Should You Hire a Property Manager?

Property manager handing keys over to tenant

Rental property owners have a major decision to make. Do you hire a property manager to oversee the day-to-day management of your unit(s), or are you taking on that work yourself? Naturally, there are pros and cons to both solutions, so let’s review each option and help you make the right investment decision.

Benefits of a Property Manager

Hiring a property manager (landlord) or property management company certainly can have its advantages. It frees up your time and energy because you don’t have to deal with all the minutiae of the property. This is especially helpful if you own and manage multiple rental properties or complexes with numerous units. A good property manager will effectively market the listing to find renters, screen tenants, handle routine maintenance and cover a lot of tasks that will take up a lot of your time. Plus, they generally know what they are doing, so they may be able to do it all more efficiently and effectively than you can. The best property management companies can actually pay for themselves with great service, better tenants and minimized vacancy periods between renters.

Property Management Costs

The trade-off to hiring a property manager, property management company or live-in landlord are that you will be paying for their services. This potentially eats into your profitability. If you are already living on a razor-thin profits from a rental property, you may not be able to afford a property manager. Or, hiring a property manager could help you boost profitability. This is where you need to understand all the pros and cons, and crunch all the numbers to see if professional property management is the right direction for you.

Doing it All Yourself

If you aren’t hiring a property manager, then all the responsibilities as a rental property owner will fall on you. You want to keep the unit occupied with quality tenants. This means marketing and effective screening techniques. This means being there when they need you with repairs and ongoing maintenance. You may still opt to hire handymen and repair specialists for certain jobs, but you will be the one coordinating all the work. This can be overwhelming for inexperienced real estate investors and income property owners. They only see the potential dollar signs and neglect to realize just how much works it takes to run a successful rental property. This can lead to financial losses and other frustrations.

Experience Matters

Unless you have a very simple property with a very long-term tenant living in it, you may want to consider hiring a property manager if you are a relatively new income property owner. Don’t let your inexperience or stubbornness cost you money in the long run. A good property management company can provide you with many worthwhile benefits. Property managers are also usually recommended for those who own a number of rental properties. You simply don’t have time to deal with everything yourself and having the property management duties taken care of will free you up to focus on other investment opportunities.

For those with only one property or two—and who have a lot of experience as landlords—you may be just fine doing it all yourself. You can save money on property management fees and keep the unit profitable on your own.

Whether you need a property manager or not us ultimately up to you. It may depend on your overall investment plan and budget, or what time you are willing to give to manage the properties you own.

For all your real estate investment needs, consider joining the PropertyLark network. We can help you make the most of your rental property opportunities.