Originally published on David Taran’s website.
Have you ever considered getting involved in property management? Because property management can seem like such foreign territory, many individuals are unaware as to whether or not property management would be a suitable fit for them.
Property management can be a very daunting responsibility to take on, especially because the hours and effort that are consumed by managing a property are not always guaranteed to yield profits for you. Before you make the decision to pursue property management, it’s important to first ask yourself a few questions to determine whether this would be something you would entertain for an extended period of time after you start distributing energy into it:
1. How would you handle consistent maintenance calls?
Tenants are not going to be as concerned as much with the time of day as they will be about reaching out to you when there is a leaking faucet or a light that has burnt out. Being a property manager means that you make yourself available to your tenants whenever there is an issue that needs addressing. The hope is that they will be respectful, only engaging with you during the day. But because some of them may be gone for most of the day, or have inconsistent sleeping patterns, you may occasionally be faced with a midnight phone call, forced to quiet a distressed tenant.
2. What is your protocol for selecting renters?
The quality of your tenants will directly impact your role as property manager. If are being selective in your choice of tenants, paying attention to every answer they give in the interview process, you will be able to weed out problem tenants. If you are only offering up rental properties to tenants who will be mindful and respectful in regards to their rapport with you, it is going to make your job more tolerable.
3. Do you know what to do in the event of a legal issue?
You have most likely heard horror stories from other property managers concerning tenants who either initiated legal action or had to have legal action taken on them, but these stories are not as common as they may seem. There is, however, the possibility that there may be minor issues that arise (environmental disasters, security deposit disputes, etc.) that will require some sort of legal action and you need to be prepared for how to deal with that.
4. What is your strategy for filling vacancies?
As a property manager, you ideally want to make a profit at the end of the day, but there are unpredicted issues that could arise that could cause you to lose money. The most common – and expensive – expense concerning property managers is vacancies. It’s imperative that you have a plan set in place for how to avoid vacancies altogether, or at least lessen the amount of time between each vacancy.