There are a lot of positive reasons to hire a property manager to handle your rental properties. There are a lot of pros and cons, but where you’re at in Life will dictate the best answer for you. In short, unless you simply can’t or don’t want to do it yourself, the answer isn’t so easy.
How physically close you are to your rental units will make a difference if you’re going to choose a property manager or not. Obviously, if you will be a few hours by car that could be manageable. However, remove yourself three or four time zones from the picture and all of a sudden it changes things substantially. It’s not impossible, but the likelihood of your stress level rising goes up with every passing mile. If you have to get on a plane to visit your rental unit then it might make sense to have someone else tending to the store.
Type of Property
The kind of property you have can make a difference as to whether you hire a property manager as well. Just because you have the ability and wherewithal to purchase a rental property does not automatically make you an expert in knowing the best way to manage it. This is especially true of commercial properties, although it does apply to residential leasing as well. If you’re not willing or able to invest the time in understanding the market and demographics that will impact your investment, it’s best to leave it to the experts.
Real Estate is Local
Keep in mind that real estate is local, and the influences that are going on in that particular market may not be something you’ll be dialed into unless you have a reason to be. A layoff from several factory suppliers from two towns over may not even make the local news, but it will be felt by those that live in the town you happen to be investing in.
What are your Options?
If you have dealt with property managers before, you know that not all are made alike. Every single one is run as differently as the people that own them. Many are good at some things, but very few are good at all things. Keep in mind if you’re investing in a small town your choices are likely to be very limited. Larger towns and cities offer more choices, but keep in mind you’ll have to interview quite a few before you figure out one that might be the best fit. Having a good understanding of their process will certainly help you decide.
Whatever choice you make, keep in mind why you purchased the investment to begin with. You might decide that self-managing is an option that might actually work for you. If so, I invite you to educate yourself as much as you can on the real estate business.