It’s admirable if you have a property for rent and prefer to manage it yourself, but it’s not always the best decision. If you’ve been considering handing over the reins to a property manager but aren’t completely sure yet, let us bust a few of the most common myths about being a landlord.
1. You save money by not hiring a property manager.
In a perfect world, if you have the perfect tenant who causes zero problems and pays the rent on time, every time, this could be a valid argument. However, it’s not a perfect world, so it isn’t a valid argument. While there are chances that your tenant is perfectly reasonable, these are the exception, not the rule.
Property managers are there because they’re good at handling tenants that are not exactly ideal. So instead of you wasting your own precious time negotiating and communicating with your troublesome tenants, you could just get a property manager to do it. The stress that dealing with someone who is causing problems is worth far more than the small commission you will need to pay the property manager to take care of your property for you.
2. You know your property best, and can take care of it better than anyone else.
While this may be true, you don’t need to micromanage each and every single square inch of your properties. Guess what, if you are obsessive-compulsive about your home, you will freak out about every single small thing, whether real or imagined, that your tenants might be doing to your property. Property managers will help you take the burden of maintaining your property off your shoulders so you can get on with your life. Turns out, people can live just fine in an apartment even if the paint on the door is slightly worn out.
3. There’s no way to ensure that your property is in good shape if you aren’t a landlord.
This is simply untrue. If you’re receiving the complete rent package every single month, things are probably fine. In addition, if your property manager keeps reporting to you regularly about your property being in good shape, things are probably fine. If you’re being paranoid or have watched the news too much, you could get bent out of shape thinking up scenarios straight out of Breaking Bad. But if you’re that worried, you can always contact the tenant once in a while and set your mind at rest, as long as you don’t do it too often.
Property managers have their reputations and business at stake when they take over a property. So they are not going to collude with your tenants to set up an undercover drug operation or anything sinister you can think up. Again, stop worrying and get on with your life.
4. You might need to pay for unnecessary or fake repairs and maintenance work undertaken on behest of the property manager.
This is probably one of the more legitimate concerns on this list. If your property manager is looking to make an extra buck, charging you for unnecessary maintenance so they can make some extra money would probably be the go-to move. However, you can always sit in on this process. If you find that the requests for repairs you get are excessive or appear suspicious, you can confirm your doubts with your tenants and property managers. If you still aren’t satisfied, you can look at the invoices and contact the people who performed the maintenance work. Once again though, scenarios like this are extremely rare.
5. You can only understand how a property gets managed if you are a landlord yourself.
Again, this is completely untrue. Would you learn the ins and outs of broking for years before you decide to hand over some money to a broker? Or learn the complete art of physiotherapy before you consult a physiotherapist for some back pain? The experts are there for a reason. You don’t need to learn everything yourself.
When you have a property you need managed, you only need to learn how to deal with the people you entrust to do it for you. You don’t need to know the inner workings of how the work gets done. You might find that being a landlord is a tedious and often extremely time-consuming job. You don’t have forever on this earth, so make sure you use your most precious resource (time) wisely.
In summation, it’s completely fine if you prefer to manage your properties yourself. In matters of business, if you aren’t comfortable with letting anyone else handle your investments, it’s OK to do it yourself. However, as you may find, it’s not always the most optimal way to do it. Make sure your reasons for being a landlord don’t appear on the list above, and you are good to go.