If you own up to ten rental properties, you may find that being a DIY landlord is more work than you originally anticipated. We didn’t want late-night phone calls, broken sinks, and constant lock replacements cutting into time better spent focusing on our company. That’s why we hired a property manager to take care of everything for a small fee. Over the years, they have become an essential part of our business strategy. So how can a property manager help you?
A property manager will take on 24-hour responsibilities at all your properties. They can help manage your real-estate accounts, handle tricky tenants, and make sure that you are always up to date on the current laws governing land lording. They will act as the liaison between you and your tenants, and take on daily landlord operations such as maintenance, repairs, and making sure rent is paid on time.
When we first hired a property manager, we asked a lot of questions so that we would know exactly how they could help us.
First, we asked about fees. Some property managers offer flat rates, while others use a tier system. We asked for specifics about the fee structure and the percentage taken from each property. Did they have an in-house lawyer? Was asking legal questions included as part of the management fee?
Next, we asked what type of lease agreement they used and if there was any room for amendments to match our specific needs. Most managers will let you choose the involvement you want to have in taking care of your properties and tenants. Ask them to specify how they handle that in their contract. Would they be willing to manage a property with existing tenants on a prior lease?
Location was important for us, so we asked if they managed rentals in our area and, if so, the average rent of their units in the neighborhood. How many properties did they manage in total?
In terms of daily practices, we were curious to know about their work ethic and the efficacy of their marketing strategy. We also asked questions regarding the specifics of their management style. What day would they pay the rent deposits into our bank account? Did they use a master key system for all their properties? If so, how quickly could they get into a property to change a lock? If a repair were to require a permit, would they be able to get one?
Once you have researched and queried several property managers and management companies, you will quickly be able to see who will be the best fit for you.
Do your research.
Dependability, proactivity, drive, and a forward-thinking attitude are all personal qualities to look for. Most well-respected property managers will take between 8-12% as a management fee. If they are honest, they will be transparent about any additional charges. However, it is always essential to read the fine print before you sign anything.
Another way to ensure you choose wisely is to look up company reviews and testimonials online using Google or Trustpilot. Otherwise, feel confident about asking for a reference.
We think so.
Spending a small portion of our rent each month means we can expand our portfolio without the fear of taking on too many rental units at once. The small amount of rent we spend in the short-term lets us grow exponentially in the long run. In fact, we always calculate the management fee as part of our due diligence process.
If you own several properties and don’t feel you have the time, the emotional commitment, or the financial savviness that it takes to be a full-time landlord, a property manager could be life-changing. If you are working a full-time job, live far away from where your properties are located, or are struggling to keep up with the demands of your tenants, it’s the perfect solution. A property manager can help you regain your life and your time. It’s well worth the fee.
It’s also helpful noting that as the property owner, you can write off management fees on your taxes.
For a list of the top 15 property management companies in Milwaukee, click here.
If you rent out properties and are looking to sell, we can buy the property for cash with the renters in place. We offer a totally seamless transition for you and your tenants. We can even close on your timeline so you don’t feel rushed or worried about deadlines.