11 Things To Think About When You’re Researching Property Management Companies in Charlotte, NC
Although every case for investors is different, there are certain situations and conditions that usually predispose owners one way or the other. The following questions are meant to assist you in deciding whether you can consider hiring a property manager.
1. How far do you live from your rental house, and how often do you regularly visit the house? If you are near you may be able to make the daily trips required for repairs, checks, sales, etc., but the greater the travel time and costs will be the more you stay. The wider the distance, the more temptation there is not to keep a close eye on things and this can be a disaster recipe. You would prepare to make regular monthly visits because there is also the possibility for an unexpected call in the middle of the night that needs urgent treatment. Is this feasible for you, in the long run?
2. How do you tackle stress? Do you see yourself as being tolerant? This is a demanding one. We all like to think of ourselves as level-headed and even-keeled, but at the end of the day, dealing with the ups and downs of property management requires a special kind of person. Behind the seemingly simple task of monthly rent collection lies a number of unpredictable issues that can push people to their limits. Ask yourself how you would react to the unfortunate event that the tenants are following:
Get in fights with other tenants or neighbors
Have domestic disputes
Conduct illegal business in the dwelling
Carry on all night parties and revelry
Try to sneak extra people or animals into the home
Decide to sue you
Trash the property
Incite the wrath of the HOA because of repeated deed restriction violations
Refuse to pay rent because they are a “professional tenant” and know how to work the legal system for the maximum amount of free housing at the owner’s expense?
3. Are you overwhelmed at your property(s) at the moment? Managing rental properties can get overwhelming quickly, even for experienced investors. There is always something going on that needs attention and things need very little time to get out of hand. Hiring a property manager can provide an opportunity to regain control of both your properties and possibly life in general, and restore stability.
4. How many apartments or rental properties do you have? As your portfolio grows so do the management challenges, and things fall through the cracks easier. By leveraging the efficiencies that a property manager can provide, investors with large portfolios stand to reap significant benefits. Size can also restrict investors’ ability to consider buying new properties if their current holdings are already maxed out.
5. How much experience do you have with servicing and repair? If you can’t do this yourself, do you know who you can call? It may take a while to locate reputable handymen and contractors so, in the meanwhile, you can unknowingly employ people that are dishonest, uninsured, performing low quality jobs, overcharging etc. Maintenance and repairs are an important component of land lording and you might want to consider hiring a property management company if you question your ability to ensure the work is done properly and in a timely manner.
6. How fast do you get your unit rented? Advertising, answering calls, and displaying the device will take a tremendous amount of time, but they are vital activities as vacancies can easily cut into the profit margins. When you doubt whether you have the expertise or the resources to do so, OR whether you’ve had an unacceptably high vacancy rate recently, you may want to consider hiring a property management firm.
7. Are you able to handle the property’s accounting and record-keeping? The field needs extra consideration from income and loss accounts and tax deductions and is an even bigger challenge for broader investments. Some owners (especially those with a financial background) may do just fine, others may prefer to employ an accountant to assist with holding the ledger. You would want to consider recruiting a property maintenance firm if you feel that this might be a weak point.
8. Want to be on call 24/7/365? It’s important to answer this question honestly, because you can not ignore it when an emergency occurs at your property. Your special event, important meeting, holiday or personal crisis doesn’t relieve you of your tenant ‘s obligation. Such crises don’t happen all the time, but you have to be able to treat them quickly when they do. Can you handle being called to fix somebody’s overflowing toilet at 2 in the morning?
9. Are you willing to confront tenants about late payments and to evict them from the property if necessary? Many prospective owners hate looking like the bad guy by making allowances and pretending to be accommodating. The problem is this only invites tenants to make further abuses and excuses. Late payments must be handled immediately, and while sometimes a friendly reminder is all that’s needed, other times it can be a very confrontational process that ends in eviction. In comparison to running a charity, running a profitable renting company means following the laws even though it means expelling a single mother who has lost her job and may not be able to pay rent anytime long.
10. How well do you comprehend LandLording laws? Ensuring that the business is managed in compliance with the legislation is important both in avoiding litigation and in protecting yourself from prosecution should you are convicted. Familiarity with the contracts is also very important, as the only binding agreement between you and the tenant is your rental agreement.
11. Is managing your property the best use of your time, from a financial point of view? In the end, the decision to hire or not to employ a management firm will focus on whether or not it suits the lifestyle well and makes financial sense. Individual investors will have to assess the cost of both options according to their unique circumstances.
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