Should I Self-Manage or Hire a Professional?

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Asset Hero Property Management

In this video, Asset Hero Property Management President, Kyle Dwyer discusses the four key factors for landlords deciding between self-managing their rental property or hiring a professional property manager to do it for them.

Number 1:

Do I have the time?  We’re all busy, and if you’re working a full time job and you’ve got a busy lifestyle and you’re also going to self manage a property you need to think very very hard about that.   When you’re advertising the property and a prospect calls with interest in it, and you’re at your job and you can’t pick up the phone immediately and give that potential client information of the property, that’s going to impact you negatively.  You need to be able to respond quickly to applicants as they come in, and to your current tenants once they’re in place, but 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, because when that 3:00 a.m. call comes in and the hot water heater just blew up because for some reason hot water heaters only go out between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. on the weekends, other than that they work perfectly, that’s what we find, but are you going to take that call? Are you going to keep your phone by the bed?  If so, maybe do it, but think through the time aspect.

Number 2: 

Do I know the law?  This is a big deal nowadays when it comes to property management. Think of fair housing, do you know how many protected classes there are?  Do you know what those classes are? Did you know that Texas has specific additional protected classes of individuals beyond the federal guidelines?  Did you know that Bryan/College Station has additional classes of protected people? You need to know this and not only what they are, but specifically how you navigate that.  What are you going to do if a prospect calls or your tenant calls and says can I bring a service animal? If you answer wrong in that 1 question, you just found yourself potentially in violation of HUD.  There will be an investigation and you don’t want to mess with HUD as their penalties are very very steep so you need to be cautious with that. 

How about security deposit returns?  Do you know how long you have legally to return your security deposit to your tenant in a state of Texas?   The law has a very very set clear time, its 30 days, but what happens if you miss that? What happens if you hit day 31?  Guess what you just lost all rights to retain any of that security deposit and by the way you’re also going be liable to return 3 times the amount of the security deposit that you are holding because you missed it by a day.  You don’t want to mess with the stuff!  

Did you know that you have to have a Smoke detector installed in your property?  Did you know that it has to be in each bedroom? Do you know what the penalties are if you don’t have that done?   You have to know the law if you are going to self manage! 

Number 3:

Do you have the temperament?  A lot of folks who hire us have been self managing for a period of time, and they call me and 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.”

You need to be able to ensure that you have that proper temperament to deal with your tenants. You’ve got to be fair, you’ve got to be firm, which is hard to do as the landlord when you self manage your own property, because you want to be the nice guy, but sometimes we find that tenants will push as far as we let them push us so, make sure that you’re being firm but fair and don’t get emotionally attached to your property. 

Number 4:

Do you have the knowledge?  You’ve got to know a lot about this industry. Do you know how you can advertise your property? Do you know what questions you need to ask to pre qualify the applicant before you even allow them to fill out an application?  How are you going to process that application? Are you going to just look at the credit report? Are you going to do a background check? How about their criminal check? How about a sexual predator check? How are you going to do that?  Where are you going to get your lease agreement? How are you going to explain that lease agreement to the tenant? What are you going to say to them when they call and ask if they can pay late? You’ve got to have the knowledge on the front end because you don’t want to learn on your own property. You want to hire someone that has learned previously and that you can glean their knowledge. So that’s really what it comes down to.  If you can manage your property and run it like a business, that maybe you do when you manage. If you can’t run it like a business and you aren’t confident in your own abilities to have the time to know the law, to have the temperament, and to have the knowledge, then you want to seriously consider hiring a professional property management company.

 

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