Deciding whether you want to self-manage your King County rental property or hire a professional property management company really comes down to your available time and your level of expertise. Owning an investment property can provide a great opportunity to build wealth. But, it’s also risky. You need to decide how much risk you’re willing to take on and whether the value of professional management is worth the monthly management fee.
We think it is.
Leasing and Managing Your Rental Property
Self-managing landlords may struggle with renting their homes quickly and to well-qualified tenants. Before you even rent it out, you need to make repairs and ensure the place is clean and empty. Then, you’ll have to do some marketing, which will include high-quality photos and a lot of online advertising. When prospective tenants call or email for more information, you must be available to answer their questions and schedule showings.
Then, you’ll have to collect applications and screen tenants. When you’ve chosen a renter who meets your qualifications and requirements, you need to find a legally compliant lease that will protect you and your property. Then, you need to be prepared to collect the security deposit and hold it in a separate trust account.
You’ll have to do all of this in compliance with federal and state fair housing and landlord/tenant laws.
Professional property managers have systems in place that can make the marketing, screening, and leasing process a lot faster and more effective. You’ll avoid long vacancies with professional management and place better tenants.
Responding to Rental Property Maintenance
One of the benefits to working with a professional property management company is that you won’t have to worry about maintaining your home. A good management company will have a preventative maintenance plan in place and will respond immediately to emergencies and problems at the property. As a self-managing landlord, you will be on-call 24 hours a day and seven days a week. You have to be responsive to your tenants, especially if there’s an emergency.
Vendor relationships are also important. A management company will work with in-house vendors or use local contractors who are licensed and insured. Self-managing landlords may not be able to negotiate the best rates when they only have one or two properties that need repair work from time to time. Property managers provide a larger volume of work to plumbers, HVAC techs, and other vendors, so we often get better pricing.
King County Property Management Accounting and Technology
Tax laws require you to document all your income and expenses. As property managers, we have innovative software systems that make accounting detailed, transparent, and efficient. We provide statements and reports, and you can count on rent being paid on-time and electronically. If you manage your rental property on your own, you’ll need systems for accounting, rent collection, communication, and maintenance requests.
There’s a management fee involved in professional property management, but it’s worth your peace of mind and your long-term ROI. Expensive lawsuits, an extra month of vacancy, and a drawn-out eviction process are all risks that come with self-management. If you decide you want to earn more and spend less on your investment, contact us at People’s Real Estate & Property Management.