Do you need a property manager if you only have one or two rental properties?

Property Management, Property Manager

When you think of a “landlord”, what first comes to mind?  Some big, wealthy investor with hundreds of rental properties?    Hi, I’m Danielle Ohlms and I’m the broker and owner of Keyrenter St. Charles Property Management.  Today, I wanted to talk a little about how we perceive landlords, and debunk the big landlord myth.  

Did you know that almost half of single family rental homes are owned by individuals who own only one or two units.  Almost half!  These are investors who maybe lived in their house at one point or another, and decided to rent it instead of selling.  These might be investors that inherited a property, and turned it into a rental, or it could be investors who sought out to buy one or two properties as a source for retirement income in the future.  

You know what else?  These are the investors that we manage properties for!  Our clients don’t have hundreds of properties – most of them just have one, and they more than likely lived in that house.  These types of investors are what our services are designed around!

So, why would someone with just a property or two need a property manager?  Seems easy to just do it yourself and save some money, right??  There’s a ton of reasons I could give you on why having a property manager is a good idea, such as making sure you’re in compliance with national, state, and local laws,having proper screening conducted on tenants, not having to deal with maintenance headaches, etc, etc.  But, I’m going to go into detail on the ways a property manager will actually SAVE you money!  

  1.  Setting the Right Rental Rates.  Not only will a good property management company get you top dollar for your property, but we also make sure we align the price with the market so that it doesn’t sit empty too long.  A rental shouldn’t sit empty for more than 30 days, period.  
  2. Long Term Tenant Retention.  It’s no secret that tenants renting from a property management company tend to stay longer.  The ease of online payments, quick maintenance call responses, and emergency services are a huge benefit for tenants.
  3. Proper Tenant Screening.  Sure, you can put the house on the market and get all kinds of calls and showings.  That’s the easy part!  You need to make sure the tenants are qualified.  My biggest advice to any self-managing landlord is at least hire a rental property manager to lease the property for you, that way you know you have a well qualified tenant that you’ll be dealing with for the next year.  The last thing you want is to have to pay to have the tenant evicted in a couple of months. 
  4. Maintenance Savings.  A reputable property manager will conduct walk through’s of the property, and be able to detect what might be minor issues now, before they become major issues and cost you way more money than it should have.  Good property management companies will also have established discounts with vendors, that are passed on to you.

So yes, just because you might only have one, or a small handful, or rental properties, doesn’t mean that you don’t need a property manager.  Can you get by and do it yourself?  I’m sure you could – but why take the risk?  I could PROBABLY change the oil in my car if I watched enough youtube videos and had enough time for trial and error, but let’s be honest – at the end of the day I’m just going to end up taking it to the professionals anyway, and my car will definitely be better off.  Let us manage your property for you, so you can have peace of mind and know it’s being managed in a professional and efficient manner.