Property management presents many landlords with a challenging decision to take.The decision to manage your own houses or to hand them over to property managers has many advantages and disadvantages as well. All these factors combined can present a landlord with a dilemma-like situation.
To manage or to delegate, becomes a riddle that needs to be solved. This article therefore seeks to bring a clear presentation of these facts as they are so that you, the landlord, can now have a strong and informed basis as you decide either to relinquish or retain the daily management to your rental home.
The advantages of managing property yourself
- Direct contact with your tenants
This aspect of maintaining direct contact with one’s tenants puts the landlord in the driver’s seat. You retain full charge of what goes on in your houses and you are able to personally respond to tenant issues faster because you value your customers. Moreover, this provides the landlord with the opportunity to gain priceless experience in managing people especially from a customer-vendor platform.
- Protection against dishonest and incompetent managers
They say that every market has its own mad man. The estate management field also has its own share of quacks who are floppy and dishonest in their dealings. It is not strange to find landlords who are stressed by incompetent agents and managers who cannot attend to their tenants’ issues properly. Moreover, some of them can be deceitful and if not followed properly, they can end up screwing you. This is one of the reasons why some landlords decide to do the “donkey work” of directly managing their own homes.
- Profit maximization
This is another advantage of managing your home by yourself. Yes, it is true that there is some cost of running any business but it will not come to the same figures that a manager will ask for.
- Undivided attention
It is not strange to find that some managers also own their own rental homes and property. So let us say that your home if vacant and the manager’s own rental home is also vacant at the same time. Do you think that the guy will be very zealous working to get your home occupied before his own? The guess you have is as good as mine. The guy will make sure that his own house is filled first, then yours later. It you were the one managing the home yourself, you will not sit waiting for someone else to get it occupied you will do the job yourself knowing that you are the one charged with the job. This means that you will avoid issues of conflict of interest with your estate manager.
The disadvantages of managing your own rental property
- Time consuming
If you are a busy person, and you have a whole estate with over 100 tenants, how do you devote enough time to attend to their needs and issues? This is not to mention the stressful issues of negligent and rent defaulting tenants. With a manager, you have a person who is fully committed to that task. You will enjoy peace of mind as you pursue other core activities of your life. You will not need to waste your time trying to engage in tenant eviction matters because a paid professional takes care of that.
Another issue that will consume your time is trying to run around looking for tenants to fill vacant houses. Where do you start, in the first place? Professional managers have all the time and knack for all these hassles. This is because managers have strong networks among themselves and they only need to make a phone call to a colleague and get a tenant faster and easier than an average landlord.
- Legal issues
Managers are professionals and they operate in a legally controlled environment. Notably, the laws that govern tenants and landlords keep on changing, and hence anyone who is directly involved with them needs to be on the fast lane in order to keep abreast with them. As a landlord who is busy doing other things, for instance, treating patients you don’t have time to regularly dig into tenant-landlord laws. As a doctor, you are on the run trying to catch up with the latest developments in your core field while an estate manager is on the run trying to catch up with those developments affecting his career. This means that the agent is more updated I such issues than you are and hence they are least likely to accidentally fall on the wrong side of the law.
- Screening of tenants
This is another area that you may possibly end up erring. Managers have handle thousands of tenants at a personal level and they have a better leverage of doing it than you do. They can save you the possibility of landing the wrong tenant who may land you into a future of unnecessary hassles and even legal battles. This is because the screening process is subject to legal parameters that determine which kind of questions that you can ask a potential tenant. It is possible to accidentally ask a tenant a question that is legally considered discriminatory and land yourself in trouble with the law. On the contrary, professional managers are well versed with such legal issues because that is what they do on a daily basis.
- Disruptive emergencies
Tenant emergencies are common everywhere. When they do arise, the first person the tenants will call is you. You can imagine what this could mean if you are that kind of a person who does not like to be “disturbed” by such cases. For a manager, that is part of their job and they are paid to do that job so that tenants don’t drag you into such situations.