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How Using Intelligent Property Managers Can Save You Money

Jul 1, 2008
Your clock registered 3:15 a.m. The phone is ringing and you scramble to wakefulness desperately searching blindly for the receiver. Surely, it is something terrible for anyone to call at this late hour. The voice on the other end of the phone is your tenant complaining, no whining, and no squeaking about a possible home invasion by something big, furry, and possibly canine in origin. Then again, it might just be the rental property settling on a windy night. She's not sure. She has barricaded herself in her bathroom, dragging the cordless phone with her, and she has called you. You begin to question the value of buying real estate rental properties.

If you are a landlord, this scenario probably seems familiar. Thousands of people across the country get involved with real estate and choose to manage it themselves only to find they burn out very quickly. Many of those eager property buyers had no idea the amount of time and expertise that it takes to efficiently manage a property.

Unexpected problems arise that new property owners have no idea how to handle, and all the glossy brochures about making money in real estate failed to mention the night calls, sudden disasters and lousy tenants who destroy hard won investments. At this point, investing in the stock market doesn't sound that bad. What a property owner generally discovers is that many of their problems will disappear with the addition of a good property manager. If they can figure that out before they give up, they have made the first step to an easier existence. A good property manager has the knowledge and skill to ask the right questions, fill out forms and solicit as much information from a prospective tenant as possible prior to renting to them. Avoiding just these mistakes can save a landlord literally thousands of dollars per year.

Good property managers know the right questions to ask, forms to fill out and information to glean from the prospective tenant. Mistakes in this area cost the average landlord thousands of dollars every year.

Maintaining excellent communication has proven to be essential in effectively managing rental properties. Keeping tenants happy comes down to good communication and reducing misunderstandings that could lead to disputes if left unattended. Preventing high turnover rates and maintaining only a high quality of tenants comes down to making scheduled visits for upkeep and avoiding sudden disasters before they occur.

When a sudden disaster strikes at the property that may require a landlord's personal attention, it very rarely happens at a convenient time. Hands-on property owners tend to invest their money and not plan out their resources effectively. This upsets the balance because they remain torn between having an income producing property versus a house that is always in need of repair. As a result, vacations and time off becomes something just wished for because something is always happening at the property. Beyond the inconvenience of tenants calling in the middle of the night, with a property manager, there is a scheduled, regular maintenance schedule and checks are delivered to the property owner on a regular basis.

The ever-changing landscape of tenant law and tax law create new reading materials and record keeping nightmares for the average landlord. A mistake in these areas cost thousands of dollars in fees, fines and penalties.

Many people find that the expertise of a good property manager eliminates all their frustration. A good property manager reduces the number of vacancies and provides lower upkeep costs with experienced selection of tenants. The use of a property manager experienced in proactive maintenance reduces the amount of future costly problems. When a landlord uses a property manager the burden of record keeping no longer is a nightmare. The use of a property manager allows the property owner comfort of peace of mind and relief from stress caused by problems at unexpected times.

There are qualities to look for when you hire a property manager. The seasoned property manager understands all the changes and interpretation of the complex rental laws. They communicate on a regular basis with both you and the tenants. Property managers know who to contact for those sudden repairs and provide preventive maintenance so fewer occur. A scheduled maintenance inspection often eliminates the need for high repair cost later. Good managers return phone calls promptly. A proficient property manager handles arrearage with expertise and professional demeanor in a timely fashion.

If an investment property portfolio grows larger, the owner should be prepared to expand with more property managers. In exchange, they will avoid the nightmare of paperwork, rules and regulations, fines and penalties. It is a win-win for all involved with the property owner reaping some of the benefits of owning real estate. In this case, the brochures should include part of the dream - hire a good property manager in the beginning. You won't be sorry you did.
About the Author
About the author: Paul T. Robertson highlights the importance of property management to protect your most important investment. Visit the "InHousePropertyManagement" website for more information on how to efficiently and effectively manage your property and save time and money.
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