The decision about whether to manage one’s own rental investments or contract the job out to a Property Manager (PM) has many facets to it. Some say it’s a matter of how you value your time. Is it better focussed, elsewhere – like looking for more property investments?
Others say it can be a factor of distance – difficult to self-manage a rental investment property in England if one lives in Wellington, NZ. Yet another view is that starting out on a DIY basis gives a ‘newbie’ property investor valuable experience, as well as indicating just what are realistic expectations of a PM, if and when one is used.
Critical mass is another consideration. When an investor has a large portfolio, being the Property Manager can become the PI’s ‘main job’ if that suits the PI’s business skills, nature and temperament.
People who poorly manage their own properties may actually cost themselves a lot of money. One real benefit with good, competent PM’s is their ability to find the right tenants and keep vacancy rates low.
Good PM’s should do regular – e.g. 3 monthly – inspections, something a lot of ‘newbie,’ DIY investors don’t do. Good PM’s chase up the rent arrears, issue the 10 Day Notices and, best of all, attend any Tenancy Mediation or Tribunal hearings. PM’s will also organise any maintenance and repairs.
When distance isn’t a huge factor, a PI with only a couple of properties should be able to fit in the work needed to do the job of managing them. However, if the PI has a job and life style that has high demands of time and mental energy, then it’s probably a smart thing to employ someone to do the PM chore, just as one might use a mechanic to fix the car even though one has the skills and tools to do so, oneself.