Hiring property managers!

7 Replies

Is hiring a property management company necessary to manage your rental properties. If so how do you know if you have a good company? Any suggestions on a good company in Houston and surrounding areas?

Good Morning @Chalawndra Jones .  While I don't think hiring a property manager is necessary to being successful as a landlord,  it is something to consider as you try to work "on" your business instead of "in" your business.  I turned my properties over to management two years ago when I entered the Houston market due to my increased job demands.  I look for a manager that has good communication with both me and my tenants.  I use @Jerry Ta with PropertyCare for my management and have been pleased.  There are some other PMs in Houston with good reputations as well.   I just don't have any first hand experience with them.

Originally posted by @Waylon Themer :

Good Morning @Chalawndra Jones .  While I don't think hiring a property manager is necessary to being successful as a landlord,  it is something to consider as you try to work "on" your business instead of "in" your business.  I turned my properties over to management two years ago when I entered the Houston market due to my increased job demands.  I look for a manager that has good communication with both me and my tenants.  I use @Jerry Ta with PropertyCare for my management and have been pleased.  There are some other PMs in Houston with good reputations as well.   I just don't have any first hand experience with them.

 I'd agree with this entirely.  Can't comment on the Houston market, but we use property managers both in NYC and Raleigh - NYC as we're not there full time and Raleigh because the demands of my full-time job are too much for me to waste time self-managing.

In both areas, I've gone through a process of interviewing several property management firms which has been a combination of me getting a "gut feeling" for how they work and getting specific questions answered.  In both cities, the firms I selected are the ones that didn't just answer my questions, but collected information from me ahead of time (property locations, valuation, current rent roll, etc.) and came to me, unasked, during our first meetings with not just their credentials and "sales pitch", but a specific plan for how they would transition the properties, and more importantly, look out for my long-term goals (eg; in the case of raleigh, we have several units renting under market value and the firm came to me proactively with a plan to get those units up to market rent or higher over the next 3-5 years).

@Chalawndra Jones

You do not need to hire a PM if you have time and want to do it yourself, but there is a lot to learn and take into action.

@Chalawndra Jones , One thing is certain - whether or not you let a PM handle your rentals you need to account for that expense.  Even if you manage them, your time has value.  More importantly, as you grow you may want to move from self-managed to a PM.  Having the expense already accounted will save your cash flow.

Personally, I believe in self-managing at least your first couple of rentals IF it is practical for you.  That experience will help you select and manage a PM company.  Remember, even if you go with a PM company, you have to manage the manager.  Otherwise, I agree with @Waylon Themer .  From a business perspective, hiring a PM will help you work on your business instead of in your business.

@Chalawndra Jones To answer your question directly, no you don't need a property manager. But.... A good one is worth everything you pay them and more. A bad one can sink you.

@Steve Rozenberg , @Jerry Ta , @Fred Heller , Input?

These guys are some here in Houston that have some good experience. I have not done business with them yet, as I'm still looking for a deal. :)

What makes a good PM? Someone who understands investing, and what you are personally trying to do. Someone who sees there business as a people connection business, and is looking to do a great job because it helps build their business.

Signs to took out for and avoid... Someone who's charges and costs are not clear and seem to be in a conflict with investors. Ex. A fee for terminating a contract with them.

Hope this makes sense. 

Michael Delpier

    Hey Guys,

    Great conversation, I agree with all parts of this. As a person that got into this crazy world as an almost out of work airline pilot with no future potential after 9/11 started buying homes and apartment buildings, after about 20 homes I realized that there were many things I was doing wrong and my business partner and I decided to hand our portfolio over to a PM. The problem was that I did not like or feel comfortable with what was out there at the time so I created my own company. What I learned was that basically PM is all about policies and procedures and definite structure. I will say that I never knew about all the ramifications regarding Fair Housing and Texas property codes and the fact that landlords are the highest sued. What I realized is that people like myself and other people do not take the time to learn all the laws. 

    If you want to self manage and not use a PM it is definitely doable just make sure that you take the time to learn the laws and regulations to keep yourself out of trouble.

    I think the main question is how does one value their time, is it worth the few dollars per hour one would make doing stuff like going to home depot and meeting with tenants and learning what is legal and what is not. 

    I have always learned that as an investor you make more money signing contracts then picking up the hammer or driving around to get rents.

    Just my 2 cents

    @Waylon Themer undefined

    Good question Chalawndra.  Good property management involves good communication and engagement between the owner manager and tenant.  Its a team event and if one leg of this stool is missing or lacking, you're likely to fall flat.

    Chris

    Chris Matson, Property Manager in TX (#666334)

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