Couldn’t handle it…why I just hired a property manager
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The time has finally come. I finally hired a property manager while I invest in real estate, after 7 years of managing the my rentals myself. Here’s why and what led me to that choice – enjoy! Add me on Snapchat/Instagram: GPStephan
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I ended up buying two houses and a triplex in late 2011 and early 2012. Since then, managing them has been extremely easy. For the most part, it took me 1-2 hours per MONTH of work to manage 5 tenants at the time. Most of this time was spent making sure rent had been paid, cashing rent checks, making sure bills were paid, and just generic accounting. If something broke, I’d just call a contractor to go out and fix it. I also rarely had vacancies..
My rental landlord philosophy was this… I generally don’t raise rent, unless it’s a unique situation or cash flow issue. For instance, on my original 3 properties, I’ve only raised rents when a unit becomes vacant. I’ve had some tenants since 2011 that are paying the SAME rent since back then. Am I leaving money on the table? Sure. But on the upside, I have really, really great tenants that take really good care of the place, treat it like their own, always pay on time, and are all around really awesome people, making it easy for me to manage. They have zero desire to move since they’re paying so much less than they would if they went somewhere else and in return, it’s easy for me. It’s a win win.
But recently the unthinkable happened…a tenant had to move and relocate for work. And now my vacant place needed a little work – just minor fixes, re painting some stuff, etc. And finally, at that point, I thought about it…the time it would take for me to drive an hour each way just to go there, the time it would take to coordinate a walk through, meet and screen tenants, handle payment, etc…just wasn’t worth it. My time was better spent doing just about anything else. And finally, it clicked…I gotta hire a property manager, I just can’t handle it myself.
So I did some research online, found a recommendation…did some negotiating back and forth for a day on prices between that and another company, and settled on a flat 8% management fee, everything included, and I moved forward. My reasoning now is that my time is way more valuable doing anything else other than managing a place, and the money I spend will save me more money that I can make elsewhere.
So I did it…I hired a property manager for my first house. Now remember, I’m still managing my other 4…that’s really easy. But if I have another vacancy, the management company will get that one too. And eventually I’ll slowly phase the management company in to replace all the work I currently did.
I’m only a month into this so far, but overall I like it. It’s amazing to be “Stress free” and have that distance between you and the tenant. I like that someone else handles it all, and all I have to do is simply just collect the check…I’m a little paranoid that something might fall through the cracks if I’m not micro managing it, but I’m doing my best just to let someone else take over.
So that’s the story, and that’s why I hired a manager for one of my properties. If this goes well, I’ll slowly phase it in to everything else and have real estate investing become 1-2 hours per month more passive.
For business inquiries or paid one-on-one real estate investing/real estate agent consulting or coaching, you can reach me at GrahamStephanBusiness@gmail.com
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