As a homeowner, looking after your property can be challenging. From handling tenant issues to collecting rent, there are many responsibilities that come with its management. Many owners choose to manage their properties themselves or hire a management company, depending on their requirements. If you have an investment or are a new landlord, knowing which option works best for you is essential. Accordingly, you can make the right choice. In this blog, we will discuss the typical responsibilities of managing properties. Based on multiple factors, we will also compare self-managing versus hiring a professional property management company.
Comparison Based on Common Responsibilities: Which Is Best for You?
Here is how you can determine and make the right choice per your requirements based on the essential duties of managing a property:
Maintaining the Property
Property maintenance is one of the most critical factors of rental management. It includes:
- Regular upkeep
- Conducting repairs
- Ensuring that the home is habitable
- Guaranteeing tenant safety
- Process maintenance requests
- Resolve tenant issues
Self-managing a rental means that the landlord must handle maintenance and repairs themselves or hire contractors to do the job. As the owner, you must keep yourself available for tenants through multiple communication channels. Since maintenance is a strenuous task, handling it alone can be challenging.
Hiring a professional company can provide you with a hassle-free management experience. The company professionals handle maintenance and repairs for you, the landlord. They have a network of certified contractors and service providers, ensuring the resolution of maintenance and repairs promptly and efficiently.
Handling Tenant Issues
Tenant issues can range from minor maintenance requests to disputes between tenants. They also include the following:
- Dealing with delayed rent payments
- Resolving tenant disputes
- Handling lease violations
- Eradicating pest infestations
- Conducting home repairs and many more
Self-managing your home means handling tenant issues, which can be time-consuming and stressful. It may require you to constantly be in touch with your renters. If you have a single tenant or only one house to look after, you can oversee the resolution of these issues. However, if you own multiple properties and have a booming rental business, you may have to dedicate significant time, effort, money and other resources.
On the other hand, a company will handle tenant issues for you. They help you free up your time and reduce stress significantly. Such companies have established mechanisms to take care of tenant issues and handle them promptly. Whether it is conducting repairs, pest control or rent collection, they have a team of qualified managers, vendors and handymen to assist them through the process.
Filling vacancies in your rental is another crucial part of property management. Many landlords worry about the low vacancy rates of their properties. The period between the leaving of one tenant and getting another tenant can be financially taxing. If you do not have the proper marketing and tenant placement resources, your house can be vacant for a long time.
Self-managing a house means that the landlord must handle many responsibilities themselves. You may have to do the following tasks:
- Advertise vacancies
- Use multiple marketing and listing platforms
- Conduct home showings to potential tenants
- Filter out renter applications
- Handle tenant screenings
Hiring a company means they will handle the entire process, from advertising to screening applicants to signing leases. Many companies have specialized marketing strategies where they implement online and offline advertising. They can promote your rental on online listing platforms to the largest audience.
With their professional photographers, they also showcase the best features of your property. Companies leverage their vast network of renters and market expertise to find the best renters per your requirements.
Screening applicants determine if you find the most qualified tenant to take care of your rental property. As the owner, you must ensure that your tenants are reliable and have a good rental history. Self-managing a rental means that the landlord must screen applicants themselves, which can be time-consuming and may result in accepting unsuitable tenants.
Hiring a professional company means that they will screen applicants for the landlord, ensuring that only suitable tenants are accepted. Their screening procedures consist of the following:
- Collecting vital information like name, social security number, date of birth, etc.
- Conducting a rigorous background check
- Checking credit history reports, eviction history, and lease violations
- Verifying income, previous landlord history, criminal records
- Asking relevant questions to qualify the candidate
Companies have specialized, rigorous screening services handled by professionals. They also have a separate team dedicated to conducting these processes. They qualify excellent, reliable tenants who will take care of your rental, occupying it in the long run.
Rent collection is another primary responsibility while managing a rental property. Ensuring that tenants pay rent on time and in full is essential. Self-managing a house requires you to collect rent by yourself. You will also have to handle any late payments or non-payments.
Hiring a company means that they will collect rent for the landlord and handle any late payments or non-payments.
Tenant evictions are a complicated and stressful process for landlords. It's essential to follow the legal process correctly to avoid legal repercussions. Self-managing a rental means that the landlord must handle tenant evictions themselves, which can be challenging and time-consuming.
On the other hand, professional companies specialize in tenant evictions and other related services. They offer the following:
- Legally compliant tenant eviction
- Sending an eviction notice to the renter
- Verifying valid grounds for eviction such as non-payment, lease violation, making noise, illegal activity or violating health ordinances
- Offer legal assistance to landlords
- Contact a team of expert lawyers to oversee the eviction process
Hiring a professional company means they will handle tenant evictions for you, ensuring the process is handled correctly and legally.
Which Factors Should You Consider While Making a Decision?
Now that you know the primary responsibilities of owners, here are some other deciding factors. Considering these can help you make the right decision for self-managing vs. hiring a professional property management company:
Time is a deciding factor when choosing between self-manage or hiring a professional company for your property. Self-managing a property requires a significant time commitment from the landlord, as they must handle all responsibilities themselves. If you own multiple investment homes, you may be unable to do everything yourself.
On the other hand, hiring a professional company can free up your time, allowing you to focus on other endeavors.
Self-managing a house may seem like a cost-effective option, as you will not have to pay management fees. However, self-managing can be costly in terms of time and stress. On the contrary, you can hire a company and benefit from its expertise and resources.
Such companies have access to contractors and service providers who offer discounted rates, ensuring that maintenance and repairs get resolved efficiently and cost-effectively. It can save you money in the long run.
You must also consider flexibility while choosing between the two. Self-managing a rental as the landlord can be inflexible, as you must handle all responsibilities personally. However, if you hire a company, it offers more flexibility. You can choose which services you want the company to handle and which responsibilities you want to keep for yourself.
Expertise in all management-related tasks is crucial for your rental business to thrive. While self-managing, you must handle all responsibilities, including legal and technical issues. It can be challenging and risky to do so without the necessary expertise.
Professional companies have extensive knowledge and experience in managing rental properties. They have the technical prowess and experts to handle things without a hassle. These companies ensure that all aspects of your property comply with the law and that you have all the necessary permits and licenses.
You may have to find and hire contractors and service providers when managing your rental. If you are new to this, you may also have to start from scratch and search for vendors who fit your requirement. This process can be time-consuming and challenging.
On the other hand, companies have access to a network of contractors and service providers, ensuring quick maintenance and repairs. They also have the resources to handle tenant issues, including disputes and evictions. When you sign up with them, you automatically get access to these resources.
Which One Should You Choose?
Self-managing a house may seem like a cost-effective option, but it can be costly in terms of time, stress, and lack of expertise. Hiring a professional property company may involve management fees. However, it offers many benefits, including freeing up the landlord's time, providing expertise and resources, and ensuring legal compliance.
Ultimately, deciding to self-manage or hire a professional company depends on the landlord's preferences and circumstances.
If you are a landlord looking for expert guidance or assistance with your rental property’s management, please don’t hesitate to contact us at TCT Property Management Services. We manage homes in the East and West Valley, including Phoenix, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, and Mesa.