The choice to get involved in real estate investing is a large one and even after the substantial process of determining whether a particular investment is right for you, a number of decisions must be made as to how you are going to manage that property. One option for property management is hiring outside help to give you the luxury of having a hands-off approach to your investment property in exchange for giving up some of your potential profitability.
Obviously, giving up some of the profitability of your investment property is a heavy price to pay but in some situations, the luxury of not having to take care of the day-to-day operations of a property is worth the cost. These are some questions that you should ask yourself about your investment property to determine whether hiring outside property management is something that you should consider.What Are The Costs?
The cost of rental property management can often surpass just the up-front fee charged by the rental property management company. While that fee will make up the majority of the cost (often between 4 percent and 12 percent of rental payments in most areas of the country), knowing what kinds of services will include extra costs is an important factor in determining whether a particular company fits your investment property.
Evictions are sometimes a part of the rental property process and it is possible that a rental property management company will charge a premium for eviction proceedings. If you want the company to handle things like showings and property walkthroughs, sometimes those activities will incur additional costs. It is important to get a full slate of costs, beyond just the base percentage of rent amount cost. What Is Their Portfolio Like?
If you have a variety of single family investment properties, you should probably look for a property management company with particular experience in single-family homes. Likewise, for a series of multi-family investment properties look for companies that manage multi-family investment properties as a specialty.
The cost you're paying for is not just a reduction in your own day-to-day activity with an investment property but also is payment for the expertise of a property management company. Make sure that the expertise you're paying for has been honed on the type of property you're looking to get management services for.What Is Your Role?
Many property management companies will have a threshold for spending that requires your approval. This is often negotiable if you want to further lessen your involvement in the process. For those that want to have as big a hands-off approach as possible, look for organizations that thrive on taking the reigns of a property fully from the property owner. Do they provide status reports? What is their communication plan like? These are prime questions to ask if minimizing your involvement in the day-to-day operations of your investment property is a chief concern.
What kind of role do you have to play in new rentals? Much of the time, rental property management companies will take on all of the tasks needed to put a new renter in your property. However, it is worth asking the question to determine what kind of time turn around you can expect in getting a new tenant in and seeing just what kind of effort you have to put forth to ease that process.
Rental property investment is a large time and effort commitment but after selecting your investment, rental property management companies can take some of that time and effort out of your hands. In determining whether that time and effort savings is worth the cost expense, it is important to ask some of these questions.
Rental property management is not for everyone, so make sure that you are comfortable with what will be expected of you and what you will be expected to give up before committing to any kind of long-term agreement.
This is another original article by Joe Lane, co-owner of The Lane Real Estate Team
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