Congratulations on owning a rental property in Tampa, Florida. Your hard work, persistence, and patience have paid off. You have now set the groundwork for earning passive income for many years to come.
That said, buying the rental property was only half the equation. The remaining half is arguably the hardest part because it revolves around property management. The way you manage your property can make or break your rental business.
That’s why many Tampa landlords usually ask themselves – should I or should I not hire a property manager.
For beginner landlords, the answer is pretty straightforward: self-management is the right way to go because many of them believe that property management is all about collecting rent at the end of the month. This is usually a grave mistake!
Landlording is more than just collecting rent from tenants at the end of the month. For this reason, many successful landlords in Tampa hire a professional to manage their properties.
Alternatively, there are some investors that have been successful in managing their properties themselves.
The big question is whether you should you hire a property manager or self-manage your Tampa, FL rental property.
Let’s find out!
Why You Should Self-Manage Your Rental Property
No one cares about your investment more than you do.
Nobody else will care for your investment like you. After all, it’s your property. You are the one who risked it all to acquire it and the extra care may make all the difference.
It may make the difference between a money-making machine and a money pit.
You may be able to acquire some experience.
Experience is key to running a successful rental business. By managing your rental property, you’ll be able to learn a thing or two about how the rental business runs. The experience you acquire may help you evaluate how others manage your rental property should there come a time when you won’t be able to self-manage your property.
With some experience, you would, for example, be better placed to advice on which rental advertising method works best for your property.
You can minimize fraud.
Fraud is commonplace in many industries and the property management industry isn’t an exception. There are some property managers that may not run their operations ethically.
You may find such managers engaging in unsavory activities, such as receiving kickbacks from contractors or pocket rent from “vacant units.”
If you have acquired some experience managing rentals before, you’ll be better placed to spot and stop fraud in its tracks.
Making decisions will be much easier.
Managing your own rental properties give you increased control. This results in an easier decision-making process, as you don’t have to consult with anyone.
You may be able to save some money.
This is, without a doubt, the number one reason why many investors choose to self-manage their rental properties. Broadly speaking, management firms typically levy a charge of about 10% of the gross monthly income.
For example, you charge $1,000 as rent for your property. With a property management fee of 10%, it means that you’ll have to part away with $100 every month.
Why You Should Use a Property Manager
A property management company has the infrastructure in place.
A property management company has all the resources needed to manage a property. They have an office, policies, and staff. Moreover, they will usually have documents such as rental application forms, entry notices, and leases.
They often have a list of good vendors and contractors to use whenever the need arises.
A good property management company understands all laws related to property management.
The property management business is one that is governed by many laws, from habitability laws to fair housing laws.
If you don’t have a good understanding of these laws, you may find yourself in a mess. Many judges in Florida don’t take ignorance of the landlord-tenant laws lightly.
A good property manager will be able to help you evict a tenant should the need arise. Most states, including Florida, have procedures that every landlord must follow for an eviction process to be successful.
You’ll have free time.
This is one of the top reasons why many property owners in Tampa hire property management companies. Landlording requires time. You need to stay up to date with all the happenings in your property at all times.
You have to ask yourself whether your time could be spent better elsewhere. If it can, then it’d be best to leave the management of your property to someone else who is qualified.
You will no longer have to deal with tenant problems.
Property management is full of stressful situations. Dealing with angry tenants and severe maintenance issues requires one to have a thick skin.
Sure, a significant proportion of tenants are awesome people. That said, finding this caliber of tenants isn’t an easy walk in the park. You have to have the experience, skills, and industry knowledge.
Conversely, problematic tenants are easy to come by. You don’t have to have any experience, skills or industry knowledge to acquire them. A simple rental advertisement will usually suffice. This is often the case if you don’t have an effective screening process.
Hiring a Property Management Company
If you decide to hire a property management company, then it may pay to do your due diligence because not all property managers are created equal. You want to ask them questions such as:
- What are your management fees?
- How many evictions do you have each month?
- How do you screen tenants?
- How do you handle maintenance requests?
- What would you do if a tenant fails to pay rent?
- How do you intend to market your property?
When all is said and done, what is best – should you hire or should you not hire a property manager? There is no direct answer. The decision is purely a personal one. Whatever your choice, remember to take a diligently executed plan.