fortunately the majority of these are unintentional and just due to a lack of knowledge.
Many people I have met with seem to make signing with a management company the final thing they do before renting their home.
The reality is, however, that signing with a manager is one of the first things that you should be doing.
Most legitimate management companies, Sleep Sound included, have a significant amount of groundwork that must be done before advertisements can go live. Waiting until the day you want to rent your house out to sign paperwork means you are missing out on time you could be advertising the property. Just one extra week of vacancy cost can you a few hundred dollars all because you were dragging your feet.
What I always tell people to do is set a hard deadline for when you want to PUT THE HOME ON THE MARKET, and then sign paperwork 2-3 weeks prior to allow for any unforeseen problems.
Note: For Owner-Occupied Properties (You’re living in it until it’s rented)
Does price matter? Yes, of course it does, but it’s not always what you pay that you need to be worried about, its what you get.
A cheap property management company is probably understaffed which likely means they have poor response time to not only prospective tenants, but the current resident needs such as maintenance request, non-payment issues and lease concerns.
A poorly performing company is probably poorly rated which means someone people won’t rent your property from them.
You wouldn’t pick the cheapest lawyer, you shouldn’t pick the cheapest property manager unless you are okay with what you get.
It is human nature to be attached to the things you own or have memories with. Unfortunately, that means you may have a harder time being objective than subjective.
While a resident will care for your property, no one will care for it like you do. If your property manager or leasing manager is giving you real-world feedback about general condition, curb appeal or price, be open to resolving it. You’re a business owner and need to address problems like a business owner.
Homes are like cars, very, very expensive cars. They need repairs and maintenance. One day the roof is going to need to be replaced and so will the sewer line. These are not inexpensive repairs. In addition to repair and maintenance expenses it is safe to assume one day your property will go vacant. When that happens you will need to be prepared to not only pay to get the property “rent ready” again, but you will also have to pay for utilities, a mortgage, etc.
Sleep Sound recommends setting aside 10-15% of the annual rents or equivalent each year to pay for repairs, maintenance and related expenses.
You hired a property manager so that you don’t have to manage. As an owner, being a landlord can be an emotional roller coaster ride. Your property manager is there to protect you from that such like your stock broker. They buffer the important information so you can make informed and quick decisions.
Don’t drive by the property, don’t overreact to the story your neighbor told you (there are always two sides and they are a biased party) and don’t insist on telling your property manager on how to do their job.
Ultimately the proof is in the pudding. If you have a competent manager they will be able resolve or take appropriate action in any situation. If you don’t trust that they can do this, maybe you have the wrong manager.