Managing several properties can be a lot of work. In our latest post, we will offer some tips on doing it yourself and knowing when to hire a property management company to assist you.
Sure, managing your rental properties on your own will save you some money, but at what cost? How much time do you want to spend being hands-on with the properties you own? Below we offer some tips to help you manage several rental properties at once in Chicago as well as what to expect when hiring a professional to help you.
Have A Detailed Screening System
You process for screening should be very thorough and detailed. You should screen every tenant in the same way, even if it is someone known to you. Don’t rush this part of the process as missing something on a background check may end up costing you in the long run. If you don’t hire a property manager, it is still wise to outsource your background checks to a third-party company.
Stagger The Date Rent Is Due
This works well for some landlords, but not for others. You could opt to stagger the dates when rent is due so you aren’t having too chase too many people at once. For example, you could make rent for some properties due on the 1st, and have the remaining properties pay on the 15th. This may help you have an easier time managing things.
Create A Maintenance Schedule
Each property should have its own maintenance schedule that is strictly adhered to. You want to be proactive in the maintenance department because without proper maintenance, you could find yourself with much larger problems. Don’t just assume a property is fine, no matter how great things look, stick to your schedule.
Sub Out Specific Tasks
If you don’t want to hire a property manager to do it all, consider subbing out some of your least favorite responsibilities. You can hire someone to make all the repairs, to screen the tenants, to show the property on your behalf. You could also hire a part-time bookkeeper to help keep your finances in order.
Do Regular Checks On Your Properties
When you have many properties to deal with, you might find that one gets lost in the shuffle. If you don’t check on it regularly, you run the risk of finding it to be poorly maintained or damaged. Schedule regular maintenance checks and property walk-throughs with your tenants. This will help you to catch small problems before they turn into something bigger.
Be A Good Landlord
If people like where they live, they are less likely to get up and move. As a landlord, the goal is to find high-quality tenants who want to stay for the long-term. The less turnover you have, the more money you make on your rentals. Always work on being a good landlord. Hold up your end of the deal by making your property a place where people want to live. Handle all repair and maintenance issues right away and strive to have good relationships with your tenants.
Hire A Pro
Managing properties on your own will save you money. However, the consequences of spreading yourself too thin are far greater. You could allow a bad tenant to move in, or neglect repairs, resulting in damage to your tenant’s property, or hire unlicensed contracts because you didn’t have the time to do your homework. If you feel like you are in over your head, even a little bit, it might be time to break down and hire a professional to step in.