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When to Hire a Property Manager

Rental properties come with a myriad of responsibilities that you may not have been prepared for when you started. If rental properties are not your main source of income, you may find that you do not have enough time to manage all of the maintenance and tenants yourself. Here are three main points to think about if you are debating on whether you should hire a property manager for your rental property.

Tools

Managing a rental property requires wearing many hats, and having tools to do each job is critical to the success of the rental. Operating at a larger scale gives property management companies access to tools, technology, and relationships that an individual may not have. A few key areas to think through include:
  • Do you have the tools to screen tenants thoroughly by doing criminal background and credit checks?
  • Are you able to keep up with the accounting side of the rental property? Are you able to easily identify your income vs expenses at the end of the year?
  • Is maintenance difficult for you to keep up with?
  • Are you having trouble finding reliable contractors and vendors?

Training

Not everything in this business is about having the tools, but also using the tools the right way. Do you have the training to manage your rental property in a way that will produce an income and protect you from liability? A property manager in Alabama is required to be a licensed Real Estate Agent, thus guaranteeing a base level of training and certification. Beyond that, a GOOD property manager has most likely gone through additional training specific to handling aspects of rental property including finding good tenants, navigating complaints, best practices on maintenance issues, and most importantly… evictions. If there was one area of training and experience that’s most critical, it’s how to deal with delinquent rent, and knowing the eviction process. By knowing the process you can have a plan in place to get bad tenants out of your property as quickly as possible, and we all know that “time is money.” Experience is a great teacher. If you are a new landlord, you can lean on the experience of a property manager and learn from them so that you can eventually be comfortable handling the needs of your rental.

Time

Lastly, but certainly not least, is our most precious resource… our time! Every owner of rental property needs to ask their self:

1) Do I HAVE the time to handle the needs to the rental?
  • Does my full-time work schedule allow me the time to follow up and coordinate maintenance? Can I field calls and inquiries in the middle of the day while the house is on the market?
2) Do I WANT to spend my time dealing with a rental? The perks of owning rental property come down to having a “Passive Income”. But it’s only passive if you’re not spending your time actively working on it all the time! Is having a rental and self-managing, worth the stress of taking maintenance calls at 8:00pm while you’re at home? Are you willing to drop what you’re doing and show the house on a Saturday instead of being with your family?
If you find yourself doubting whether you have the tools, training or time to manage all the different facets of owning a rental property, then a property manager may be your best solution. You cannot put a price on giving yourself peace of mind knowing that everything at your rental property will be handled in an efficient and timely manner. Whether you work full time or rental properties are your main source of income and it is hard to keep up with the demands of management, in either case a property manager would benefit you greatly.