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Is paying property management fees worth it?

By Donna Jones

Deciding if you need a professional property manager is a tough call for investment property owners, and the answer will likely change from one landlord to the next. Here are some key points you’ll want to weigh up when considering property management services.

Do you have the time to be a hands-on landlord?

Straight out of the gate, the most obvious reason to use a property manager for your rental property is that you are time-poor. Your job may be fulltime or simply lack flexibility meaning you can’t drop everything and put out a (figurative) fire at your rental property in the middle of a workday.

You may think the monetary savings you make by not using property management mean you’re winning, only to find that you pay these back in the form of hours and minutes spent managing your property yourself.

So, ask yourself if you have enough time to be suitably available to your tenants as and when they need you. And, whether the money you’ll keep in your pocket is worth the amount of time you’ll lose in return. If there’s any doubt in your mind, utilising a property manager could be the way to go.

Where are you located?

The distance between the home you live in, and your investment property can be a deciding factor. If the two are in different towns — or even on different islands — the logistics of self-management alone could be a nightmare.

What happens when it all goes pear-shaped?

What will you do when things turn pear-shaped and your rental loses power or running water in the middle of the night on a weekend while you’re away on holiday?

These are the nightmare scenarios that self-managing landlords can face, while those utilising a property manager will barely register, the only inconvenience coming in the call-out cost — which you would have to cover in any case.

Property managers have a list of tradespeople and businesses they frequently call on and trust to do efficient and economical repairs, so you can rest assured your investment property and tenants are getting what they need.

What can property managers do that you can’t?

This is what it comes down to for most landlords — why would I pay a property manager to do what I can do myself, for free?

The truth is, many landlords who go at it alone don’t know what they don’t know until it’s too late and they find out in the most uncomfortable and sometimes costly, yet avoidable ways.

Think about how you’d deal with the stickiest of situations, e.g., you have a tenant who has started missing rent payments, or you end up with a tenant who’s a bad neighbour and is frequently at the centre of neighbourhood disputes, or your tenant takes you to the tenancy tribunal because you missed a legal obligation you had no idea about.

Good property managers know the intricacies of the Residential Tenancies Act and are experienced in dealing with disputes and tenant grievances, keeping them out of court, and knowing what to do if it reaches that point. Using one gives you peace of mind that your investment is being taken care of.

Still on the fence about property management?

If you’re no closer to deciding about using a property manager, get in touch with McPherson Property Management and share with us all of your burning questions and concerns around the service.

Or, if you’re now looking for a reliable property manager, see what we offer.

Image: ‘Christchurch’ by Henrico Prins via CC BY-NC 2.0

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