Whether you own one rental property or ten, your bottom line usually depends on your organizational skills. The minute you start to slip on the everyday rental property tasks, like organization for example, there is a good chance your business will start to suffer. Enlisting the services of a property manager should help everything run smoother, if they are good at their job that is. Unfortunately, their services come at a cost. Weighing whether or not this expense makes sense does not solely depend on the size of your portfolio. In some cases, a property manager is a smart move – even if you have just one property. Here are four signs that might point to your need for a property manager:
1. Spending too much time: Time is the most valuable asset you have as an investor, which is certainly the case if you are trying to build a real estate business. If you are spending too much time on a property, either in the commute or dealing with tenants, a property manager makes all too much sense. It is a good idea to track the amount of times you physically go to a property. A 20-30 minute commute a few times a month, can easily result in a few hours spent in your car. That doesn’t even include how much time you spend when you finally arrive at the property. Once you add a few additional properties to the mix, your week can easily be spent dealing with your rental properties. You always need to know everything that is going on with your portfolio, but a property manager will free up valuable time for you to do other things. There has to always be a steady stream of new deals coming in that you can work on. The minute that you become too overwhelmed, your business stops growing. This is when a property manager becomes most attractive.
2. Letting the little things slip: A good landlord is able to respond to issues in a timely fashion. Things that may not seem important to you can mean everything to your tenants. Every time a tenant reaches out to you, it is critical that you handle any issues as quickly as possible. The longer you let them linger, the more they start to lose faith in you. This often leads to your tenants not going the extra mile for you or the property. Instead of treating your home like their own, they will begin to neglect it. They may not inform you of little problems that can quickly turn into big ones. If you let things go too far, they may just stop paying altogether. If you are being pulled in a dozen different directions, a property manager will help you become much more organized. They will take care of finding someone to handle the toilets and broken dishwashers that typically happen in every lease. Your rental portfolio is only as strong as you are. If you take care of your tenants, they will take care of you and the property. Using a property manager will help you protect your asset.
3. Tenants are starting to annoy you: As a landlord, part of your job is dealing with tenants. You have to accept the fact that some tenants may call you with every problem, big and small. If you are starting to get annoyed with these calls, a property manager may be the way to go. The worst thing you can do is avoid these calls. As we said, you are only as good as your tenants. Some of these calls may be unnecessary, but they really only take a few minutes out of your day. If you get so annoyed that it starts to trickle over to every other person you talk to, you need a property manager to act as a buffer. Not only is a property manager the first point of contact for your tenants, but they will let you focus on other areas of greater importance. If you don’t have a property manager, you will end up avoiding calls simply because you do not want to be annoyed.
4. Rental properties frustrate you: Developing a rental portfolio is one of the best ways to accumulate long-term real estate wealth. That being said, it is often not as easy as it looks. By letting difficult tenants or a difficult property situation become frustrating, you may start to avoid rental properties entirely. This is the worst thing you can do. The problem is often not the property, but not having a property manager to run things for you. This is one of the things that they get paid to do. They will handle the annoying phone calls and set up people to work on the property. There will be some times when they will make things so easy for you that you forget you are the landlord. Being a landlord doesn’t have to be difficult or frustrating. If you start to feel overwhelmed, it is time for a property manager.
There are times when you need to look at the big picture and think about what is best for your business. A property manager will cut into your bottom line, but it may help you gain it back in other areas. Working with a property manager may not make sense in every situation, but there are times when it is the best thing you can do.