Should you DIY Property Management…?

Deciding to rent out your property can be a tedious task in itself. The biggest question that faces you here is whether you should opt for a real estate agent to manage your property or do it yourself. It is important that you understand the responsibilities of becoming a landlord before deciding that you don’t need a professional manager.

Nightmare tenantMany investors make the decision to manage their own property, only to learn the hard way the true cost of their time and not having the experience to manage small issues from becoming big ones.

So What Is Involved?

There are a few questions you need to ask yourself before actually considering yourself right for the job of managing your own property.

  • Do you know the residential tenancies act like the back of your hand?… you could be breaching it without even knowing and you need to know how to handle when your tenant does.
  • Are you aware of the responsibilities of both parties?… Property management is like being a referee, the landlord and the tenant both have rights.
  • Are you well versed and updated in all the related real estate laws that are currently prevailing in your area?… These change and there are big fines for getting it wrong.
  • Do you possess the time and energy required for this responsibility?… Landlords underestimate the time involved and don’t value their own time as much as they should.
  • Can you manage the repairs and maintenance yourself?… getting them done quickly and properly at a reasonable price is key.
  • Are you able to manage the property without becoming the tenants friend?…Staying objective is very difficult.
  • Will you keep on top of rent payments?… Notices need to be served immediately or your insurance will not cover
  • Are you able to access all the major websites for advertising to get the exposure you need to find a tenant quickly?… Vacancy is very costly.
  • Do you have the marketing skills to attract quality potential tenants to view your home?… Professional photos and well written copy get lots of people to your property.

You need to consider all these areas carefully and study all your options, make sure you are well aware of the entire process. This will help you understand the landlord-tenant relationship better and highlight the responsibilities of each. Even when you do understand these things like I do, I know that I am not the best to be doing it, I don’t enjoy and the cost is tax deductible… So I leave it up to my property managers.

There are a number of documents that are generally required at the time of renting out a home, whether you have hired a manager or not. It’s prudent to put together a renting guide for the tenants that explain their rights and their obligations; you need a lease agreement, a property condition report done to standards and a bond application form. All of these documents can be availed through relevant state authorities. Allow at least 3-4 visits to the property to prepare marketing and show it to tenants, 3-4 hours to put together your property condition report, an hour to sign your tenants lease up, 3-4 routine inspections per year that need to be properly documented, time to resolve maintenance as it arises, an hour a year to negotiate and renew your lease. Then if the tenant decides to vacate it all starts again J

Even if you have opted for a property manager, it’s good to know what is involved and ensure that they are doing their job properly. If you ever find that you have to manage your property manager, which was my experience before I started my agency, then it is time to find a new property manager.

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