Do I Need a Property Manager?
Do I need a property manager is a question we are often asked. If you have rental properties and especially if you are out of state, the answer may just be a resounding YES! Read on to hear real life situations I have encountered and why a property management company is a great fit.
I have spent the last few weeks looking at properties that the owner would like to sell. This has been an unusual couple of weeks in that several of the properties have been owned by landlords who are interested in capitalizing on a hot market. Let’s walk through what I have found just in the last week alone!
Before I ever got out of my vehicle, I was shocked at the lack of lawn maintenance. I don’t mean the grass needed to be cut. I mean I couldn’t see the house for the bushes! No edging, no weeding and certainly no mulch in those flower beds! I also think the yard in both cases had been used for a trash dump!
As I entered both homes, I was hit with a pungent animal smell to set the tone for the rest of the tour. With the smell comes damage to baseboards, window sills, blinds and flooring, all of which came as a surprise to the homeowner. Most of you know I am a lover of dogs and nothing against the dogs, but the tenant had zero control of these babies, nor had the knowledge to eliminate the urine smell! Marks on the walls and dog hair everywhere! Oh and anything the tenant didn’t need anymore was just left behind to be discarded at the owner’s expense.
You might think a tenant would call the homeowner for bathroom or roof leaks? I sure would hope so too, but from what I saw with my own eyes that was not the case! Active bathroom leaks that were rotting the baseboard in one of these beautiful properties! Rotten deck boards were the least of worries here!
Let me settle back down to say these were both beautiful properties that should have been renting for several hundreds of dollars per month. In both cases the owners were out of state and had chosen to forgo paying a property manager because they were renting to a “friend”. And because it was a friend no deposit was collected to help defray these expenses. I do mean expenses to the tune of several thousands of dollars! What is the old saying…” with friends like that who needs enemies?”
Benefits of Hiring a Property Manager
I see this many times in our business so let’s talk about what a property manager can bring to the table for you whether you are local or far away.
- HELPS IN ESTABLISHING COMPETITIVE RENTAL RATES so you are confident your property is performing at top dollar.
- MARKETS THE PROPERTY to the largest pool of renters with platforms available to property managers.
- FINDS GOOD QUALIFIED TENANTS using credit and background checks.
- PREPARES AND MANAGES the documents for the lease to set the tone for the expectations while the tenant is living in the home.
- DOCUMENTS THE CURRENT PROPERTY CONDITION to limit disputes about the condition of the home at move out.
- ENSURES THE TENANT ADHERES to the lease which could include the number of people living in the home, pets and the maintenance of the property.
- HANDLES MAINTENANCE CALLS and coordinates repairs with vetted vendors that are trustworthy. This alone can save hundreds of dollars for the homeowner since typically the vendors give the property managers a better price per hour due to the volume of work they receive.
- REGULARLY INSPECTS THE PROPERTY. At Mercer Hughes Real Estate Group we believe properties should be inspected more than once a year.
- COLLECTS RENTS, manages and disperses funds and collects late fees if needed.
- MANAGES THE EVICTION PROCESS should the tenant fail to pay.
- HANDLES ALL TENANT COMMUNICATION so the homeowner is never contacted by the tenant.
- PAYS VENDORS, RECORDS MAINTENANCE ACTIVITES, and prepares monthly and annual statements and documents for tax filing.
- USES STATE-OF-THE-ART PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE with real-time portals that can be accessed by the owner and the tenants.
I don’t know about you, but I am tired just thinking about all the property manager does! Although there is no set fee for their services you can expect to pay between 8 and 10% of the monthly rent for the management fees.
I own rental properties and I can tell you I gladly pay those fees each month and never miss it! I consider them one of the best investments in my business. I better run! I have more homes to get ready for the market!
Give us a call at Mercer Hughes Real Estate Group and see what we can bring to the table for you and your investments!