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Property managers are an essential business asset when it comes to ensuring that you’re not overrun by the day-to-day tasks that come with owning an investment property.
Most people don’t consider the amount of work they’re taking on when they decide to lease out a property. And, because of that, one of the most common questions our clients ask is, “What do you look for in a Denver property manager?”
Whether you’re just beginning your search for a PM in the Mile High City or you’re looking to make a change, there’s a few things to consider across the board when looking for someone to help you manage an asset.
Deciding to become an investor and take on all that comes with self-managing a property is a lot. It’s no longer about simply having your investment earn you money, it’s about needing to constantly be on call for your tenants and available to fix any issues that arise at the property.
The allure of self-managing on the grounds of saving money is a common thought amongst investors. After all, you decided to buy the property to earn money, not spend it. However, the sheer volume of tasks can be wildly overwhelming.
So, investors start to wonder, if they do need to bring in an outsider, who is least likely to mess things up?
The most realistic answer is someone with years of experience in coordinating with tenants, someone who has access to a reliable network of maintenance workers, marketing techniques, and all-around customer service. The answer is most likely going to be an experienced, local Property Manager.
One of the first things to assess when beginning your search for a property manager is how timely they are in their responses to you. You might find that you’re calling different companies and they’re taking multiple days to respond. Or maybe even not getting back to you at all! That will directly translate to their ability to help you run your property.
So be sure to find someone who takes your business seriously and gets back to you, and in turn, your tenants, in a timely manner. After all, if they’re not getting back to your tenants, the problems get put back on you. And you’ll be back to square one with self-managing.
A property manager’s established business practices are a key indicator into how much easier they are going to make your life, both in the short term and in the long run.
When you reach out to a property manager to begin going over what services they offer, we suggest you ask about their systems. From how they handle tenant requests, to coordinating with maintenance, to preventative checklists they’ll go over before and after your tenants move in/out.
Having these systems in place is a good sign, because even if the company loses a manager, someone else is easily able to step in and help pick up where they left off. So you’re not left with a million questions and a frustrated tenant.
If they have established routines and practices that go in depth on ensuring all the bases are covered, you’re in good hands.
One easy mistake that self-managing investors tend to make is not knowing every single law and rule that goes into being a landlord. There’s a lot to learn, and experienced property managers have not only seen it all, but make it a priority to stay on top of changing laws and regulations. This means they can best serve both you and your tenants, no matter the legislative change.
For instance, let’s imagine you decide you don’t want pets in your rental, and a potential tenant applies with a service animal. If you deny them on the grounds of not allowing pets, you might quickly find yourself slapped with a lawsuit that costs thousands. If you had instead worked with a local property manager, they would have let you know that service animals are protected by the ADA and their handlers can’t be denied housing (or charged a pet deposit) due to their use of a service animal.
Basically, you get what you pay for, and in this case you’re gaining access to a wealth of knowledge about the ins and outs of landlordship. This insight can save you thousands and thousands of dollars in the long run.
So, when you’re looking for a property manager, be sure that continued education on rental laws and regulations is something they prioritize.
While it might be appealing to go with the lowest possible fee for a property manager, it’s important that you don’t get sold on the false promise of what is covered by a low fee.
Now, we don’t want you paying an arm and a leg for this service, but if a company is making promises of $50 for management, be sure to follow up and see what that $50 actually covers.
An unfortunate mistake that investors make is attempting to save money, but ending up with a service provider that’s charging overzealous fees for every maintenance call, or even charging for every single time they have to communicate with your resident. In this case, you might find yourself wanting to just take on tasks so you don’t have to pay the repetitive fines it costs to use your property manager. And then you’re essentially back at self-managing!
It’s definitely important to compare pricing and find what works best for you and your budget, but be aware that the lowest price upfront does not always equal the lowest price in the long run. The goal is to save you time, energy, and even money; not be stressed about having to pick up slack so you don’t get charged.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with choosing to self-manage an investment property, as long as you’re aware of all that is included. It really can work for some landlords.
However, if you just wanted to own an investment property and not deal with the hassle that comes along with managing, a property manager could be an excellent asset to add to your business.
There are a lot of things to consider when beginning your search for a property manager. Be sure you find one that respects your time, has great systems and connections, and values educating themselves on laws and regulations. Your future self, and your tenants, will thank you!
We know firsthand how hard it is to find quality resources. Oftentimes, all the information you need is scattered across the web and you’re left scrambling to find your footing. That’s why we set out to create a space where investors can get everything they need to be successful in real estate, all on one platform.
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