Utah fourplex self managing clueless

19 Replies

Hello, I'm closing on a fourplex next week here in Utah. A small but growing town called Logan. I just retired from the military. I can't find any answers anywhere so I thought I would try here. I would love to self manage my first rental property, but I do not know how or where to get leases or anything set up. I am totally dumb as a rock in this area. I being told by realtors just pay 10% to a property management company is your only choice. I took good landlord program class. I can get a landlord business license for 10 dollars because of that class. But I know nothing about drafting a lease or all those many, many forms that must be filled out. I have listened to bigger pockets podcast a few times but all the talk about is after you have million doors or so. I can't find any information for complete newbies. I found books that break down numbers BUT things I NEED to know such as leases, pet adedums, etc. ALL the books I read just say give them one nothing says where or how to get all the stuff. Seems like EVERYTHING I read glances over the very first basic step and account set up in a NON LLC or business (loan can't be it's VA loan) where to get a lease, etc. My problem is the very, very basic stuff like that stuff does it fall from the sky and magically give it to somebody? I close next week I guess self managing is rocket science I have a masters degree and a retired army medical person and this is incredibly difficult to know the extreme basics I know the advanced stuff bigger pockets is filled with the ADVANCED million door people nothing in detail from ground zero. Can anyone help??

@Michael Sharp Hey Michael! Welcome to BP! I’m not the most advanced on this subject but I do know that bugger pockets does have tenant leases for every state for you to use if you are a pro member. Also, there is a free ebook on bigger pockets about self managing your own property and there is also one you can purchase by Brandon Turner called “The Book on Managing Rental Properties: A Proven System for Finding, Screening, and Managing Tenants with Fewer Headaches and Maximum Profits”.

Another option is a website called cozy.com. It is free for landlords and you can screen tenants, have them apply, have them pay rent, etc. on this website. I am also in Logan but I’m just starting out. I’m a college student at USU but I’d love to help you out however I can. Hope this information helped a little! Also, thank you for your service!

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@Michael Sharp, I personally use a property manager out of Logan whom highly recommend. Cody Reeder,  with Reeder Asset Management. He personally owns lots of properties in Logan and manages thousands of doors. I'd expect to pay between 8%-10% on a multi-family property. If I were in your shoes, and dead set on managing my own property, I'd reach out to a reputable, local property manager, like Cody, and see if you can't purchase good lease agreements from them. Either that, or I would have a local real estate attorney draft you your own lease agreement. You can find free ones from the State of Utah, but they are not very well written and are designed to be as unbiased as possible, if not, favoring the tenant, which isn't what you want. Congrats on finding a fourplex in an awesome market! Good luck and let me know if there is anything else I can help you with. Thank you for your service to our great nation. Cody's website is below.


@Michael Sharp

@Michael Sharp

A lot of those realtors and brokerages have property management offerings that the owners/brokers have a piece of.  So, keep that in mind when evaluating their statements.

You can manage your own stuff.  Use google to get a generic lease doc for your state.  That will get you started.  You can post an ad for your places on Craigslist and Postlets (zillow, etc).  That will get you started.  Then, learn from there!

If you are planning to continue in real estate investing and grow a portfolio, I highly recommend you start of by self managing to better understand what a property manager should do.  The best resource for landlords in Utah is the Utah Apartment Association.  For $125/year they have leases, tenant screening tools, eviction services, etc.  The UAA is the organization that's helping the legislature write the tenant/landlord law here so most leases in the state are roughly based on theirs.

After a hear of managing you'll be better able to interview property management companies with a much better understanding of how they earn their money and manage expectations of that relationship.

Welcome to BP!

As far as self-managing your property there are a lot of great resources out there Michael. Just be sure to keep in mind every step of the rental process + the number of units you'll be managing; once you've set your goals/expectations it makes it a lot easier to make the decision on who to go with. BP has listed a lot of great online tools, and others have mentioned some good ones above, but I'd really press the importance of finding one that's the best fit for what you're aiming to accomplish. And that lease is key; do you currently have a draft lease of your own? Or are you still looking? Might be worth checking out a tool that uses the property's local address to pull in all of the necessary clauses so that your lease has you covered. @Michael Sharp

Check and see if there's a local apartment association in Logan or a nearby town. My local apartment association supplies all leases, forms and lots of information on their website, all catered toward state and local laws. I pay around $75 a year to be a member and it's worth every penny (they also do credit and criminal checks for a fee which is great and they have classes for members as well). 

@Michael Sharp

I would be happy to send you what I use. I have 26 properties in Vernal that I started self managing last year. PM me and we can talk live if you would like some help. I can walk you through what lease I use and the addendum I have also included in my leases. My thoughts on pets, what type of fees to charge and also what sites to list when your place goes vacant to fill it quickly and for a good rent. Also my favorite vendor for tenant screening. Good luck I am excited for you. Your next step is to find a good handyman you can call for help with your units. Start building you list of subs for when those phone calls come because they will.

I think I should try to learn more before I self manage. There is a lot to learn. I close next week Wednesday. I think I'm going with Reside property management. I heard from a lot of professional people they're much better than Reeder Asset Mgmt. I plan on doing it for a year then during that time see if I can learn the administrative side. Plus the rents are extremely too low ($550 and the market here is starting at $725 for totally roach trashed - mine isn't ) so, going be ALOT of drama raising rents that much. Thanks for all the amazing advice though. 

Hey man!

Give me a call!

I live Logan and self manage and use property managers here locally. My wife is also a property manager for a developer and has tons of experience. If you wanna come by the house and hang out and talk shop we’d love to have you.

PM me if you want to set something up

Take me up on the offer! Would love to help anyway we can!

PS if you ask me...you should self manage right away! There’s no better way to learn! 

Hello, we close tomorrow. We signed with property management company unfortunately for a year. My wife has volunteered to work free for any management company. No one will give her the time of day. She is considering going to school for real estate agent. She went to school for interior design but we are retired military so never got to use it. She would love any pointers. Because she has dreamed of doing this and she wants to take over management in our next four 4 plexes ( my goal is 5 ) Tonight we are trying figure out dog breed restrictions to let them know in morning closing.

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Buy the bigger pockets lease package, it was better than the lease I started with and paid a lawyer $500 to write. Then choose some property management software

@Nate Julian what do you use to self manage? I'm thinking about going with COZY after my contract is up. I just do not feel 8 or 10 percent of rental income going to them is worth it. I have a quadruplex here and 99% time they just collect their percentage.

In Utah Rentler is a fantastic resource for new landlords. I use it self manage my small properties in Salt Lake and Pocatello to list rentals, accept payments, schedule maintenance etc. Kirk Cullimore provides legal docs and leases on Rentler for $25 and is a premier tenant law attorney in Utah. The forms are easy to use. I also use the apartment association resources for extra forms especially COVID related.

I use property managers for my large multi-family, but self managing my couple of small ones keeps me grounded in the game and makes me a better asset manager for my larger properties. Highly recommend!