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Ranjit Menon
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property managemer single family home

Ranjit Menon
Posted Nov 28 2023, 20:24

I was looking to rent out my single family home .. would anyone recommend a good property manager? I read online that housing hub isnt that great but thats the most signs I see on vacancies. Would greatly apprecaite any help!

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Randall Alan
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  • Lakeland, FL
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Randall Alan
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Replied Jan 14 2024, 09:01

@Ranjit Menon

If you are close by this property, I would tell you to self-manage the property.  It is really quite easy.  We managed 20 properties while working other full time jobs.  We now have 37 units, quit the full time jobs, and self manage our properties full time.  One property would be a breeze to self-manage.  Think about your own house... how often do you have to call someone to fix something... once a year or two?  That is what you should more or less expect on managing a rental.  A couple of times a year you will hear from your tenant about an issue.  When you have turn-over there is a little more work... but not more than a few days worth typically.  We use RentecDirect.com to manage our portfolio.  It collects our rent, lets tenants report issues, screens tenants, markets our properties, etc.  Zillow.com is all you need to market your vacancy.  List it there and within 2 days you will have more inquiries than you know what to do with.  Automating those small tasks makes a huge difference to self-managing.  Why pay someone a month's rent to put in a new tenant, plus 10% of your gross rent to handle 2-3 issues a year?  You will definitely come out ahead if you do it yourself.

One thing many people don't understand is that you will also be occupied by managing your property manager.  They aren't going to spend your money without checking in with you.  So anytime something breaks they will likely be contacting you - if nothing else, for payment.  Also, many property managers have little to no incentive to save you money.  They may call the big ad in the phone book that charges triple what the 'little guy' could have fixed something for.

All the best!

Randy

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Michael Smythe
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Michael Smythe
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Replied Jan 15 2024, 08:38

@Ranjit Menon it is not always as easy as @Randall Alanmakes it out to be.

Once you know everything about property management, yes it can be easy. But getting that knowledge without costing yourself thousands of dollars can be challenging.

If you decide to DIY manage, you need to research and understand:
1) Fair Housing laws
2) Fair Credit laws
3) Find an acceptable rental application process
4) Learn how to screen applicants
5) Learn how & where to advertise your rental
6) Design a system that works for your time constraints for prospect calls and showings
7) Find an acceptable lease, that meets all federal, state and local laws.
8) Figure out systems for tenant payments
9) Make sure you know how to evict someone for nonpayment without violating landlord-tenant laws
10) and so much more!

If you decide to hire a PMC (property management companies employ property managers) then make sure you screen them BETTER than you would a tenant! Don't just go with a referral, as what works for someone else may not work for you. 

Remember, a PMC can make or break the best investment,

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Randall Alan
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Randall Alan
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Replied Jan 15 2024, 10:25
Quote from @Michael Smythe:

@Ranjit Menon it is not always as easy as @Randall Alanmakes it out to be.

Once you know everything about property management, yes it can be easy. But getting that knowledge without costing yourself thousands of dollars can be challenging.

If you decide to DIY manage, you need to research and understand:
1) Fair Housing laws
2) Fair Credit laws
3) Find an acceptable rental application process
4) Learn how to screen applicants
5) Learn how & where to advertise your rental
6) Design a system that works for your time constraints for prospect calls and showings
7) Find an acceptable lease, that meets all federal, state and local laws.
8) Figure out systems for tenant payments
9) Make sure you know how to evict someone for nonpayment without violating landlord-tenant laws
10) and so much more!

If you decide to hire a PMC (property management companies employ property managers) then make sure you screen them BETTER than you would a tenant! Don't just go with a referral, as what works for someone else may not work for you. 

Remember, a PMC can make or break the best investment,

 @Ranjit Menon

I'm certainly not trying to start a word fight on a message board, but as hard as Michael tries to make it sound, it's really not rocket science.  Most cloud-based property management offerings do well over half of what he listed for you for a few dollars a month per door... rental application process, screens tenants, advertises your rentals, etc.  From the applications the system collects, you call your prospect and set up a time to show it to them (not to hard).  The cloud based system collects your rent, and notifies you of repairs needed when the tenant reports them.

  As for a lease - you can literally google "(your state) and "Lease Agreement" to find a basic one that is legal and binding.  You will modify it over time to fit your needs... but again... not hard.  As for not violating landlord tenant laws - those are published online for every state and usually spread across about 3-4 pages of written text (google it yourself and you will see).  It's definitely information worth knowing (and obviously following)... but it's all pretty basic... you can't lock someone out of their house for non-payment, who is responsible for pest control, etc, etc.  There will be a list of tenant responsibilities, and a list of landlord responsibilities. You can easily read it in 10-20 minutes for the state of Florida where I live. 

Is there a learning curve to managing properties?  Sure.  Is it steep?  Not really.  As for some of the others items... some are common sense... but require some foot work. Fair Housing and Fair Credit laws are easily looked up, but even easier to follow once you know them.  Evictions, for instance - the court clerk in our county provides the required forms on their website.  It is literally edit them in Microsoft Word, submit them with payment to the county clerk, and the eviction happens in a few weeks barring the tenant fighting it - which they seldom do if they know they aren't paying (they know they are in the wrong).  It's slightly more detailed than all this, but in essence it is that simple (for us)... and evictions are really few and far between.  In 6 years we have probably done a half dozen across 37 properties and multiple tenants per property... and most of those were from inherited tenants that weren't good to begin with.  Most tenants, if you communicate with them, they will often get out on their own - especially if you tell them, "Hey, I don't want to file an eviction, because it will be much more difficult for you to get into a new place, so it's either get caught up by X date, or vacate by the end of the month, or we have to file.  More times than not, they will choose to vacate the property if they are a descent tenant.  Otherwise you file the eviction.  If you don't want to do it yourself, hire a local lawyer.   Will the first one take you a bit more time?  Yes.  Will the 2nd one be a piece of cake?  Yes; and by the 3rd one, you are more or less a pro in the sense that you know the process.  Everything you do the first time involves learning.  I'm just saying that landlording is pretty basic,  and property management is expensive, and if you are looking to maximize your revenue, it isn't hard to handle yourself.  Are their examples where landlords got screwed by not using a property manager... I'm sure.  But there are just as many examples of landlords getting screwed by property managers (just search the Bigger Pocket Message boards!).  One quick example from my wife when I first met her who was using a PM: The PM called and said "the garage door opener was broken" in her rental.  The PM said it would be $800 to fix it.  (A garage door opener costs under $200).  We went and bought one for $150 at Home Depot and installed it in less than 2 hours (saving $650 from what we would have paid the PM (and then we fired the PM and started doing it ourself).  If you don't want to self manage - by all means a PM can take care of you.  PM's just don't have any incentive to save a landlord money.  Are they going to shop a repair job?  Likely not.  They are just going to get a cost and relay it to the owner.  $1,500 first month's rent to place a tenant is pretty much highway robbery in my book.  (But if you don't know any better, you will pay it).  Keep in mind the average financed rental probably makes $200/month if you have a PM.  So that full month's rent (say$1,500) you paid your PM is 7 1/2 full months worth of all the profit on your rental.  When you start looking at it that way, it starts to sink in how expensive their services add up to be (not to mention the 10% they take each month... so there is another full month's worth of rent you will not be earning that year either).   Just expect to make way less money on your rental with a PM than you would if you self-managed.  

All the best!

Randy

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Michael Smythe
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Michael Smythe
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Replied Jan 16 2024, 05:42

All good points and not trying to start a word war either:)

Let's just say we've seen few people that can research and do everything necessary to successfully be a DIY landlord, but significantly more people that "float" through the process and then have no idea what to do when confronted with a landlord challenge.

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Amanda McKee
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Amanda McKee
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Replied Jan 16 2024, 15:14
Quote from @Ranjit Menon:

I was looking to rent out my single family home .. would anyone recommend a good property manager? I read online that housing hub isnt that great but thats the most signs I see on vacancies. Would greatly apprecaite any help!

I self-manage my short-term rental, which is much more involved than a long-term rental, and it only takes probably 4-8 hours a month to manage. With that being said, I implemented a ton of systems to streamline and automate which took a lot of research and months to procure and property management rates for STR is much higher and I wanted to avoid that.

I would encourage you to consider self-managing. Otherwise my company Realty Group acquired a company and will also be offering property management. It's still being rolled out, but may be worth checking out to consider your options. I have no personal experience with them, but at least you can get multiple quotes.