Learning to Manage Property

18 Replies

I am weeks away from closing on my first duplex.

I would like to work with a property manager to learn how to properly manage my duplex.

I have no property managing experience so how do I create value for a them, so that I may be able to work with and learn from them?

Thank you!

I think many professional property managers (those who manage other people's properties) will hesitate to help you beyond giving you very generic and basic information due to the fact that most of them are licensed.

The best bet might be to network with local landlords and get some advice from them. A lot of landlords love to help other landlords. 

Also, regardless of what you ended up doing, education on your own is very important also. They are reading books, understanding federal, state, and local laws, etc. 

Also, get forms ready, have a lit of vendors, have processed from start to finish, and there's more of course.

@Filip Reutov

I self manage all of my properties. I had no experience when I started. I listened to a lot of podcast and read books and I felt I knew enough. I still learned a great deal, but managing yourself is the best way to learn and you can pay yourself the pm fee for your own time. It's the best way to learn. Have an attorney on your team so you can ask legal questions and use this site to ask questions. In my experience, if the property is in good condition and you select good tenants it takes very little time to manage. The most time you will spend is filling a unit. Most important aspect is screening tenants. Make sure your rent is at market rent or just under. Compare your unit to your competition. Depending on your market it's not that difficult. I typically can fill most of my SFR with 2 weeks sometimes less. My small multi-units take a little longer.

Hey Filip,

Like @Kenneth Garrett , I didn't know anything when I started. I definitely didn't think I would be in property management! 

One of the most important/difficult tasks is finding quality tenants. If you can work with a great leasing agent, that will eliminate the majority of issues before they start. 

I put some free information together to help owners who want to self manage. If you send me a DM, I'll send you the link. 

Best of luck!


@Filip Reutov in most cases, if the property is near where you live, you’ll gain a wealth of experience managing it yourself.

The best book I’ve read about it is the Brandon Turner “Managing Rental properties”. Second, read and understand your state/city laws as each have their own twists and turns.

If you do want to hire a PM, make sure you interview them, do your due diligence, and understand their fee structure. There are a lot of mediocre PMs out there.

@Filip Reutov

The best place to start is with books and podcasts!

Brandon Turner’s book and Buy It, Rent It, Profit are the best for beginners in my opinion!

Also make sure you know your state landlord laws!

For the most part if you know the law, use Cozy or Zillow for leasing, and are part of a landlord meetup you can wing it!

@Filip Reutov   just my 2 cents.   As a property manager I am looking for clients that want me to manage their properties in my system.   Not teach you to manage your property.   You hire me as the PM to free up your time not make my job harder by babysitting you.   Now, please here me out,  There are plenty of places to educate yourself it you do want to self manage.  These forums and podcast here are very helpful.  You  can be successful and manage them on your own.  You just need to decide if you are doing it yourself or paying someone else.   I just think if you hire a PM and expect them to train you, not manage your properties, you will end up very frustrated and disappointed.    

@Tracy Streich

Thanks for the feedback!

Do you invest yourself?

Recently I’ve been thinking of starting up a PM business, managing my own and other properties so I don’t have to give away portion of my profits. Would that be a savvy move or would I be taking on too much and not give myself enough time to do more investing?

Originally posted by @Julian Inoue :

@Kenneth Garrett @Cameron Tope @Alyssa Dyer Are any of the properties that you manage out of state? I am close to closing on my first out of state deal and I am trying to get a feel for if this is a good idea.

Hey Julian,

Do you mean manage properties out of Houston or manage Houston properties for out of state owners?  

Originally posted by @Julian Inoue :

@Cameron Tope Sorry for not being clear. I mean managing properties out of state in general. Not specific to Houston.

No worries! We only manage in the greater Houston area, as well as a few of my personal properties in Ohio.  

@Julian Inoue I am currently managing my rental property from out of state.  I started with it as a house hack and got to know some of the tenants/neighbors.  I have been managing from out of state since May and experienced turnover in 3 out of the 5 rooms which has gone smoothly.

My biggest recommendations are to have clear expectations and communication with the tenant about what expectations are.  It also helps to have someone you trust (neighbor, handyman, RE Agent, etc.) in the area who can check on the house just in case anything goes wrong.

I have used Craigslist, FB marketplace, and Zillow to list the property and have been able to screen all tenants.  The most important thing is to get the right tenants in the property so that you know they will take care of it and pay rent on time.  

Send me a DM if you have any other specific questions!

Originally posted by @Lee Snyder :

@Cameron Tope

I'm also just starting to manage my own property, I closed 3 weeks ago and am painting and getting ready. Can you also please send me that info!!

For sure Lee! Just send me a DM and I'll send it right over!