Every investor has a unique investment situation and the environment within which they operate varies. Moreover, different factors affect different investors in different ways. The under listed questions are to help you decide if there is a need for you to engage a property manager to take care of you property.
1. What is the distance of your house to the property and how often can you visit the property consistently?
If you are not too far away from your rental property, you can still spare the time to visit the property for the necessary inspections, maintenance, collection of payments and other necessary activities, but if you live so far away from the property, you will incur more expenses and more time visiting the property. Moreover, the longer distance will not permit you to closely monitor the building; this will eventually hindered the effective management of the property. You might schedule your visit to the property to be once in a month and there is the possibility of an emergency situation that demands your immediate response. You eventually have to decide if you can realistically keep up with this in the long run.
2. How do you manage stress? Can you tolerate other people?
This is not so simple, while we all like to think that we are cool-headed, but the fact is dealing with property comes with different kinds of challenges and it takes an individual with a special temperament to successfully carried out this task. Property management is more than collecting rents; it involves inherent and uncertain problems which can push even a cool headed individual off the limit. You should ask yourself what your reaction will be if your tenants:
• Carry out unlawful business within the premises of the property
• Have domestic quarrels
• Fights co-tenants and other neighbors
• Attempts to sneak in other people or animals into the property
• Hold an all-night party in the apartment
• Damage the property
• Decide to charge you to court for whatever reason
• Decline paying up their rent because they consider themselves “a professional tenant” and knows how to make the legal system work for them till they get maximum free accommodation they can extract from you at your expense?
3. Are you currently overwhelmed with your property(s)?
At times, it can be a daunting task to manage property even for the seasoned investors. Something always had to be done, and something is always calling for attention and it only take a second for things to get out of control. Getting a property manager could be the ideal opportunity needed to get things back under control and bring back stability to the property and your life as a whole
4. How many rental properties or units do you have?
As you experienced increase in your portfolio there is an accompanying increase in the management challenge and things can easily go awry. Investors who have large portfolios have more to gain if they fully utilize the many advantage a property manager can bring to the table. The size of a property is another factor that can dissuade investors from buying new properties especially if they have become successful with their current property.
5. What is your level of experience with repairs and maintenance?
If you do not have the ability to carry out the task on your own, do you know who to rely on? Getting dependable skill men and contractors might take some time and you might be unlucky to hired unscrupulous and insured people who have an unsavory track record of substandard work and excessive charging. Carrying out maintenance and periodic repairs is an integral and very important aspect of property management and if for any reason you doubt your ability to successfully perform this function effectively and timely, then you should give engaging a property management firm a thought.
6. How fast can you get your unit leased out?
Placing your units on advertisement, making calls and getting potential occupants to inspect the building can be time consuming but they are important task that must be embark upon since any vacant unit leads to revenue loss for you. If you doubt your ability to get this done or if you have a track record of having high vacant units, it might be a good idea to get a property management firm.
7. Can you effectively handle the account and record of your property?
Your property’s statement of profit and loss and tax deductions is two areas that require special focus and with a larger portfolio, it becomes even a bigger problem. While most owners especially the ones with knowledge of finance will cope. For those without it, they can choose to hire professional accountant to help them handle their books. If you consider yourself to be ill-equipped for the financial burden, hiring a property management firm is the way to go.
8. Are you willing to be on call 7 days a week, 24 hours a day?
You need to provide an honest answer to this question, because if an emergency situation crops up at your property, there is no option for you than to attend to it, other important commitments such as meetings, vacation, and even personal crisis doesn’t free you of your commitment to your occupants. While these emergencies don’t happen so often, when they do happen, you must be ready to face them instantly. Can you cope with being woken up midnight to fix someone’s broken toilet?
9. Can you challenge your tenants about late payments and if necessary kick them out from the property?
A good number of new land lords don’t like looking like the bad guy so they tried to show consideration to their tenants by making concessions. The problem with this is that it encourages further excuses and abuses from the tenants. You need to deal with late payment promptly; at times you only need a kind reminder, on other occasions it demands a more confrontational approach which might eventually result in kicking the tenant out of the property. In sharp contrast to running managing a charity, managing a successful property business implies imposing all the rules, even if you have to send a jobless single mother who has no prospect of paying her rent packing.
10. How conversant are you with tenancy laws?
Making sure that the property is administered according to the law is very important in guarding against unnecessary lawsuits as well as protecting yourself from legal liability in case you are charged. It is also important that you are familiar with law of contract since the only binding agreement between you and the tenant is rental agreement.
11. From the financial perspective, is managing your property worth your time?
Eventually, your decision to either engage a property management firm or not should be based on whether it is financially viable and agrees with your lifestyle. Different investors need to evaluate the merits and demerits of both alternatives depending on their individual environments.