Many newbie real estate investors will take the reigns, thinking there will be very little effort required to manage their properties. And, truthfully, some rental businesses can run on autopilot.
But in most cases, landlording should be left up to the professionals — the property management professionals.
Case in point: A firsthand (nightmare) account from rental property owner, Sterling White. In his in-depth article for BiggerPockets, “Why Managing Your Own Properties is (Almost) Always a Huge Mistake”, White details the blood, sweat, and tears he endured while managing his own properties.
Time is Money — and You’ll Have Neither
Managing a property solo is an absolute time drain. You, and you alone will be chasing rent, interviewing and screening tenants, taking care of maintenance issues, among a host of other things.
Sterling writes that all the time he spent on management could have been better spent on investing in new properties. So while he thought he was saving money managing the property himself, he was losing time and potential income.
You’re Always On-Call — ALWAYS
Just like a med student, a solo landlord is always on-call 24-7.
When the air conditioner breaks…
When the faucet leaks…
When tenants run off without paying their rent…
You, and only you, must solve these problems — even at 11 pm on a Friday night.
Every little problem with the property is always the landlord’s responsibility. There is no holiday or designated “break time” for you, as you never know when a problem will suddenly occur.
Save Yourself a Headache
“If you want to take on life as a landlord, you will have to brace yourself for some tough times ahead. You have surely heard stories about terrible tenants who completely destroy your home or run off without paying, getting evicted and so forth, but the truth of the matter is, even good tenants can be a real handful,” writes White.
Remember, owning a rental property is business — so you have to treat it that way. If you don’t have the time or patience to deal with difficult or deadbeat tenants, then let the property management company handle it. It will take a huge load off your mind (literally).