Author Topic: Can I manage the remote property myself instead of property manager?  (Read 376 times)

bornInFlorida

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All -

I own a town house that is about 400 miles away (6 hour drive). I currently have a property manager that I pay about $200 per month for managing it. The tenant has been paying rent to me on time. I am thinking of getting rid of the property manager mainly because I feel I can just work with the tenant directly (who I have spoken to and is very cooperative). In situations where the tenant decides to leave, I can get a realtor to rent the property for me (charges one time rent or something) instead of using a property manager who I have to pay monthly.

Please let me know what all things I should think about before making this decision. Feel free to give your opinion on the decision as well.

Thank you in advance for any help!

twe

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Re: Can I manage the remote property myself instead of property manager?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 07:50:13 PM »
I saw many friends do this (was in the military where it was common to keep a house in the hope you'd come back to the same place 3 years later). About 50% of the time it worked out well, and about 50% of the time there were serious issues that were far more expensive than the 10% of additional cash flow. The fact that no one ever checks on the property just seemed to give some people a licence to destroy. You may have better luck given that you already have a good tenant in place.

In personal experience with rental properties totaling 25+ years across them all, only had to evict someone 1 time for damage, but that was because the property manager caught it before it was too late.

For me, paying 10% of the rent to a property manager is well worth it (but if I lived close to all my properties, I'd manage them myself).

bornInFlorida

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Re: Can I manage the remote property myself instead of property manager?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2019, 10:14:37 AM »
Thanks @twe

But wouldn’t tenant pre-screening (credit score history, employment, background check, prior landlord reference, spidy sense screening) screen out a tenant that would potentially damage the property.

dandarc

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Re: Can I manage the remote property myself instead of property manager?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2019, 10:29:38 AM »
Thanks @twe

But wouldn’t tenant pre-screening (credit score history, employment, background check, prior landlord reference, spidy sense screening) screen out a tenant that would potentially damage the property.

Usually yes, but not always. People change, and some problems won't make it onto a background check. Vast majority of tenants are pretty good - rent would have to be much higher almost everywhere if that was not the case. All a question of the risk and hassle you're willing to deal with.

We're currently renting without a property manager long distance, and even though our tenant is great, the risk and coordinating the occasional repair across 3 timezones does give me a little heartburn. Not enough to get out of the arrangement, but if I had it over, we'd have just sold the house.

waltworks

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Re: Can I manage the remote property myself instead of property manager?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2019, 11:27:41 AM »
Like a lot of things, it'll work just fine 90% of the time. The other 10%, it'll go horribly, horribly wrong. I've self-managed from 500+ miles away and the worst I personally ever had happen was tenants constantly asking for repairs on stuff that I suspect they were misusing/abusing. But I couldn't go check on it personally, so it was just a constant series of calls to a handyman and replacing stuff. Not that terrible but annoying.

The bigger potential issue, of course, is tenants doing damage/having big pets that like to chew/smoking so much weed the house smells like it forever/committing crimes/etc that you'd catch if you were physically in the area and checking in occasionally.

-W

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Can I manage the remote property myself instead of property manager?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2019, 11:57:54 AM »
In situations where the tenant decides to leave, I can get a realtor to rent the property for me (charges one time rent or something) instead of using a property manager who I have to pay monthly.
In my opinion, finding the right tenant is the single most important thing you can do to make sure you have good experiences as a landlord. I self manage a property that's about 95 miles away, and even if it were 400 I'd still do the tenant showings/screenings myself...although I'd make a weekend out of it rather than a day trip.

marty998

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Re: Can I manage the remote property myself instead of property manager?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2019, 01:11:44 PM »
Fee I pay to my property manager is 5.5%.

They have access to various tradesmen at bulk rates too so there's some additional value there. In the past three years I've had to replace a dishwasher, stove and laundry/bathroom exhaust fans. The effort involved in arranging that with the tenant while carrying on with life (remember we are trying to get passive income here) was worth the cost it.

In short, the less I have to deal with my investment the better. Last thing I need is a call on the weekend saying "the hot water system has died and could I fix it".

Drole

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Re: Can I manage the remote property myself instead of property manager?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2019, 01:48:27 PM »
Keep the property manager.  Leasing is one thing.  Repairs, maintenance, and emergencies are all a pain in the butt from afar.

I pay a lot for my long distance manager but they also have dealt with all sorts of repairs that i could not manage from afar and have brought in tenants that pay more (and more than cover their fees).  They also do direct deposit, have a property protest service i can use, handle the calls and billing from the alarm company, nice organized statements for taxes, etc

Makes my life much easier. 

rothwem

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Re: Can I manage the remote property myself instead of property manager?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2019, 10:15:14 AM »
My rental is about 300 miles away and I'm self-managing.  I've been at it about 8 months so far, but I used to live in one side of my rental, so I've got a bunch of people I know I can call if issues come up.  I don't think I'd do it if the rental was in an unfamiliar place.