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How to Manage a Property: DIY vs Professional Property Management

When it comes to managing a property, should you DIY or hire the pros? We're discussing both options in this guide on how to manage a property.
Have you ever juggled a dozen balls at the same time? That's what it feels like when you're trying to figure out how to manage a property. Whether you're a seasoned landlord or a first-time property investor, the crucial question is: should you roll up your sleeves and do it yourself or should you let the pros handle the hustle?This is a decision that could impact not just your investment, but your peace of mind as well. As we delve into this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of both options and hopefully, by the end, equip you with the knowledge to make a choice that suits you best.

DIY Property Management: The Pros and Cons

DIY property management puts you, the property owner, in the driver's seat. You make all the decisions and carry out all tasks associated with managing the property.There's an inherent sense of control with this approach. From selecting tenants to determining the rental rates and directly dealing with maintenance issues, you're fully engaged in the process.

Benefits of DIY Property Management

A significant benefit of DIY property management is the potential for cost savings. By handling the property management yourself, you avoid the fee a professional property management company would charge. This typically varies from 8% to 10% of the monthly rent depending on the location and services provided.Furthermore, DIY property management puts you in control as the landlord. It allows you to directly make decisions about:
  • Maintenance
  • Tenant selection
  • Rent collection
Being hands-on with property management also allows for a direct relationship with your tenants. This can lead to a more personalized approach to tenant management. It provides opportunities to build trust and potentially reduce issues associated with tenant turnover.

Drawbacks of DIY Property Management

On the flip side, DIY property management does have its share of challenges. One of the main drawbacks is the substantial time commitment required. The varied tasks involved can significantly encroach on your daily schedule.These can include:
  • Finding and screening tenants
  • Collecting rent
  • Addressing maintenance requests
  • Staying updated with property laws
Moreover, without a background in real estate or property law, navigating the complexities of property management can be a daunting task. You will need to become versed in:
  • Rental agreements
  • Eviction processes
  • Local property regulations
Missteps in these areas can lead to costly consequences.Another consideration is the potential emotional involvement. Having a direct relationship with your tenants could make it more difficult to enforce rules or make tough decisions. The task of evicting a tenant who has become a friend, or raising the rent when you know a tenant is struggling financially, might be challenging.Finally, DIY property management requires you to always be available for:
  • Emergencies
  • Repairs
  • Tenant concerns
This could prove difficult if you have other professional or personal commitments. 

Professional Property Management: The Benefits and Drawbacks

After exploring the world of DIY property management, it's time to examine the other side of the coin: professional property management. Just as with the DIY route, professional management comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Benefits of Hiring a Property Manager

A key benefit to hiring a professional property manager is the time you save. Property management is more than just collecting rent. It involves maintaining the property, resolving tenant issues, ensuring legal compliance, and more.A property manager takes on these tasks and frees up your time for other commitments.Property managers also bring their expertise to the table. They are well-versed in property laws and have the experience to handle complex issues such as evictions or disputes.They understand the local market conditions and can help set competitive rental rates to attract potential tenants while maximizing your returns. They also have established processes for tenant screening. This ensures that your property is leased to reliable renters.Another advantage is their professional network. Property managers often have connections with reliable contractors, suppliers, and vendors. This can prove invaluable when it comes to maintenance or renovations.Moreover, professional property management provides a buffer between you and the tenant. This detachment can help maintain a professional relationship. This ensures that business decisions are made without personal emotions getting in the way.

Drawbacks of Hiring a Property Manager

Despite these advantages, there are drawbacks to consider. One of the primary concerns for many property owners is cost.Hiring a professional property manager involves an ongoing fee. This is usually a percentage of the rental income. For some, this cost may outweigh the benefits.While property managers have the expertise to handle complex issues, there may be times when their decisions do not align with your expectations. This can lead to frustration or disagreements.Lastly, not all property management companies offer the same level of service. Some might excel in communication and transparency, while others might be lacking. Therefore, choosing the right company requires careful research and consideration.

Evaluating the Two: Making the Right Choice

When figuring out how to manage a property, you need to evaluate your personal needs and skill set. Consider:
  • Are you handy and capable of making minor repairs around the property?
  • Are you experienced in dealing with lease contracts?
  • Do you understand your local landlord-tenant laws?
If so, DIY property management might be a viable option for you.If you're short on time due to other personal or professional commitments, the day-to-day tasks of property management may prove overwhelming. These tasks include things like:They require both time and a diverse set of skills.If you feel uncomfortable with any of these tasks or simply don't have the time, hiring a professional property manager could be the best way to manage a property. They can handle these tasks and use their experience and networks to keep your property running smoothly.

Assessing the Property

The nature of the property itself can also impact the management choice. If your rental property is located close to your home or place of work, managing it yourself might be easier. Proximity allows for quicker responses to any emergencies or maintenance requests.On the other hand, if your property is located in a different city or if you own multiple rental properties, managing them all could become a daunting task. The logistics of dealing with maintenance requests or tenant issues from afar can quickly become complicated and time-consuming.In such cases, a professional property manager can offer a valuable solution. They can maintain the day-to-day operations of your property while you focus on other priorities.

Analysing the Finances

When deciding between DIY and professional property management, one of the main factors to consider is financial. While the idea of saving on management fees may entice you towards the DIY approach, there are other financial elements to consider.Running a rental property involves more than just collecting rent. It includes the time you will spend:
  • Marketing the property
  • Screening potential tenants
  • Taking care of maintenance issues
  • Dealing with potential disputes
Each of these tasks involves a time commitment which, when calculated, could translate into a considerable cost.On the contrary, professional property management services come at a fee but might provide better value in the long run. Such services could offer expertise in:
  • Rental pricing strategies to maximize income
  • Efficient processes to reduce vacancies
  • Skilled maintenance that could potentially prevent costly repairs in the future

Navigating Legal Complexities

Managing a property isn't just about maintaining a building and collecting rent. It also involves legal aspects that can become complicated if not handled correctly. From ensuring the property meets all safety codes to understanding and abiding by fair housing laws, there's a multitude of legal factors to consider.Additional legal complexities you may face can include:
  • Drafting and enforcing lease agreements
  • Handling security deposits correctly
  • Navigating the eviction process
A simple mistake or misunderstanding could lead to legal disputes, penalties, or damage to your reputation.Professional property managers are well-versed in these legal complexities. They can help you navigate these intricate waters and keep your property compliant with local laws and regulations. They can seriously reduce the risk of potential legal issues.

Making Your Decision

Deciding between DIY and professional property management is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your unique circumstances and needs will dictate which approach is best. Consider:
  • Your own time availability
  • Your skills in dealing with the various aspects of property management
  • The financial implications
  • Your level of comfort with legal requirements
Reflection is essential in this decision-making process. What gives you more peace of mind? Would you enjoy tackling the challenges of property management or would you prefer handing off these responsibilities to a professional team for more convenience and less worry?

Leverage Expertise for How to Manage a Property

The ultimate aim when it comes to how to manage a property is to safeguard and grow your investment while keeping stress at bay. Why not lean into the expertise of seasoned professionals, who have seen it all and have found solutions for diverse scenarios?Axford Property Management embodies this expertise. With our dedication to maximising your rental portfolio, combined with in-depth market knowledge and a rich network, we are equipped to help you achieve your property management goals. Dont hesitate, reach out to us today to discover how our team can make your property management journey smooth and profitable.