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The Pain & Gainz of Property Management

Welcome to the Show

Welcome to the “Pain & Gainz” show on propelio OTV! I’m TJ Cozened, joined by my fantastic co-host Kelly Smith. Our guest today is Matt, a property manager and investor from Austin who knows the ins and outs of this unique business. Today, we’ll dive deep into the realm of property management, exploring both the challenges and benefits that come with it.

What is Property Management?

Property management involves overseeing and managing real estate on behalf of the owner. For investors aiming to build passive income, property management is crucial. While many dream of passive income through rentals, being a landlord often demands active involvement.

The Pains of Self-Managing Properties

Tenant Troubles

One of the biggest headaches for landlords is dealing with tenant issues. Whether it’s late rent payments, property damage, or incessant complaints, managing tenants can be extremely time-consuming. For example, dealing with a tenant who is constantly drunk or one that sends weird texts at odd hours can disrupt your peace and routines.

Lack of Separation

Without a property manager, there’s little separation between you and your tenants. This can lead to awkward interactions and increase the emotional burden of property management. It’s hard to maintain a professional distance when you’re constantly handling tenant issues personally.

Maintenance and Repairs

Handling maintenance and repairs yourself means you’re on call 24/7. Late-night emergencies like a busted pipe or a broken HVAC system will be your responsibility. This can be incredibly stressful, especially if you lack the necessary repair skills.

Understanding and complying with legal requirements such as changing locks, notice periods, and eviction laws can be daunting. For example, in Texas, you must change the locks between tenants, and specific processes must be followed when serving eviction notices or dealing with delinquent tenants.

Administrative Work

Managing leases, keeping records, and dealing with accounting are tedious tasks that can bog you down. Proper record-keeping and handling deposits correctly are crucial but often neglected by landlords who manage their properties.

Tenant Screening

Screening tenants is another significant task. Conducting background checks, verifying employment and income, and speaking with previous landlords are necessary steps to ensure you find reliable tenants. Slacking on this can lead to bigger issues down the road.

The Benefits of Hiring a Property Management Company

Meeting the Team

When interviewing property management companies, it’s essential to meet the team. This helps you gauge who will be managing your property and ensures a good fit. Good communication is key, so look for a team that is responsive and professional.

24/7 Maintenance Support

Ask about their maintenance policies. Do they offer 24/7 support? What is their turnaround time for repairs? Knowing that your tenants can get help at any hour relieves you of the stress and keeps them happy.

Tenant Screening Process

A robust tenant screening process is a must. Ensure the company conducts thorough background checks, verifies income, and follows up with previous landlords. This minimizes the risk of problematic tenants.

Sophisticated Systems

Opt for companies that use advanced software and systems for managing properties. These platforms offer transparency, allowing you to log in and view statements, track maintenance requests, and communicate easily with the management team.

Managing evictions and staying compliant with local laws can be tricky. A professional management company will handle this for you, ensuring everything is done legally and efficiently.

Owner Communication and Reporting

Finally, ask about their communication methods and reporting frequency. You want to be kept in the loop without being overwhelmed with minutiae. Monthly statements and timely updates on significant issues will keep you informed while allowing you to focus on other things.

Responsibilities of a Property Manager

Marketing and Advertising

A property manager will handle advertising vacant units, ensuring they’re listed on multiple platforms to attract quality tenants quickly.

Tenant Screening and Approval

They’ll manage the entire tenant screening process, presenting only qualified candidates for your approval.

Rent Collection

Rent collection becomes hassle-free with a property manager. They enforce late fee policies and ensure timely payments, sparing you the awkwardness of chasing down rent.

Maintenance Coordination

Coordinating repairs and maintenance is another major task they handle. They have a roster of reliable vendors to ensure all issues are resolved promptly.

Compliance with fair housing laws and other regulations is essential. Property managers stay updated on these laws, ensuring your property operates within legal parameters.

Accounting and Owner Disbursements

They manage all accounting tasks, providing you with regular financial statements and handling owner disbursements seamlessly.

Advantages of Using a Property Manager

Time Savings

By delegating tasks to a property manager, you save significant time that can be spent on more critical aspects of your life or business.

Separation from Tenants

A management company acts as a buffer between you and your tenants, reducing your emotional and logistical burden.

Expertise in Laws and Regulations

Their knowledge of local laws keeps you compliant and avoids potential legal issues.

Systematic Processes

Their established systems and robust processes ensure efficient management, reducing the risk of errors and oversights.

Maintaining Properties as Business Assets

Property managers treat your properties as business assets, ensuring they’re well-maintained, occupied, and profitable.

Higher Occupancy Rates

Their expertise in marketing and tenant relations leads to higher occupancy rates, which means more consistent income for you.

Considerations for Property Type

Single-Family vs Multi-Family

The type of property you own affects management needs. Single-family homes might attract more stable, long-term tenants, while multi-family units can offer economies of scale but might come with higher turnover rates.

Tenant Demographics

Understand your target tenant demographics and choose a management company experienced with those groups.

Economies of Scale

Managing multiple units can offer cost savings and efficiencies that a single unit cannot. This is where a skilled property manager can make a significant difference.

Evaluating Management Fees

Typical Fee Structures

Management fees typically range from 6% to 12% of the monthly rent. Understanding the fee structure helps you evaluate if it’s worth the investment.

Cost vs Value Analysis

Consider the value provided by the management company. The time saved and headaches avoided often outweigh the management fees.

Potential Savings from Higher Occupancy

A management company’s expertise can lead to higher occupancy rates, which translates to steady and often increased income.

Rental Property Investment Strategy

Goals for Passive Income

Define your goals for passive income and assess how a property manager aligns with them.

Balancing Control vs Delegation

Understand the balance between maintaining control and delegating tasks. Delegation can lead to smoother operations and stress reduction.

Growing a Rental Portfolio

Hiring a property manager can free up your time to focus on expanding your rental portfolio, allowing for more significant growth and income.

Managing Tenant Policies

Pet Policies and Deposits

Clarify pet policies with your management company. They can help enforce pet deposits and restrictions, balancing tenant needs with property protection.

Rent Increases

Discuss rent increase policies. Property managers usually advise on market rates and the best strategies to keep tenants happy while maximizing your income.

Tenant Turnover Costs

Minimizing turnover is vital. A property management company works to keep tenants satisfied and reduce the expensive process of vacancy and turnover.

Final Thoughts and Advice

The importance of systems and processes in property management cannot be overstated. When to hire professional management often depends on your time availability and expertise. Keys to successful rental investments include balancing control with delegation and leveraging the expertise of qualified property managers.

Consider using propelio OTV’s lead generation services to enhance your real estate business. Connect with our hosts and guest for more insights and advice on making your rental investments successful and stress-free.

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