Should You Hire a Property Manager or Do It Yourself?

Ally Kubarych

Ally Kubarych

Last Updated: June 19, 2024Published On: May 14, 2024
A silver laptop computer with a black open screen sits on a light brown wooden table. To the right of the laptop is a small, unfinished wooden model house with a pitched roof.

Deciding to Hire a Property Manager or Go DIY

Deciding whether to hire a property manager or handle your rental property yourself is a significant decision for any property owner. The right choice can streamline your operations, maximize your income, and free up your time, while the wrong one can lead to unnecessary headaches and expenses.

On one hand, managing your property allows you to maintain direct control, potentially saving money on management fees. It’s a hands-on approach that lets you build direct relationships with your residents, handle maintenance personally, and have an intimate understanding of your property’s day-to-day operations. On the other hand, a property manager can remove the burden of daily tasks, from finding and managing residents to dealing with emergency repairs and legal compliance. They bring expertise and systems that might be particularly valuable if you own multiple properties or live far from your rental.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and challenges of both options. Our aim is to provide you with clear, actionable information to help you make the best choice for your situation. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or a first-time landlord, understanding the pros and cons of each approach will empower you to optimize your investment and achieve your financial goals. Let’s dive in and discover whether it’s time for you to hire a property manager or take the reins yourself.

Advantages of Hiring a Property Manager

Navigating the world of property management can feel like piloting a ship through uncharted waters. For many property owners, the decision to hire a property manager marks a pivotal shift from turbulence to tranquility. Let’s embark on a journey to discover how enlisting a professional property manager can transform the management of your rental properties.

  1. Time Management Magic: Time is a non-renewable resource, and managing property demands a lot of it. Between fielding midnight calls about broken plumbing and coordinating endless viewings, self-management can become a full-time job. Enter the property manager—your personal time magician. They take over the day-to-day operations, from resident inquiries to emergency repairs, freeing up your calendar. Imagine what you could do with all that extra time—pursue new investments, cultivate hobbies, or simply relax and enjoy the fruits of your investments.
  2. Expert Resident Screening – A Closer Look: Finding the right resident is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Property managers are seasoned treasure hunters equipped with the tools and experience to sift through prospects and pinpoint the best matches. Their rigorous screening processes reduce risks and ensure a smoother tenancy. This means fewer late payments, less damage, and, most importantly, peace of mind knowing your property is in responsible hands.
  3. The Legal Eagle: Navigating the maze of property laws and regulations can be daunting. From fair housing rules to local ordinances, making a legal misstep can be costly. Property managers serve as your legal eagles, keeping abreast of the latest regulatory changes and ensuring your property complies with all laws. This protective oversight shields you from potential lawsuits and legal headaches, making it an invaluable asset.
  4. Financial Finesse: Property managers don’t just collect rent; they optimize your rental income. With a finger on the pulse of local market trends, they adjust rental rates to reflect current market conditions, ensuring you’re not undervaluing your property or scaring away potential residents with overly high prices. Additionally, their meticulous record-keeping makes financial management and tax preparation a breeze. Every transaction is tracked and accounted for, simplifying your finances and potentially uncovering savings you might have missed.
  5. Maintenance Maestros: Keeping a property in top shape is crucial for retaining resident satisfaction and property value. Property managers are like orchestra conductors for maintenance—they ensure each part performs perfectly and harmoniously. They have a network of trusted contractors and vendors to handle repairs swiftly and cost-effectively. Regular inspections and proactive maintenance keep small issues from becoming major expenditures, preserving the longevity and profitability of your investment.

Advantages of Self-Management

Taking care of your own rental property is like being the boss of a small company. You get to make all the big decisions, learn a lot about the property business, and meet the people who live in your rentals. By managing everything yourself, you can save money and make sure everything is done just the way you like it. It’s a great way to learn and grow while taking care of your investment.

  1. Direct Control – Your Hands on the Wheel: Imagine having the ultimate say in every decision, from choosing your residents to setting the rent and managing the day-to-day operations. Self-management places you in the driver’s seat, giving you the power to navigate according to your vision and standards. This direct control can lead to a deeper understanding of your property’s needs and more tailored solutions that align perfectly with your investment goals.
  2. Building Relationships – More Than Just Transactions: When you manage your property, you’re not just overseeing assets; you’re building relationships. Direct interactions with residents can foster a sense of community and trust, leading to longer tenancies, more reliable rent payments, and residents who treat your property with care. These relationships can be immensely rewarding, both personally and professionally, creating a network of mutual respect and cooperation.
  3. Cost Savings – Trimming the Sails: One of the most tangible benefits of self-managing your rental is the elimination of property management fees. These fees typically range from 8% to 12% of the monthly rent, which can add up significantly over time. By taking on management tasks yourself, you keep more of your rental income. Moreover, by being on the front lines, you can often negotiate better prices for repairs and services, further increasing your financial return.
  4. Hands-On Experience – Learning by Doing: There’s no better teacher than experience. Managing your property allows you to gain invaluable insights into the real estate market, resident management, and property maintenance. This hands-on learning can make you a more knowledgeable and effective property owner. Each challenge you face and overcome not only builds your skills but also enhances your confidence in handling future investments.
  5. Quick Decisions – Swift and Responsive: Self-management allows for quicker decision-making. Without the need to go through a third party, you can address issues as soon as they arise, from approving a repair to resolving resident concerns. This responsiveness can lead to higher resident satisfaction and less downtime between residents, which in turn can enhance your property’s reputation and desirability.

Factors to Consider When Making Your Decision

When deciding whether to hire a property manager or manage your rental property yourself, several key factors come into play. Each option has its distinct advantages, but the best choice depends on your personal circumstances, priorities, and long-term investment goals. Here’s a guide to help you weigh your options effectively:

  1. Distance from Your Property: If you live close to your rental property, self-management might be more feasible. You can easily visit the property to handle repairs, conduct inspections, and meet with residents. However, if you live far away, a property manager becomes indispensable. They can address issues promptly and oversee the day-to-day operations, ensuring your property is well-maintained and your residents are satisfied, even in your absence.
  2. Time Availability: Consider your current commitments, including your job, family life, and leisure activities. Property management can be time-consuming, with responsibilities ranging from handling resident inquiries to dealing with emergency repairs and legal compliance. If you already have a full plate, it might be wise to hire a property manager to handle these tasks. This is especially true if you value your personal time and prefer not to be on call 24/7.
  3. Experience and Expertise: Managing a rental property requires a certain level of expertise in areas such as real estate law, finance, and maintenance. If you’re new to property management, the learning curve can be steep. Property managers bring professional experience and knowledge to the table, ensuring your property complies with housing regulations and market standards. If you lack the necessary experience—or the inclination to learn—hiring a professional might be your best bet.
  4. Financial Considerations: While hiring a property manager involves paying a fee, typically a percentage of the rental income, this cost needs to be weighed against the potential benefits. A property manager may help optimize your rental income by setting competitive rent prices, reducing vacancy rates, and efficiently handling maintenance issues. Evaluate whether the potential increase in revenue and decrease in stress and operational costs could offset the expense of a property manager.
  5. Number of Properties: Managing one or two properties might be manageable on your own, but as your portfolio grows, so does the complexity of managing multiple residents and maintenance issues. Property managers are particularly valuable if you own multiple properties or a large unit complex. They can streamline operations, handle multiple resident relationships, and spread the cost of their services across several properties, potentially increasing your profits at scale.
  6. Personal Temperament: Consider your personal skills and temperament. Are you patient and organized enough to handle late-night emergencies and resident complaints? Do you enjoy hands-on work, or do you prefer to delegate these tasks to someone else? Your personality and management style can greatly influence your success in either managing the property yourself or overseeing a property manager.
  7. Future Plans: Think about your long-term goals. Are you planning to expand your real estate portfolio, or are you managing a single rental property as part of your retirement plan? Your approach might change based on whether you see property management as a business or as a passive investment.

In Conclusion

The decision between hiring a property manager and managing your rental property yourself hinges on a careful evaluation of your personal circumstances and preferences. Whether it’s the distance from your property, your available time, or your experience in property management, each factor plays a crucial role in shaping your choice. While a property manager can offer expertise and ease the burden of daily management, taking the DIY route allows for more personal control and potentially higher cost savings.

Consider also the size of your property portfolio and your long-term investment goals. If you are expanding your holdings or planning to keep property management as a significant part of your investment strategy, the benefits of professional management might outweigh the costs. Conversely, for single-property owners who enjoy hands-on involvement and have the time to commit, self-management can be a rewarding and enriching experience.

Ultimately, the best approach is the one that fits your lifestyle, aligns with your financial goals, and satisfies your managerial preferences. Whichever path you choose, ensure it contributes to the growth and sustainability of your investment. By thoughtfully considering these factors, you can make a well-informed decision that not only maximizes your property’s potential but also brings peace of mind in your role as a property owner.

Happy Cloud
Share This Article
PURE Investor Signup

Investors, Get a Free Rental Analysis

  • Peace of Mind and Convenience
  • Maximize Your Rental Income
  • High Tech, High Touch