Having a good property manager can go a long way in helping become a successful real estate investor. Along with tapping into their expertise surrounding real estate, investors with property managers can allow their managers to resolve issues that they as non professionals can’t deal with. Recent personal experience helped me see that.
For a number of years I’ve owned a single family home that I’ve rented out and use the services of a property manager.
The reasons I choose to have a manager are twofold. One has to do with the fact that the property is located in another state other than the one I live in. The second has to do with my day to day responsibilities and my level of real estate management expertise. I provide financial advice and don’t know the first thing about plumbing, electrical or other repair work. For me a manager makes sense.
The ironic part about my realization is that I was temporarily living in the state I own the property in when I saw the true value of a property manager.
Since purchasing the property, the need for a property manager had not been a big consideration I thought too much about on a daily basis. For 7% of the monthly rent, they collected the payments for me and deposited them into my checking account through direct deposit. Besides that and checking in on the tenants every so often, that was it.
Then one Sunday afternoon after church, my property manager called me to let me know that something happened at the property and we needed to resolve it. This is where their expertise came into play. The reason, again, my background is in financial services and providing advice to people and companies. Not responding to property damage.
In contacting me, the manager not only informed me of the details but looked to get my insurance information and determine which contractors should take on the job of repairing the property. She also worked with the outgoing tenant on a smooth transition. Finally, she worked with the homeowner’s association to make sure they were aware of the details and plans.
Now again, as a professional the manager was able to go out and spend the time and energy resolving what needed to be resolved. This included hours of time and energy that quite frankly I was not ready to take on. Not only that, I could not accurately assess the expertise of the contractors that where coming out to do the work. The manager however was able to do that.
For many real estate investors the decision to have a property manager or not is a difficult one for some and an easy one for others. The important part in the decision making process for any owner is to truly assess their strengths and weaknesses in property management and to make sure they get the right person for the job.