I currently have 5 rentals in the OKC/ Edmond area and closing on 6th next month. I have an opportunity to move to Austin with my employer and need to make a decision on whether to continue self-managing my rentals or hire a property management company. I have owned the rentals an average of 4 years and I average about 6-8 calls/ year (Minor repairs). All properties have new roof and updated heat and air with great tenants. I also have a good handyman that I trust and used many times (He can do everything except heat and Air). Austin, Tx is about 6 hours’ drive from OKC in case I have to drive back to fill vacancies or handle any emergencies. I am leaning towards continue self-managing. What would you do?
Try to self manage. If it doesn't work, you can always hire the manager later on.
We self manage one property from out of state as we have systems in place there that make it easy, and there is a long term tenant so having to show and screen isn't a problem yet. Our other ones, farther away, we decided on a property manager as we don't have the same quality network there. Definitely more expensive for management fees and maintenance calls, but worth it for the reduced headaches as we're too far away. It sounds like you'd be comfortable at least trying it on your own, but it might be a great idea to interview some management companies before leaving so if you do need one, you'll be able to do it long-distance having already narrowed it down.
If you have long-standing tenants (good relationships with them), and few maintenance issues, I would try to manage from afar.
HOWEVER, before relocating, I would also shop for property managers to see if there is anyone you like, in case the new job/new city demand more than you think they will. You also should be able to find a company willing to screen potential tenants for turnovers. That is a HUGE time saver in spite of the additional cost. It's always good to have back up, just in case. And you should be able to set limits with any management if you one day need to go that route.
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