Managing a property out of state

5 Replies

My husband and I own a home in another state from where we currently reside. It has had tenants in it for about 3 years. We are thinking of firing our management company and taking over ourselves. The management company is very slow in responding to us and has multiple times billed us for things that are the tenants responsibility.

Can we do this ourselves? We are about a 2.5 hour drive away. I am a full time mom with older kids so I am pretty available for phone calls, arranging for repairs, etc... We have family that lives in the area who would be willing to be sure yard is maintained. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

@Anna Goodwin You mentioned the main reasons why people choose not to manage at a distance and that is they do not have the time and/or they do not have eyes on the property when they need to. Sounds like these are not an issue for you. Try it out and see how it works, you can always go back to having someone manage if it doesn't work. 

I used to own properties at a distance and you find out quickly that a dependable property manager is a very important part of the equation and it is a helpless feeling if they don't meet expectations.

Two things will make it easily possible - good tenant selection and trusted contractors.  For properties where both of these are true, I don't visit for months at a time. On the other hand, a bad tenant selection and no trade relationships in place will drive you nuts. Best, Terrell

@Anna Goodwin absolutely you can do it yourself! Especially since it's only one property about 2.5 hours away. 

I would employ a lease agent to help you find a qualified tenant, a solid handyman and set tenant expectations early.

Tenants (like everyone) will push until you push back. If the yard goes weeks without maintenance and you don't say anything they will assume that's okay. If they pay late and you don't add late fees you are saying it's okay to pay late. 

Set solid expectations upfront, find a good local team and you can definitely do it yourself!

Best of luck!

The day-to-day management is not that difficult. Accept rent, maybe a phone call every month or two. Maintenance calls simply require you to contact a vendor. Easy, peasy.

The difficult part is handling turnovers. How do you inspect? How do you show a vacant property? How do you stay current on the market value? Who watches the tenant to ensure they're watering/mowing the lawn? After the new tenant occupies, who's going to watch the property to ensure they water/mow the lawn? That they don't move in three dogs or another family of five?

There's a lot of value to having boots on the ground. Can you do it from a distance? Sure. Can you do it well from a distance? The odds are against you.

Your in luck, I'm here to respond! I have a rental in CA that is a class A property. I live in Colorado. I have pest control, handyman/gardener and pay the water bill. I enjoy managing it; fun. The handyman/gardener calls once or twice a month to give me updates. I call and chat with the tenant once every two months or so. Great tenant BTW. Oh, the tenant paid the rent for the entire year up front :)

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here