You are currently viewing Should You Self-Manage or Hire a Property Manager

Should You Self-Manage or Hire a Property Manager

One thing rental property owners need to consider is whether they are going to self-manage the property, or that they will hire a professional property managements company to do it for them?

It’s a fair question to ask, so here are four questions, based on which the owners decide to self-manage, or whether or not they want to hire a professional property management company.

  1. Do I have the time?

We’re all busy! If someone is running a full-time job, and have a busy lifestyle while also trying to self-manage a property, they need to think very hard about that. When advertising the property and prospect calls with interest in it while you are at the job and can’t pick up the phone immediately that’s going to have a negative impact. The property owner needs to be able to respond quickly to applicants.

Time is a huge part of why people typically will hire a property management company. Because sometimes it can be easy, but sometimes it does take a lot of time. When the tenant calls at 3am saying that the hot-water-heater just blew up is the property owner ready to take that call? Are they willing to keep the phone by the bed? If so, maybe they can do it, but mostly they should consider the time aspect.

  • Do I know the law?

This is a big deal nowadays when it comes to property management. Think of fair housing:

  • How many protected classes are there?
  • What those classes are?
  • What specifically the classes are?
  • What are the guidelines and laws in Philadelphia?

Property owners need to know this, specifically how to navigate what they are going to do if a prospect calls or the tenant calls and says: “Can I bring in a service animal?”. If they answer wrong, and that one question is potentially in violation of HUD, there will be an investigation and would create a problem with HUD. HUD penalties are very steep, so this needs to be considered.

  • How about security deposit returns?
  • How much time is legally allowed to return the security deposit to the tenant?
  • What happens if the deposit is missed?
  • Are CO detector installed in the property? Are they within a certain distance to each bedroom? What are the penalties if that is not done correctly? Rental property owners must know the law if they’re going to self-manage.
  • Do I have the temperament?

A lot of folks who hire a property managements company have been self-managing for a period of time and they say: “I just can’t do this anymore!”, “my tenants are driving me nuts and I don’t have a temperament for it! I get too upset at them and it’s just turning combative.”

Proper temperament should be ensured to deal with the tenants. Rental property owners have to be fair; they have to be firm, and it’s hard to do as the landlord when they own the property and want to be a nice guy, but sometimes we find that tenants will push as far as we let them push us!

So, the property owners must make sure that they’re being firm but fair and that they don’t get emotionally attached to the property and investment property.

  • Do I have the knowledge?

There is a need to know a lot about this industry!

  • How to advertise the property?
  • What questions to ask to prequalify the applicant before allowing them to fill out an application?
  • How to process that application? Is it just about the credit report?
  • What about a background report?
  • How about the criminal check?
  • How about a sexual predator check?
  • What is needed in the lease agreement?
  • How to explain that lease agreement to the tenant?
  • What to say when the tenants call and ask if they can pay late?

The property owners must have the knowledge on the front end because they don’t want to learn it as they go. They want to hire someone that has learned previously.

So, that’s really what it comes down to! If the owner can manage the property and run it like a business then maybe they do want to self-manage. But, if they can’t run it like a business and aren’t confident in their own abilities to have the time, to know the law, to have the temperament, and to have the knowledge… Then, they want to seriously consider hiring a professional property management company.

If you are in Philadelphia and you are asking yourself “What are the property management companies near me?” Then the answer to that is TrustArt Realty.