Any recommendations for Property Management for a duplex in Indianapolis?

54 Replies

Hi All, 

I'm looking to buy my first property in Indianapolis, it's a duplex. Being in California I need to find a property management company. Please send me any recommendations you have. 

Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it. 

Hi Jeb, 

Please feel free to message me regarding a PM. I'm also from California and own 3 homes in Indianapolis and love my property manager. I'm not sure what type of research has led you to a Duplex, but I would advise you to move forward with caution. On paper, Duplexes often look stronger from a CAP rate and return perspective, but they can come with other challenges not found in SFH's.


Originally posted by @Steve Cook :

Hi Jeb, 

Please feel free to message me regarding a PM. I'm also from California and own 3 homes in Indianapolis and love my property manager. I'm not sure what type of research has led you to a Duplex, but I would advise you to move forward with caution. On paper, Duplexes often look stronger from a CAP rate and return perspective, but they can come with other challenges not found in SFH's.


 This is the 2nd time I have seen this in re: small multi families in Indianapolis. Could you clue me in as to what the issues would be?

Hi Guys,

Primary issues would be tenant quality and vacancy.  

Point is, if an SFH is $50K and a Duplex is $50K, the SFH rents for $800 and the Duplex rents for $550 / side, naturally you want to favor the Duplex because the returns are higher. I'm assuming that this is the reason you want to invest in a Duplex? If not, I'd be interested to hear what your rationale is.

As a fellow out-of-state investor investing in Indy, I wouldn't recommend chasing paper returns, especially on your first investment.  I would suggest hiring a broker and soliciting input from a Property Manager to determine if the property you've identified is in a good area and fits into your investment criteria.  

I previously sent my Property Manager examples of two duplexes I thought had good numbers, he said they would not even be willing to manage those properties due to the area they were in.  

That is not to say that good Duplexes aren't out there, they are.  This is verbatim from my Property Manager "On paper, you may see higher cap rates, but the vacancy and associated costs with lower value doubles are up there. If you buy a double, get it in the right area. The right house in the right area does not come up often."

There are a lot of challenges with out-of-state investing, and I would encourage that you really take your time and perform the right research for your first one, Lord knows I made a ton of mistakes on my first one.  You want to leave with a good taste in your mouth so you feel confident when you buy your 2nd, 5th, 10th, etc. 

I hope that helps. 

@Jeb Brilliant @Dave G. @Steve Cook

Multi-family props do not do well in the Indianapolis area because of an assortment of reasons.

They are difficult to keep both sides rented.

They are mostly located in less desirable areas. As most people like to put letters on areas lets just say C-, D, and F areas. I don't know if anyone uses the letter E.

Your rents are usually between $300 to $550 in rent. Sometimes higher but not by much.

Your class of tenant will probably not really care much about the property and leave it a mess when they are done with it. Not all but many.

You will probably not be able to sell them for anything more then what you bought them for. They are strictly for cashflow, not appreciation.

I'm sure there are other reason that other people can mention but these are just some of the basics.

Now I do know of investors that do make them work but they are few and far between. I do have one investor who has no problem renting out his multi's but they are located in a much more desirable part of the city. I also have a friend that bought a multi and he lives in one side and rents out the other. His tenant is paying off his mortgage. Great when it works.

Now I am not saying not to buy multi-family. I just think that one should do their due diligence before making the purchase. The numbers can look great on paper but when realty hits. Those numbers go right out the door. 

I hope this helps.

Great input @Account Closed .  

Hi Jeb, 

I do own 3 homes in Indy, but by no means am an expert on Indianapolis geography, B to C to D areas can vary every couple of blocks, you really need someone on the ground.  I'd recommend hiring a broker that works with investors to help you scout the area.  It might be a little more out of pocket, but the peace of mind is totally worth it. 

@Jeb Brilliant @Account Closed

National Tenant Network has a product that rates the potential tenant.  You input rental history, income, and personal info (yes you need the SSN), then it spits out a score on whether you should approve the application. We use it to screen tenants at our company.  I don't rely on it but is a nice feature.

@Ashley Mullin

You don't rely on it because you have many years of experience in property management and you know what to look for when it comes to finding the right tenants. Thats why I full trust in your decision process when we are looking for tenants for my rentals.  

I'm actually from Indy, just moved away (lived in the developing downtown area) not too long ago. If you need help assessing a particular neighborhood, I can tell you about it. Just pm me. 

@Jeb Brilliant I advise you to strongly heed @Steve Cook 's advice. Indianapolis is a particularly difficult market for duplexes. Unless you've lucked out and found a diamond in the rough somehow, I recommend as a new investor that you stay away from duplexes, at least in Indy. The vast majority of the duplexes in Indy are very old and in rough parts of the city. Trust me, you will more than likely have a lot of tenant problems, high vacancy and turn over damage. DM me the address and I will share  my thoughts on it if you want.

Originally posted by @Chris Wood :

@Account Closed  Could you tell me why the numbers go out the door? 

Is it because of the fix up at the when they leave? Or headaches in the process? Liability?


They go out the door because you usually have very high turn over and tenants that trash the place. If you're ok with tenants leaving without notifying you, having to do full rehabs once you discover they've left and having the place vandalized and the copper stripped and AC stolen while it was vacant, then they can be quite good investments, if that's not for you, then you might want to avoid them. Keep in mind this is coming from someone that likes the Indianapolis market a lot---just not for multi family.

I work with a lot of duplexes, shoot me the address and I can see what you are up against.. I handle property management as well, but I won't pimp my wares to you, just give you my impression of what it's worth.

I have several duplexes with tenants that have been there for 3+ years... They do take a bit longer to get tenants for, but nothing too crazy if you are priced right and take care of the tenants.

@Jeb Brilliant - all good advice about duplexes above.

Unfortunately, it sounds like you have already made your purchase and are now seeking a PM?

I see this happen a lot and it's a shame it wasn't the other way around [find the PM first and get their input on what to buy].

I owned 11 duplexes in Indy when I first got started because they looked soooo sexy on paper!  When I sold my last one 18 months later -  oh, it was a happy day!

Feel free to email or PM me, I'll be glad to suggest a few PM's to interview and assist anyway I can to help make your Indianapolis investment as pleasant as possible.

I pulled crime stats, and while they are very low, there was a rape within quarter mile in the past 6 months... Bad things can happen to good neighborhoods though.

All duplexes in Indy area are not bad deals. Anything in lower price range typically is, however. 

There are great multi families in great areas, where you'll get great tenants....but they likely priced over $100k, maybe way over that price, even double that. 

There is a pocket between Indianapolis & Carmel, north of 96th & south of 116th, between US 31 and Keystone, which has several duplexes.  There is A LOT of commercial development going on in that general vicinity, so probably not a bad area since it is in the "path of progress".

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