With all the “flipping” and renovation shows on TV, many property investors are snapping up properties to upgrade and sell at a higher price or rent out. Others are taking advantage of the condo boom to create a small portfolio of rental properties. Many investors try to do it all themselves: collect rent, take care of the property and, sadly, in some cases, go through the eviction process. They resist hiring a property management company because they see it as an avoidable expense. And before they know it, they’re overworked, overwhelmed and hit with a lot of unforeseen costs. What most new investors fail to realize at the outset is that becoming a landlord is much more than a passive income “side hustle”; in fact, it’s a full-time job.
When Should You Consider Hiring a Property Manager?
- If you own multiple rental units
- If your rental units are geographically widespread
- If you lack experience managing properties
- If you don’t have the time to manage your properties
What’s In It For You? 6 Solid Reasons to Hire a Property Manager
1. Proven strategies for handling residents. Responding to tenant requests is one of the most time-consuming parts of owning a rental property. Residents can be demanding, and some expect a lot – even too much – of their landlords. But it’s key that you keep them happy if you want them to stick around and provide positive word of mouth. A property management firm can take care of resident requests to help ensure customer satisfaction.
2. More timely rent payments. Many property management companies use a suite of web-based solutions, like Property Vista’s, to make sure their tenants pay on time. With online rent payment software, you can offer a range of direct payment methods, including credit card and e-transfer. (Just stay away from cheques; they’re slower and less secure than digital payments, and take up a lot of personnel time, at the bank and chasing down late cheques.) With a web-based portal, you can also send out automatic rent reminders by SMS, email or phone.
3. Improved maintenance. Most property management companies handle maintenance issues for you, from minor repairs to preventative maintenance. Not only will current resident complaints be handled promptly, but future issues will be minimized or avoided altogether, protecting your long-term investment in the property.
4. Effective marketing and advertising. Property management professionals have been around the block more than a few times. They know where to market your buildings to attract the right audience. And they have the expertise to craft compelling advertising collateral. Their experience offers a significant competitive advantage to quickly filling your units and reducing vacancies.
5. Better tenants. That same experience enables property managers to find the right tenants for your properties. They’ll also make sure the entire process runs smoothly, from securing criminal background and security checks, to running credit reports, verifying employment and following up with references.
6. Decreased tenant turnover. With so much attention to attracting the right renters and meeting their needs, property management firms can significantly decrease tenant turnover. It’s their job to be responsive and available, so they can focus on taking care of problems as they arise and communicating with tenants to make sure they’re satisfied. Customer satisfaction is crucial in the property management business; happy renters are more likely to become long-term renters, and are more amenable to reasonable rent increases when the time comes. (Property managers are also skilled in the lease renewal process, making it easy for renters to stick around.)The bottom line? Property management is not the place to cut corners. Property management firms can save property investors a lot of time, money and headaches. The key is to find a firm that ensures transparency, and uses the latest tools and technologies to meet – and surpass – resident expectations. To learn more about how Property Vista can help streamline your operations while improving your bottom line, sign up for your free account today or give us a call.