How do you manage your properties out of your state?

24 Replies

How do you manage your properties that are for from where you are?

Do you have property management? Or you manage yourself?

If your property is within 3 hours range (over 1 hour), is it still possible to manage yourself?

I manage four properties from out of state (about 5 hours away). 3 long term rentals and 1 Airbnb. The Airbnb is more work than the other three combined but it also much more profitable.  We hired a cleaner to be our boots on the ground there and she has done an awesome job so far. With the long term rentals, all rent payments are done online and the only time where we need to be physically present at the property is during times of turnover or major repairs. 

We live in a world now where so much can be done from behind a laptop, it makes it much easier to manage properties from a distance. As a property manager, you need to be very responsive and willing to go the extra mile (no pun intended) for your tenants. Treat them well and they will treat you well.

Originally posted by @Sean McDonnell :

I manage four properties from out of state (about 5 hours away). 3 long term rentals and 1 Airbnb. The Airbnb is more work than the other three combined but it also much more profitable.  We hired a cleaner to be our boots on the ground there and she has done an awesome job so far. With the long term rentals, all rent payments are done online and the only time where we need to be physically present at the property is during times of turnover or major repairs. 

We live in a world now where so much can be done from behind a laptop, it makes it much easier to manage properties from a distance.  As a property manager, you need to be very responsive and willing to go the extra mile (no pun intended) for your tenants. Treat them well and they will treat you well. 

Thank you Sean for your response!

For your Airbnb, do you not have to be physically there to manage it? Do you give the key/access code to the cleaner? What if there are damage to the property? Who notifies you?

 

It's 100% doable to manage your Airbnb from out of state. All you need is a cleaner, handyperson, and a smart phone. You'll give the guests their code 2 days before they check in, and your cleaner will notify you if anything is amiss after the guests check out. If something breaks, you make a phone call to the appropriate vendor to come fix it, same as you would if the property were 15 minutes from you. Don't overthink it!

I do it arsebackwards. I use a property manager for my dozen to so local properties (las Vega) and self manage my property in MN. For the MN property I used renters warehouse to find and vet the tenant and then I took over. Even though they had a flat $89/month fee on $2700/mo rent (a very low fee percentage wise) they weren't really doing anything. They would forward a service request and then I would end up talking to tenant anyway to schedule repairs so we agreed to cut out the middle man. 4 years in to a 6 year lease and it's been great.

Originally posted by @Avery Carl :

It's 100% doable to manage your Airbnb from out of state. All you need is a cleaner, handyperson, and a smart phone. You'll give the guests their code 2 days before they check in, and your cleaner will notify you if anything is amiss after the guests check out. If something breaks, you make a phone call to the appropriate vendor to come fix it, same as you would if the property were 15 minutes from you. Don't overthink it!

Thank you Avery for your response!

I guess you are right, my only concern would be not able to check the house if it is ok or not.

But you were able to convince me. A Airbnb close to you is the same as a one far away from you. If both have problems, it can be solved by phone calls.

 

Originally posted by @Bill Brandt :

I do it arsebackwards. I use a property manager for my dozen to so local properties (las Vega) and self manage my property in MN. For the MN property I used renters warehouse to find and vet the tenant and then I took over. Even though they had a flat $89/month fee on $2700/mo rent (a very low fee percentage wise) they weren’t really doing anything. They would forward a service request and then I would end up talking to tenant anyway to schedule repairs so we agreed to cut out the middle man. 4 years in to a 6 year lease and it’s been great. 

 Correct me if I'm wrong. A PM should be the one responsible for any kind of problems and they would deal with it themselves right? The only thing that you would have to do is to get a phone call from them saying you had a problem and it was fixed, and get the bill for it.

Sorry, my ignorance, but I'm not very familiar with the service of a PM.

@Leandro Zhao

That’s how my vegas PM works, if it’s under $250. Otherwise, if it’s over $250, I get a report saying this is the problem and here’s a quote we got. Do you want them to fix it or get your own quote?

Renters warehouse of MN didn’t provide that service, but they also aren’t charging 8% per month ($216) , they’re charging 3.3% so it’s hard to complain at $125/mo less than the competition. 

In 4 years I woulda saved $6,000 in fees for personally handling the replacement of a microwave and a garage door opener. ( I called Lowes and I called warner stellan, they handled the rest.)  But Instead I saved the entire $10,368 in fees doing it solo. I also get paid on the 1st instead of the 10th as I set up automatic withdrawals from the tenant’s account. 

Originally posted by @Bill Brandt :

@Leandro Zhao

That’s how my vegas PM works, if it’s under $250. Otherwise, if it’s over $250, I get a report saying this is the problem and here’s a quote we got. Do you want them to fix it or get your own quote?

Renters warehouse of MN didn’t provide that service, but they also aren’t charging 8% per month ($216) , they’re charging 3.3% so it’s hard to complain at $125/mo less than the competition. 

In 4 years I woulda saved $6,000 in fees for personally handling the replacement of a microwave and a garage door opener. ( I called Lowes and I called warner stellan, they handled the rest.)  But Instead I saved the entire $10,368 in fees doing it solo. I also get paid on the 1st instead of the 10th as I set up automatic withdrawals from the tenant’s account. 

I see. It does makes sense if you don't want to get a surprise bill of 500 bucks at the end of the month.

 

Originally posted by @Leandro Zhao :

How do you manage your properties that are for from where you are?

Do you have property management? Or you manage yourself?

If your property is within 3 hours range (over 1 hour), is it still possible to manage yourself?

I'm a Canadian who lives in Toronto. I own properties in AZ and TN. 

In AZ I use CR Property Services Inc. (https://www.crpropertyservices.com/). Ask for Jim Powers.

In TN I use CB Properties (https://cbpropertiesmemphis.com/). Ask for Alex Craig.
 

Originally posted by @Jim Chuong :
Originally posted by @Leandro Zhao:

How do you manage your properties that are for from where you are?

Do you have property management? Or you manage yourself?

If your property is within 3 hours range (over 1 hour), is it still possible to manage yourself?

I'm a Canadian who lives in Toronto. I own properties in AZ and TN. 

In AZ I use CR Property Services Inc. (https://www.crpropertyservices.com/). Ask for Jim Powers.

In TN I use CB Properties (https://cbpropertiesmemphis.com/). Ask for Alex Craig.
 

 Good job Jim. Was always interested in Nashville

Originally posted by @Leandro Zhao :

How do you manage your properties that are for from where you are?

Do you have property management? Or you manage yourself?

If your property is within 3 hours range (over 1 hour), is it still possible to manage yourself?

It will depend on how much time you have on your hands and what asset class. If it is like a fairly new highrise condo its almost hands off as there are not many maintenance requirements. You just need a leasing agent to find you a tenant and have them send you email money transfer if in Canada or one of those many payment apps if in US.

Almost everything else you need to manage the property manager and a vetted one. 

I know someone who owns a bunch of singles in Texas and live in Toronto and he manages them all himself because he has the time..

 

We use Property Management. If you have a difficult tenant, are you willing to drive that distance weekly to get rent, post notices, etc? It's not always the easy, "sit back and collect rent checks" that everyone says. It depends on the area. With a good tenant, it make be a once or twice a year trip. Hard to know. 

@Leandro Zhao I self manage a dozen doors in several states that are 8000 miles away. I have trusty realtors that help place tenants into vacancies and I use online services to manage repairs. Emails and texts are used for tenant communications. This works for A and B asset classes.

@Leandro Zhao

I own 8 properties (15 doors) one of those doors is an Airbnb about 5 hours away.

My wife manages the Airbnb. My property manager manages the rest.

It is essential to have a good boots on the ground team there. Agent, handyman, prop mgmt, cleaners, etc.

@Leandro Zhao

We own properties 2000 miles away.  We have 2 with a property manager and 3 that I self manage.  I have a contractor/handyman there that can help me and I have software for rent collection/screening/leasing.  We buy in A school districts and rent a higher class of tenants.  So far it works.  

@Leandro Zhao . I use property management and my own team of contractors amongst other people I also come once a year or every two years and inspect all units and see if people need to be evicted property Managment does a great job but I like to see my investments

I invest in larger apartment complexes, so we have to have 3rd party property management anyway. Larger scale helps us outsource many of the less enjoyable tasks (including property management). We do oversee the property managers quite a bit to make sure they're staying on target.

Originally posted by @Allan C. :

@Leandro Zhao I self manage a dozen doors in several states that are 8000 miles away. I have trusty realtors that help place tenants into vacancies and I use online services to manage repairs. Emails and texts are used for tenant communications. This works for A and B asset classes.

Hi Allan - what online services do you use for repairs? And how much does a Realtor charge to help place tenants into vacancies?  

Originally posted by @Hai Loc :
Originally posted by @Leandro Zhao:

How do you manage your properties that are for from where you are?

Do you have property management? Or you manage yourself?

If your property is within 3 hours range (over 1 hour), is it still possible to manage yourself?

It will depend on how much time you have on your hands and what asset class. If it is like a fairly new highrise condo its almost hands off as there are not many maintenance requirements. You just need a leasing agent to find you a tenant and have them send you email money transfer if in Canada or one of those many payment apps if in US. 

Almost everything else you need to manage the property manager and a vetted one. 

I know someone who owns a bunch of singles in Texas and live in Toronto and he manages them all himself because he has the time..

 

Hello Hai - What are some of the challenges with self managing a US property from Canada? I realize you said it was your friend who does this, but was curious to know if you have any insight here...

Originally posted by @Jim Chuong :
Originally posted by @Leandro Zhao:

How do you manage your properties that are for from where you are?

Do you have property management? Or you manage yourself?

If your property is within 3 hours range (over 1 hour), is it still possible to manage yourself?

I'm a Canadian who lives in Toronto. I own properties in AZ and TN. 

In AZ I use CR Property Services Inc. (https://www.crpropertyservices.com/). Ask for Jim Powers.

In TN I use CB Properties (https://cbpropertiesmemphis.com/). Ask for Alex Craig.
 

 Hi Jim - how is TN working out for you? What area(s) do you invest in there? Also interested to know what challenges you deal with managing US properties from Toronto, Canada? 

I manage three vaca properties across the country with a good team consisting of cleaning people who are always checking on the property when they do switch overs and a few maintenance guys I trust (plumber, handyman, HYVAC, Techie - internet/security cameras) to call when needed. I like to visit the property to do a few upgrades once a year. 

I spend my time communicating with the guests and accounting. It's very doable. I had someone call me wanting to manage my properties for me and he didn't even know the local & tax rates. I'm sure there are many good PM's out there who do know what they are doing, but be careful of those who don't and want to jump into the game.

@Leandro Zhao I manage my properties from afar (currently travelling in China til next year) with properties in Canada. You can definitely be a satellite landlord. Just make sure you have a great team (this includes a general contractor and property manager). The level of involvement from your PM depends on the arrangement you have with them, which comes with a cost. You can set it up, that they only contact your for repairs above $1K. Otherwise they have free range. This can be a bit tricky as you may be hit with an unexpected bill. Also, review the PM contracts from large companies. They have set up fees and penalties to close out contracts. You can also install cameras in common areas so you can always have eyes on the place. Good luck.