of-the-night, water-is-flooding-the-kitchen emergency.
Instead of your tenants calling you at 3 a.m., a property manager could answer the call, hire a plumber, take care of the maintenance requests, and be the contact person for the the occupants during the entire process.
And even when things are going smoothly, work still needs to get done around the property. Landscaping, pest control, and other routine maintenance doesn’t have to eat into your busy schedule. Plus, we’ll also make sure the property stays HOA-compliant.
5. They’re realtors.
The best property management companies can also help you locate that perfect rental.
There are lots of things to consider when purchasing your first rental (remember, you’re not buying for you, but for renters) and a realtor with property management experience can help you find a home that checks of all the boxes.
And when it’s time to sell, they can help you get the best return on your investment.
At American Home Team Realty, we’re realtors first. We began in real estate in 1998 and have been buying and selling homes ever since.
Why You Need a Property Manager
Sure, you could take the list and take care of your rental properties yourself. But there are a few reasons (five, to be exact) that you’d be better off with a property management company to take care of the details for you.
1. You’ll have an expert team on your side.
Even if you’ve owned investment properties for years, it’s difficult to keep your finger on the pulse of all the real estate trends in your area.
Property managers are familiar with the changing real estate market. They know what home trends renters are looking for. They know how much to charge for rent and which contractors are the best value. They know the basics of real estate law and how to retain tenants.
Above all, they know how to keep things professional and organized.
2. You’ll save time and energy.
Even in the best case scenario, there are checks to collect and lawns to mow.
But those “best case scenarios” don’t last forever.
Sooner or later, you’re bound to have one of those months where the roof is leaking, the HOA is on your back to repair the fence, and the tenants are refusing to pay rent until everything is taken care of.
With a good property management company, you won’t have to deal with any of it.
3. You’ll get better tenants who stay longer.
Rental properties are only a good investment if they’re occupied with responsible tenants. And once you find one, you want them to stay for as long as possible.
Hiring a property manager helps you keep the property in ship-shape condition so that the right tenants never want to leave.
4. You’ll make more money.
Cost is always a factor when deciding whether to hire a professional property manager. But what most people don’t realize is that having a professional management team increases your income.
A property manager can work magic with regular maintenance, dream tenants, and thorough money management, so you’ll be maximizing your income. Well worth the small percentage you’ll be paying.
There’s a reason rental property management companies exist: many landlords start their journey with high hopes but quickly realize the job is more than they can handle.
Hiring a property manager gives you the freedom of a truly passive income.
By marketing the property, finding and screening the applicants, handling the finances, performing maintenance, and being the contact person, your property manager can take the stress out of owning a rental home.