It all starts with the purchase of a second property. You’ve been holding down a single property for a year or two, keeping it fixed up, keeping it profitable, and you’re used to the routine. So you put in some effort and find another, and you start taking care of that one, too. With a second property comes more profit, but also more to do. By the time you have a third one in your portfolio, you’re starting to wonder about your work-life balance.
Here’s how you can know for sure when that balance is tipping entirely out of whack.
7 Surefire Signs You Need to Enlist the Help of a Property Manager
Your organizational skills are struggling to keep up.
When you’re dealing with several tenants and your to-do list starts to stretch out so much that you can’t tell which to-do belongs to which tenant (or which day of the week you intend to do it on), you need a property manager.
Your driving time is longer than your active time.
Even if you only have a few units, when they’re far enough apart that it starts to get to be a pain to drive between them all the time, you need help. Maybe not for every property, but find a property manager for some of them and narrow your own area down to a reasonable drive.
You’re annoyed at every communication you get from a tenant.
It’s inevitable that you’ll get annoyed from time to time—or even by one tenant on a regular basis. (There’s always that guy.) But when you can’t ever answer the phone with a smile, you’re not helping anyone—and are probably costing yourself money somewhere. Get a property manager to deal with them for you.
You have enough money to buy a new property.
When your savings expand enough that you see the opportunity to increase your long-term bottom line by adding a new home to your portfolio, it’s time to seriously consider handing it off to someone else.
You want more time to concentrate on investing.
Real estate investing is supposed to be all about creating income streams that don’t require your constant attention. When you realize that you could be spending your days finding the best next investment instead of dealing with another clogged toilet, do that. Don’t constantly pick up pennies and miss out on earning dollars.
Your better tenants are starting to complain.
When you’re so busy that you don’t have a single tenant who is completely satisfied, that’s a sure sign that you need help taking care of them all. A proper property manager will be able to do the job.
You’re considering getting out of real estate altogether.
Don’t give up! There are so many better options than just walking away—if you’ve never had a property manager, you have no idea how much easier it can be when you have a partner keeping their eyes on the day-to-day while you keep an eye on the long term.
It’s crucial for every property investor to keep their wits about them and continuously seek every advantage they can in keeping their properties as profitable as possible. For most of them, at some point that means finding a property manager that can help them, well, manage! With someone who has established contacts that are contractors, building inspectors, advertisers, agents, and beyond, you can trust that your properties will be making money—and so will you.
What signs made YOU realize you needed a property manager?
Let’s talk in the comments section below!
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.