Maintaining a rental property is a bit like juggling chainsaws. Can you learn to do it yourself? Sure. But leaving it to the professionals is cheaper, safer, and involves far less headache.
It’s a dramatic analogy, we know. But working with property management professionals will dramatically improve your quality of life, so we think it’s justified. But in case you’re not convinced, we’ve put together this list of the top 5 ways property management professionals will make your life as a real estate owner more profitable and stress-free.
1. Find the right tenants
When you place a new resident in your property, there’s a lot at stake. After all, irresponsible tenants can do an incredible amount of damage to your investment. One problem tenant can wipe out your income for the whole year. That’s why it’s important to run extensive background checks on your tenants, including criminal record history and past landlord problems.
A good property manager will handle all of this for you. They’ll also market the property to attract interest, so you don’t waste time posting on Craigslist and local classifieds. The best managers will also run advanced, algorithmic analyses on prospective renters to find the very best ones for your property. That’s something you simply can’t do without the enormous datasets that management agencies have access to.
2. Set the ideal price
When you have an open rental property, how do you select the price? If you’re like most landlords going the DIY management approach, the answer to this question involves a little research and a lot of guesswork. Unfortunately, this can amount to lost income. Set a price too low and you won’t cover your mortgage and maintenance costs. Set it too high and you’ll struggle to find residents.
A property manager can bring data and experience to this problem. Working directly with a lot of properties in your area, they’ll know what’s both realistic and competitive for your investment. And because they receive a percentage fee of your rental income, management agencies have an incentive to get the price as high as possible.
3. Handle maintenance
The psychological and financial benefits of this point really can’t be overstated. Keeping up with property maintenance is an enormous task that requires both 24/7 vigilance and long-range planning. When you’re self-managing a property, you have to respond immediately to emergency requests from tenants – e.g. burst pipes, noise complaints, and malfunctioning heaters. You also have to stay on top of the major, ongoing maintenance efforts – litter and leaf removal, roof cleaning, facility upgrades, etc.
A good property manager will handle all of this. They’ll be the front-line response for your residents, so your phone doesn’t ring at 2am when there’s a crisis — or worse, when there’s a light bulb that needs replacing. They’ll arrange the maintenance work, inspect it for quality, and handle all the logistics, freeing you from an enormous time and energy drain.
4. Keep costs low
When you need major service work done on your property, what are your options? If you’re a landlord, you have to call up a contractor and buy any materials and equipment at retail prices – just like any other consumer shopping at Home Depot.
Property management professionals, however, can take an entirely different approach. Great Jones, for instance, operates at scale, meaning we have the leverage to pre-negotiate rates with the very best service professionals (e.g. contractors, plumbers, and electricians). That means we pass deep discounts for both parts and labor directly to our Owners, so you, too, can enjoy the cost-efficiencies of operating at scale. Because we have long-standing relationship with these service professionals, we can make sure only the most efficient, polite, and friendly vendors show up to your property.
5. Keep your cash flowing
Rent collection is nobody’s favorite task – and with a property manager, you can wash your hands of it. A management service will give renters multiple ways to pay their monthly rent, including online, cash, and even check. They’ll also handle late fees, security deposits, and so on.
While some management services will hold back a “reserve” of your rental income for maintenance spending, Great Jones never does. We make sure you always get your money the same month it’s collected. To date, we have a jaw-dropping zero percent rent delinquency for residents we’ve placed. We know your cash-flow is crucial, and we don’t let anything slow it down.
Ready to work with a property management partner that will help you maximize your rental income and grow your portfolio? We can help with these 5 key areas plus more! Get in touch with a Portfolio Advisor to learn more about property management in St. Louis, MO, to Tampa, FL and everything in between.