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  • Courtney Fields

Hire a Property Manager or Do It Yourself?

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

Source: Zillow

While many hands-on landlords manage rental properties on their own, some choose to hire a property manager to handle some or all of the landlord responsibilities. Use this guide to decide if hiring a property manager is right for you and what steps you can take to find a property management company in your area.

What does a property manager do?

Property managers essentially save you time and ease the stress and worry that can come with landlording — such as marketing the rental, managing tenants, collecting rent, responding to maintenance requests and handling legal issues. They are often employed by a company that rents your house for you in exchange for a property management fee, which is typically between 7% and 10% of the monthly rent.

Why should I hire a property manager?

You should consider hiring a property management company if:

  • You have multiple properties to rent.

  • You feel overwhelmed with property management tasks.

  • You live far away from your rental.

  • You’re not interested in hands-on management.

  • Your time is limited or more valuable than the cost of hiring a property manager.

If you’re interested in becoming a DIY landlord, you may be able to find a property management company to handle a portion of the landlording tasks while you handle the rest yourself. In that case, they may charge you a lower property management fee.

Do I need a property manager?

Whether or not you need a property manager depends on how much time you’re willing to spend on rental tasks or if you’d rather just pay a property management fee than handle everything yourself. Here are some reasons why you might choose to take on some tasks yourself or why you might have a property manager handle everything.

Hiring a property manager to handle some of the landlord responsibilities will:

  • Free up some of your time — you won’t have to answer tenant calls about emergency repairs or deal with evictions

  • Potentially save you money on property management costs

  • Provide you with an experienced person who can handle large matters like litigations and maintenance

  • Still allow you to have control over landlord responsibilities of your choosing

Hiring a property manager to handle all landlord responsibilities will:

  • Free up the time you would spend on landlord tasks

  • Ultimately cost more money — but this is a trade-off that many property owners accept

  • Provide the comfort of knowing experienced professionals are managing your rental property

How to find a property manager

If you haven’t bought your investment property yet, research whether any property management companies in your area are willing to manage a single rental. If you currently only have a single residential home for rent, some companies may not be interested — many only want to deal with people who own multiple properties or apartment buildings and complexes.

Here are some steps to help you find and hire a property manager:

  1. Ask for referrals from friends, family or your real estate agent.

  2. Check reviews online or with a state or local apartment association.

  3. Make a list of a few companies that may fit your needs.

  4. Compare the fees of each company.

  5. Check each company’s licenses and certification.

  6. Read each company’s property management agreement.

  7. Inspect properties currently managed by the companies you’re interested in.

  8. Organize interviews with a few companies to see which one is the best fit.


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