Being a landlord is an easier job in name than in practice. It can definitely get tiring being constantly on call to answer to any repairs or maintenance issues that could arise at any time of day or night.
Perhaps one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make as a landlord is deciding on whether or not to hire a property manager. It’s not a decision you should make on a whim. There are plenty of reasons for and against hiring a property manager. Before you jump into anything, take a look at our list of pros and cons of hiring a property manager. Weigh in what is right for you and based on your careful judgment and analysis, make the decision that will benefit you as a landlord.
The pros of hiring a property manager
Let’s first look at the pros of hiring a property manager. How can a property manager help you and benefit your investment.
1. Take a load from your shoulders
A property manager is a third party hired to handle the day-to-day operations of the real estate property. This means that you probably won’t get a call at three in the morning with complaints about a leaky faucet. That responsibility will fall onto the property manager.
Your responsibilities won’t go away with a property manager, but it will reduce the amount of work that falls on your shoulders.
2. Accurately pricing the property
While you can set the price yourself, it’s never a bad idea to have a professional analyze the property to fairly and correctly price the property. It’s something you want to be pretty on point with. If you put it down too high, it could just sit there and grow dust on the market. But if you mark it too low, you might not get the value from it’s true worth.
3. Finding a tenant
Everyone’s heard that saying “First appearances can be deceiving.” It could be that you interview who you think is the perfect tenant, but who you later find out has a terrible credit history.
Screening a tenant might actually be the most important job when it comes to renting a property. You want to make sure the background check is done thoroughly to ensure you don’t get stuck with someone who is liable to cause undue trouble.
A property manager’s job is to screen the prospective tenants, do a thorough background check and make sure they pass all of your requirements.
4. Property maintenance
It’s important that the property be up to standards and that regular maintenance is looked after. You’ll definitely be thankful for a property manager when you don’t find out until the next morning that there was an issue with the property that had to be dealt with in the middle of the night. A good property manager will have a list of properly licensed trades that they have agreements with who will take care of the property’s maintenance needs.
5. Rent collection
Rent collection is always a tricky and awkward business. A property manager will have a policy and procedure in place in case a tenant is late paying rent. They’ll know exactly what to do so you won’t have to stress about it.
Cons of hiring a property manager
So far, everything’s looking good and it’s hard to see a downside to hiring a property manager. But we need to give you a full unbiased view of what it would look like hiring a property manager.
1. The cost
A property manager isn’t cheap. They will charge a certain percent of management fee and leasing fee that may conflict with your own personal financial goals. This means that they will demand a cut of your renting income in addition to any other fees that may apply.
2. Less control
You won’t be able to make complete decisions on your own. A property manager has policies and procedures in place that they follow and that you will also be expected to follow.
This also means that you can’t tell the property manager not to rent to certain people as they are obligated to follow the law. You also can’t tell them to not repair something that is broken. They will not look the other way for any small thing.
As a side note, you as a landlord, are also obligated to follow the basic landlord/tenant laws when renting out your property.