When to Hire a Property Manager

by Scott on October 16, 2017

They say time is fleeting, and this is never more true than when you are a landlord. Thankfully, property managers exist to take chores off your to do list and handle the day to day stress that comes with managing rentals. Cal Bay Property Management’s Scott Safadi says that while there is no magic formula for deciding upon when to hire a property manager, these signs are a dead giveaway that you need some help:
You have multiple properties
Managing one or two tenants is one thing, but when you’re trying to juggle multiple properties and renters, free time can become a thing of the past. You can fill one vacancy only to discover another tenant is leaving next month. Plus, if you’re always on call for emergencies, there can be no vacation or holidays off. A property manager can allow you to rest easy and take real time off.
You don’t live near your rental
In a perfect world, you’d find a great tenant, hand them the keys and live happily ever after. The reality? You’ll be running over to the property to maintain appliances, negotiate rent increases and settling neighborhood feuds virtually all the time. If you don’t live near your rental, these chores become practically impossible. A property manager can ensure that both your tenants and your property are well taken care of no matter where you are in the world.
You hate paperwork
The day-to-day life of a landlord isn’t sexy; in fact, it can be downright dull. Placing ads online, updating your website, checking prospective tenants’ backgrounds and scheduling appointments for maintenance workers to come out for repair work is all par for the course in the daily life of a landlord. If these kinds of chores sound annoying, chances are good that you need a property manager. Allow them to take care of the more tedious aspects of property management while you call the shots.
You don’t know landlord/tenant laws
Landlord/tenant laws in the United States are complicated. Even seasoned real estate professionals have trouble keeping up with them. If you’re second guessing your rights or the rights of your tenants, chances are good you’ve already violated some rule. Cut yourself some slack and hire a property manager. They make it their duty to stay informed and protect you from expensive litigation.
– Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

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Raising the rent isn’t easy. It’s a task that requires business savvy, market research and the people skills to navigate negotiations with tenants. Whether you’re contemplating raising the rent for the first time in years or new to real estate and questioning how much to charge, the process of raising the rent needs to be handled delicately. Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management recommends doing your research before making any big decisions.
So how do you conduct that research? Start by investigating rent prices in similar apartment communities in your area. Check out at least five other rental property prices within two or three miles of your property. When you compare, make sure you are looking at units with the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms as your own. Use rentals that are of a similar age as your property, too. For best results, be sure to compare properties that are visually similar to your rentals.
When you’re ready to raise the rent for your existing tenants, be sure to give them plenty of advance notice. Put the notice in writing and keep a copy for yourself. It’s a good idea to send the notice via certified mail. That way you know the tenants received the information. Hand delivery is also an option, if you’re open to a discussion at their door.
It’s possible that the tenant will get upset at the change and in price and want to negotiate with you. The best course forward is to remain professional and explain your reasoning for raising the rent. Your tenant may choose not to renew their lease, but that is a risk you have to take. Negotiate if you want, but remember to always keep things light, professional and friendly.
Of course, there are times when landlords should avoid raising the rent. It is illegal for landlords to raise rent in retaliation or to discriminate against a tenant. If you have a history of conflict with a tenant, be sure to document your desire to raise the rent and your logic for doing so.
There’s no magic formula to make raising the rent easier. That said, if you do your homework and handle the change as professionally as possible, you’ll reap the rewards and few of the drawbacks.
– Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

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