Should I Manage My Property Myself?
Many property owners wonder at some point if they should manage their properties personally, in an effort to save money each month. For some investors, self-management proves successful, but countless others ultimately find they lose money and waste time trying to keep up with the demands of their properties. If you do ultimately choose to tackle the challenge on your own, you'll want to think of management as your new full-time job. From addressing repairs to handling tenant conflicts, you have your work cut out for you. Before you jump in head first, review the following important considerations.
Managing Takes Time
Keeping your property in great shape requires much more than a precursory inspection every few months. Instead, you'll need to visit your home regularly, and you must remain on call in the event of a problem. When the furnace breaks down in the middle of the night, you're the one who must answer the call. Don't forget, challenges like unruly tenants who don't pay their rent and cause damages also become your problem. Are you ready to follow up with these individuals and invest the time necessary to schedule court dates, file paperwork, and work with the local authorities?
Prepare for Anything
Not only will you need to take the time to keep your property in great shape, but you also need to prepare for anything if you're going to tackle DIY management. If you're not already familiar with the legal ordinances governing rental properties in your community, you'll want to take some time studying these materials to familiarize yourself with the law. What will you do if your tenants partake in illegal activities or a fire breaks out? Experienced property managers are accustomed to dealing with challenges of all shapes and sizes, and you'll need to get comfortable doing the same.
Build a Network
From small repairs to landscaping needs, your property will need attention from the professionals as time goes on. Even if you consider yourself relatively handy, you'll need to build a small network of tradesmen to help keep your property in great shape. Of course, unless you own hundreds of properties, you won't benefit from bulk discounts or preferential rates, so your expenses will be higher than those incurred by professional property managers.
Consider the Workload
Many property owners dramatically underestimate the amount of time it takes to keep their rental profitable. Before you try to take on the workload alone, consider the numerous responsibilities that lie squarely on your shoulders. Firstly, you'll need to advertise and market your property. Once you receive applications, you'll need to spend the time pouring over each applicant's criminal, financial, and working history. After lease signing, you'll be responsible for addressing repairs, conducting inspections, and handling all of your accounting. Of course, if any problems occur during the tenancy, you'll be expected to resolve those, too. Feeling tired yet?
There are no two ways about it: managing your rental home in Fort Worth or the surrounding area takes a great amount of time and energy. Many property owners first try their hand at DIY management, before ultimately turning to the professionals to pull them out of a disastrous mess. Take the time to carefully mull over each of the above points before you commit to managing your Metroplex property on your own, in order to avoid catastrophe down the road.
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I leased two homes with Metroplex over the course of five years and it was a good experience. I've worked with crooked and dishonest landlords—you won't experience this with Metroplex and their staff.
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I have had the pleasure to do business with Steve Schuster and Metroplex Management for the past 12 years. When maximizing your real estate investment is at the forefront of your investment goal, I would recommend them every time.
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