I am often asked is hiring a property manager really worth the money? My answer is it depends.
The most common tasks associated with property management include collecting the rent, responding to maintenance requests and handling all of the paperwork such as the lease and disclosures. Although these duties are valuable, I don't believe they are the most valuable services a property manager has to offer. In fact, I think the 3 MOST VALUABLE services a good manager can offer are often overlooked. So what are they?
The 3 most valuable services a property manager can provide you are:
1. Act as a neutral party between owner and the tenant.
2. Save you time.
3. Protect your privacy and your property.
Why? Because when it comes down to it property management is less about managing the property and more about managing people. Sure, the property has its requirements, but the property doesn't clog the toilet or beg to have a late fee waived. PEOPLE DO. Situations involving tenant relations is where a property manager can really shine.
Reason # 1
If you decide to manage the property on your own and deal directly with the tenant they will always know you have complete control and final say over enforcement of your end of the lease. When the tenancy is peachy-keen and everyone is happy this isn't a problem, but the moment the rent comes in late is where the rubber meets the road and things can get rocky. So there you are, it's the 5th of the month and still with no rent. As part of the lease a late fee is now due and so you send a notice to notify the tenant of the late fee being assessed. Next thing you know you get a call from your tenant and they want YOU to make an exception. They tell you they've been a great tenant, they always pay the rent on time, they've been a good neighbor and that they have even done maintenance around the house. Now you have two options, make an exception which would set a new tone for the relationship and may encourage future bad behavior, or stick to your guns and turn your good relationship with your tenant sour. Remember the tenant knows you have final say and will take your decision to not be flexible personally. Suddenly you're no longer on their nice list and they won't be going the extra mile for you in the future. Either way you go, you loose. This is where having a property manager can be great. The manager can politely tell the tenant it is their job to enforce the lease and although they wish they could give the tenant a break, they have to comply with fair housing laws and treat everyone the same. The tenant may not be happy with the outcome, but it is a lot easier for someone to understand another person "just doing their job" than a landlord they perceive as being greedy and ungrateful.
Reason # 2
It may not seem like it, but managing a property can be a time intensive task. Collecting the rent requires you to keep a record and make a trip to the bank. Maintenance requires you spend time building good relationships with contractors in the area, scheduling maintenance, doing follow ups to make sure the work is complete and paying the invoices. Individually these things may not seem like much, but together they can eat away a lot of valuable time you could be spending with friends and family. Instead of handling it all yourself you could hire a property manager to take over these duties and regain the most valuable asset you have, time.
Reason # 3
In this day in age privacy is priceless. The last thing you want is a disgruntled tenant showing up at your home during dinner because they are unhappy about a fee they've been assessed. By hiring a property manager you can prevent this situation from arising. Instead of you, the manager will be in charge of collecting the rent and all related charges. By having a manager they can shield you from unpleasant experiences with your tenant and provide you with the privacy you deserve.
If you are considering renting your home please ask yourself the following?
1. Do you have good people skills and can you enforce the lease while preserving the relationship?
2. Are you ok with spending the free time you have on your property?
3. Do you value your privacy?
Depending on your answer you may want to consider hiring a property manager in your area.
If you are looking for a property management company in Portland, Oregon please visit us online and we will happily assist you.
Sleep Sound Property Management, Inc.