“Should I hire a property manager or self-manage my rental property?” This is a question that every property investor has probably found themselves asking at one time or another!
For some investors, self-management may be a good option. This is especially true if you live close to your property and have prior experience in managing and maintaining rentals. Self-management can also be a good option if you’re looking to have full control over your investment.
For others, however, hiring a property manager can be in your best interest. You may be able to save a lot of time and stress if you hire a good property manager.
Whether you’re already a property owner or you’re looking to buy an investment property in Alberta, we’ll help you make the decision between self-managing or hiring a property management company.
Benefits of Self-Managing your Rental Property
1. You’ll get some experience.
Experience is key when it comes to running a business, and a rental investment isn’t any different. Managing the day-to-day tasks of running your property will help you learn the ropes of the business.
Also, the experience you acquire may help you later on; if you eventually choose to have others run your property, you’ll know how they should treat your investment. You’ll be able to know what the best strategy is for your property.
2. No one cares about your property as much as you do.
This isn’t to say that all property owners care for their properties in the same way, of course. But you’re the one who paid for the property, so chances are, you’re the one who cares most about it!
That extra care can make all the difference. There are good and bad property managers, some of whom won’t take care of your property as well as you would.
3. All decisions will be yours.
You’ll have increased control over your property if you choose to manage it yourself. Not having to consult with anyone else will mean an easier decision-making process.
4. You might save some money.
Generally speaking, hiring a property management company means you’ll have to give them a cut of your gross rental income. The fee varies for each property manager, but it typically hovers around 10 percent.
So, while you can technically save yourself that loss of profit by managing your property yourself, there are other things to consider.
The role of a property manager is to make you money by bringing in tenants who renew their leases consistently, and thus increase your long-term investment return.
A team of property managers is usually able to do this more effectively than a single landlord, so you may lose money in the long run by self-managing. That being said, it depends on your experience and time commitment.
Benefits of Hiring a Property Management Company
1. A property management company is resourceful.
A property management company is in business for one purpose: to manage rental properties.
As a single landlord, you have many responsibilities to tend to outside of managing your rental. A property management company, on the other hand, is always working to keep your property marketable and profitable.
They have the staff, policies, technology, contacts, and all other resources such as notices and application forms necessary to run a successful rental.
In addition, a good property management company will have an established list of reliable vendors and contractors to call upon whenever necessary.
2. A property management company understands all relevant laws.
Many regulations govern the landlord-tenant relationship, from landlord-tenant laws to habitability laws and more. If you aren’t well-versed in these laws, you may accidentally find yourself in legal hot water.
In Canada, each province has its own renting law. There are different rules that landlords and tenants must follow in each province. In Alberta, for instance, landlords are required to familiarize themselves with the Residential Tenancies Act.
A good property management company will be knowledgeable about the act, and represent you in court should any legal issues arise.
3. You’ll have free time to do other things.
This is arguably one of the top reasons why property owners choose to hire property managers.
Being a landlord is time-intensive. Between finding and screening tenants to maintaining the unit and collecting rent, being a landlord can feel exhausting.
Luckily for you, hiring a property management company can free up time so that you can tend to more important things in your life.
4. A property management company can handle all aspects of property management.
Being a landlord can be stressful, no doubt. Between unhappy tenants and late-night maintenance calls, managing your property can be anything but easy.
Thankfully, hiring a good property management company can help you with all aspects of property management. You won’t have to worry about:
- Filling vacant units. A good property manager will have a reliable marketing strategy to help you fill your vacancies quickly.
- Renting to the wrong tenants. A good property manager will have an effective screening process that minimizes the chances of renting to a problem tenant, and can handle evictions if needed.
- Responding to maintenance calls. Whether urgent or not, a property manager will have the resources to respond to maintenance and repair issues in a timely manner.
- Missed or late rent payments. Rent is the bread and butter of any rental investment. A good property manager will not only know how much to charge tenants, but also have effective strategies in place for collecting it.
So, that brings us to the question: To self-manage or to hire a property management company? Much like everything else, there is no direct answer. You’ll have to consider a lot of things, such as your free time, rental management skills, and experience.
How to Find a Good Property Management Company in Alberta
If you choose to hire a property management company, then it’s imperative to hire the right one. Because, just like everything else in life, no two companies are the same. So, how do you find the right management company in Alberta?
By screening them!
The following are some questions you’ll want to a property manager:
- How much are your property management fees?
- What services do you provide?
- How do you screen prospective tenants?
- How do you handle maintenance requests? Do you have an in-house maintenance crew, or do you hire outsiders?
- How do you handle late or missed rent payments?
- How effective is your marketing process?
- How many rental properties do you currently have in your management portfolio?
- What criteria do you have when determining the rent amount to charge tenants?
- Do you have a license from the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA)?
If you’re looking for the best property management company in Grand Prairie, Alberta, get in touch with Real Canadian Property Management Solutions! We have many effective services that’ve helped countless landlords just like yourself over the years.