I believe in using a good property manager - and I have one. But you still have to be involved. I've recently saved $1500 on one of my houses with about 1.5 hours of my time - that's $1000/hr. First, one of my houses needed a new roof. I called up the roofer who had given my PM a quote. It was a good quote to begin with. But, while I was on the phone with him discussing options (shingle vs metal), he lowered his quote verbally by $500. I didn't even really ask for a discount. Then, a few months later, the PM said that I needed to re-carpet 3 bedrooms. The quote was $1260. I thought it was a bit high, so I went to the carpet store and shopped around and met the carpet installer (a different one) at the house to get measurements. As we looked at it, we decided to just stretch the carpet and do some minor repairs instead of replacing it - for a savings of $1000.
This is great, good for you! There are some great PMs out there, but there are also some not so great ones. I'm curious, you say you have a "great" PM, but in the two scenarios you mention above, two quick phone calls saved you $1500. Did your property manager negotiate on your behalf at all? I believe it is part of a PMs job to ensure they are spending your money as if it were their own. What about your PM do you think is great? I am a property manager, so that is a genuine question. As an investor, the scenario you mention above would make me seriously question how good my PM really was.
@Corby Goade - My PM does a great job of screening tenants and they are on-the-spot on top of things about getting out notices and such. I've talked with them and they are real students of the game (the owner of the firm has a lot of rentals himself). In the case of the roof, the original quote was already a good quote (I've done enough roof repairs/replacements to know) - the point was that it just took a short phone call on my part to get some additional savings. On the carpet, this was partly just a difference of opinion. PM thought it needed replaced, I thought it would be "good enough" with just a repair. My point is to point out that you can save a lot of money by staying involved, even when you have a good PM.
Hi @Bryan L. , I couldn't agree more. Thanks for the additional info. Best of luck out there!