Well, the answer to this question depends on you. The reality is you CAN manage your rental. However, owning a rental is a commitment that takes a lot of time and energy.
If you manage your property correctly, you can benefit financially, but there is a great deal you need to know to handle your property and tenants wisely and lawfully. Consider hiring a property manager in Orange. It will cost you a bit but relieve you of the potential headaches and heartaches that being a landlord can bring.
Let’s walk through the process, step by step.
- Finding good tenants
Some landlords are fortunate enough to have a friend or acquaintance waiting in the wings to rent from them. If you are one of the lucky ones, maybe managing your property will be easy. However, if you have to solicit renters in the newspaper or on the internet, there are several things you need to look out for. As you sort through applications and do interviews, you’ll need to find potential tenants with a good history, both credit-wise and with previous landlords. You will want them to take care of your property and pay rent in a timely fashion. It is vital to vet your potentials carefully. Did you know many scams target landlords? Or groups that intentionally look for ways to throw a discrimination lawsuit at you? Saving yourself from just one lawsuit is worth the cost of hiring a property manager alone. Even more than that, a good property manager has the time and resources to properly vet each potential client, as well as the resources to market your property, ensuring that your rental gets filled quickly and with the right tenants.
- Collecting rent
Are you ready to pick up a check from your tenant every month? Or perhaps you will allow them to mail the check and then be prepared to hear “the check is in the mail” every month? What about bounced checks? Having a property manager to handle rent collection provides a buffer between you and your tenant. They will ensure you get paid in a timely manner and also have the knowledge required to evict a non-paying tenant if that becomes necessary.
- Emergencies and maintenance
You will need to maintain the property and be available for emergencies. Fortunately, a well-maintained home doesn’t often have an emergency, but when it does, expect a call from your tenant. Are you ready to answer that call at 3 am? With a property manager, YOU won’t get that call, and they will. And they will handle the situation, getting everything fixed in a timely and cost-effective manner. Your property manager will also inspect your property periodically to make sure it stays maintained. They will discuss any maintenance that should be done to keep accidents from happening. Because they have relationships with contractors, repairs will be done well and for a reasonable price.
So, while it is possible to manage your property yourself, choosing a good property manager can be a great benefit, one that is well worth the price.
How do you choose a property manager?
First, choose a property manager that knows your area. Unless you own properties in multiple states or counties, a very large property management company might not be for you. Finding a local property manager means they will have intimate knowledge of rental trends in the area and excellent contacts with local contractors for when the need arises.
Second, look for experience and integrity. Meet with potential property managers and make sure you connect with them. Ask them all of your questions, so you enter into a good business relationship – after all, they will be caring for your investment. Check reviews when you can; these and the company’s response to them say a lot about their integrity. As for the experience, a property manager who has been at it for a while will have more connections built up in the community. Again, this helps with finding tenants and working with contractors.
Finally, look for flexibility. Some companies have such hard and fast rules that they won’t bend for anyone. For example, you are an animal lover and want to make your home available to a family with a dog. But the first property management company you interview says they won’t deal with animals, period. But you may find a company that says they don’t rent to pet owners but understands your passion and is willing to work with you. This sounds like a company that understands its clients and would be great to work with.
In summary, it’s genuinely worth the time and investment to find the right property manager to handle your rentals. It will cost you a bit but will save you time and lots of potential headaches. Shop around and find a company you feel comfortable with. When you have them, you won’t regret them.