When you buy your first property with the intention of renting it out, it should be exciting. You're embarking on a new journey and one that can be, if done correctly, profitable to you. That's the reason we invest to begin with, right? If you look at a property manager with your first property will depend on a variety of scenarios, including how far you live from the rental property, how involved you want to be, and many other pieces of information that will send you down one of two paths: the landlord and property manager path or the one where you hire a company to manage the property for you.
Let's say you choose the first path. You're excited and you can't wait to get in there and handle everything. Great! Remember that while real estate investment is considered a 'passive income' it really is anything but passive if you're the one managing everything. Once you've bought the property you'll need to make sure it's in shape to rent (this may be fixing it up yourself or hiring professionals to do it, depending how handy you are with repairs and the level of repairing that needs to be done), mange the listing and advertising of the property, properly screen and vet the applicants to find the right one for the property, and then go through the leasing process with them. Now that you've done all that it's time to manage the property. If you're doing it yourself, you'll be the one that the tenants call for every little thing that goes wrong. You may have great tenants that only bother you when there's a real problem, but you may also have rather needy tenants that call you at all hours when their kitchen faucet won't stop dripping.
For one property, this may work for you. You may not mind making yourself available and enjoy taking care of things personally. It depends on the personality type, but if you start buying up more properties and filling them with more tenants, it's likely that you won't have the time to properly and efficiently handle each one, and if you leave tenants without a response for a length of time, you'll have unhappy tenants. Keeping good tenants happy is one of the best ways to keep your property filled and the check in the mail every month. In the end you'll have to make that decision that you looked at when you first bought that property: do it yourself or hire someone? Make sure that you balance more than just the monetary cost for a management company. If you hire the right one, it may just be worth what you save in time and sanity.
BiggerPockets has a great article about the top six reasons why people refuse to hire a management company and an alternate view to those. Check that out here for further reading.
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