Many rental property owners take on property management only to realize it’s a hefty, ongoing responsibility that can either cost money or make money.
Rental property owners sometimes go into business with such enthusiasm that the idea of maintenance and the odd job here and there seems easy. Self-managing rental properties is not impossible, but it isn’t as simple as some may think.
Saving money is the first intention of DIY, but sometimes it’s well worth the investment to call on the professionals. Probably the most demanding aspect of self-managing rental property is having the time and patience (not to mention the know-how) to take on the job. It’s good to remember that if you are not managing your rental investment efficiently, it will ultimately hurt your profit margin.
First, it’s necessary to understand all the laws that apply to your property and tenants, including federal, state and local laws. Include association laws if they apply. These rules must be properly shared, in writing, with your tenants. Not knowing is never an excuse for not complying with laws and regulations. That’s why anyone engaging in property management services for you must have a real estate license.
A management company such as Cousin James Management has all the legal documentation you’ll need. If you don’t have a strong lease or forms to document activities during the tenancy, it can be hard to start legal proceedings if a tenant doesn’t do what he or she is supposed to. Since we’ve been doing this for more than 25 years, we have the infrastructure to make the rental process smooth and easy. We have experienced almost every possible tenant situation and know the ins and outs.
Finding and keeping good tenants is a major priority. We can help you stay visible in potential renters’ searches, so your choice of high quality tenants is never wanting. We are equipped to also help you with marketing, internet optimization. and social media.
When it comes to maintenance, ask yourself if you have the capacity and know-how to act quickly and responsively. Since the property is yours, you want the work to be done right. There are laws relating to maintenance that require handymen or contractors to be licensed and insured. If an injury were to occur to a worker without it, you as the property owner would likely be held liable.
Cousin James Management has a roster of full service maintenance professionals who can perform routine and emergency services. That means a call at 2:00 a.m. from a frazzled tenant with a broken hot water heater is not your worry.
Good accounting and bookkeeping, financial tracking and appropriate documentation of all expenses and income is crucial to rental property owners. Your investment can be a great way to enjoy tax advantages if you have documentation in order. Remember your rental property investment is a business, not a hobby.
Before you make the decision to self-manage, consider the advantages of having professionals with significant real estate and property management experience—from occupancy to maintenance. It’s the smarter way to yield a larger return on your investment in the long run.
Contact Cousin James Management today and get our free Checklist for Property Owners.