How do you handle the hiring of maintenance for rentals?

2 Replies

I was a property manager for a trailer park for 3.5 years. This job just ended on 10/1/18 (2 weeks ago). I did most of the maintenance, as well as finding all the tenants, collecting rent, filing evictions, etc.

I am no longer interested in being a property manager. But I probably am interested in being a landlord.

From what I'm hearing, property management companies don't even do the maintenance? What is that about? That's the bulk of the job and they don't even do it? I'm not about to pay someone 8-10% just to collect rent and find tenants. That's crazy.

But also, I can't imagine having to pay a licensed plumber for a service call every time some little thing goes wrong like a toilet tank bolt needs to be tightened, and I have to pay $300? That's also ridiculous.

How do you handle this? It's hard to find honest and reliable "handymen," not to mention the issues you might have doing unlicensed work on electrical, etc. For example, I can change an outlet in 5 minutes, but if I called an electrician, they would want $100/hour at least.

As a second part of this question: How does property management work on a large scale? For companies that own 100+ unit apartment buildings or hotels where the main offices of the company is 1000 miles away from the building? Do they have a maintenance staff on site? Do they let them live in one of the apartments or hotel rooms? (I've heard of people doing this in trailer parks). How does this work exactly?

How does BLACKSTONE do it?

@Patrick Philip you just hit on the main issue that confronts aspiring investors. I make it one of my main focuses in life to have "a guy" for almost everything. In fact, I try to to have three guys for every trade, and event that is sometimes not enough! 

I think you will find that the Blackstones of the world are buying triple net leases and class A real estate that is newer and needs less maintenance. The greatest opportunities for most of us "normal" folk is in the B and C class stuff that is a little older. Some investors do their own maintenance, while others scale and find maintenance guys that are reasonable. Once you reach the larger buildings, you normally have on-site maintenance staff that handle light switches, toilets, etc. 

@Patrick Philip : I'm with you and am just starting. Fortunately one of my best friends was a licensed contractor and when he moved back to Indiana went to work at the same company as me. He is helping me build my network and actually "consulting" on rehab costs. He will be my partner from that perspective. Finding reliable people in my area of Indiana is also difficult so using his network will be critical. Seems like it takes time and networking more than looking in the phone book. 

Good luck!