Should I hire a property manager? Maybe.
The four primary reasons to consider having your property professionally managed are:
- Time, Energy and Hassel: Can you handle the after-hours, weekend and work day calls from tenants regarding maintenance, questions, access to electrical panels etc.? This will depend a great deal on how much time you have to commit and your personality and stage in life.
- Record keeping: Administrative compliance is never fun but it is important to stay on top of new legal requirements for lease clauses including ADA disclosures and California’s required Energy Benchmarking standards. Tenants should be approached significantly before their lease expiration with a renewal offer. Delinquency, account errors, missing paperwork and lapsed insurance documentation should be addressed immediately in order to reduce your risk.
- Maintenance: It is not enough to react to emergency maintenance as it arises. You can decrease the amount of these calls and your overall costs by implementing a preventative maintenance plan. This plan will include upkeep of electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems as well as an evaluation on your approximate life expectancy for parking lot re-sealing, roof replacements and repair. Capital reserves are carefully tracked and put away for these items. One of the best ways to manage your costs is through your vendors. Ensuring you have a great relationship with your vendors instead of just using the first name in the phone book or the one your friends use can often save you a lot of money!
- Landlord/Tenant Relations: The truth is that being a property manager or in some cases a landlord and property manager is a primarily thankless job. Tenants and others will only reach out to you with problems and complaints and are often stressed and impatient during these times due to their own competing priorities. Rarely will they reach out because everything is going well and they appreciate your support. Have a neutral third party to mediate between landlord and tenant is often the best way to preserve a positive relationship and ensure fair treatment of both parties. It also allows the parties to remove, or at the very least, filter their personal bias in favor of sound business decisions.
About Jessica Whitlow
Jessica is a licensed commercial real estate salesperson. She has lived in Shasta County for 13 years and has worked in Real Estate and Property Management starting in 2008 in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Redding. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her background in escrow coordination and as a property manager of 200-300 unit multifamily properties allows her to contribute to Haedrich & Co.’s real estate representations and analysis, as well as their property management portfolio. Jessica is strongly committed to providing the highest quality customer service and professional integrity to her clients.