Real estate is often touted as a “passive” income source. But is it just really that?

It does require a specific skill set. And unfortunately, many owners lack the skills (and time) to manage their properties.

 

We will discuss what rental management entails and whether you should engage the services of a real estate and property management agency or go it yourself!

 

Rental Management Skills

First up is advertising. Landlords need to know the best channels to expose their vacant properties. They need a network that gets them tenants fast.

 

Screening is the next.

 

You need to pick the right tenants for your property. This means sifting through their history, and ensuring they’re responsible and financially able to rent.

 

Legal knowledge is another skill.

 

You should be aware of your (and your tenant’s) rights and responsibilities. Those include:

  • Security deposit laws
  • Safety compliance regulations
  • How to legally terminate a lease (or evict a tenant)

 

The specifics differ from state to state. Be sure to check the relevant laws for your property’s location.

 

Maintenance comes next.

 

Properties need repair over time. It’s the landlord’s responsibility to take care of those issues. They range from structural fixes (such as plumbing problems) to a ruined appliances.

 

Good maintenance is either a DIY skill or a matter of hiring low-cost and reliable contractors who can fix your property.

 

Outsourcing Property Management

The good news is, you can outsource one or all of the previously discussed management functions to a property management company.

 

For a small fee (usually 10% of the monthly rent), they’ll take care of those tasks for you.

 

So, you don’t have to fully manage the property on your own. This is a convenient option, especially if you are someone who travels a lot or just doesn’t have the time.

 

However, picking the right agency is another hassle. You need one that is reputable, fast in filling vacant properties, and quick in communication.

 

Some companies have a reputation for being slow and stringent. This can harm your relationship with a tenant, costing you thousands down the line.

 

Whichever way you choose to go ensure you have done your homework and see if doing it on your own outweighs engaging a professional agency.