If you’re renting out a property for the first time, you’re either wondering where to start or completely overwhelmed with all the details that need your attention right away.
These are excellent reasons to hire a Boston property manager.
But, it’s much more than that. Many people believe renting out a home is as easy as finding a tenant and collecting rent. It’s rarely that easy. In fact, the finding a tenant part and the collecting rent part can be two of the most challenging things a landlord has to do. What if the home is vacant for too long? What if a tenant doesn’t pay rent?
We know that there are plenty of people who are effectively managing their own rental homes. It can certainly be done when you have the time and the expertise to manage the leasing, management, and maintenance of a property. But, just because you can do it doesn’t mean that you should do it.
Most rental property owners are better off hiring a professional Boston property manager. You’re likely to earn more money, spend less money, and have an overall more successful experience with your income-producing property.
If you’re still not sure, we’re shining a bright light on the five reasons it’s really worth it to hire a Boston property management company.
1. High-Quality Boston Tenants
Tenants are going to have a huge impact on whether you make money with your rental property or lose money on it. With a good tenant, you’ll collect rent on time. You’ll have someone responsible in the house who is helping you take care of it. You’ll be able to communicate openly and transparently. The lease terms will be followed and there’s a good chance you’ll renew that lease at the end of the term.
Bad tenants, however, are going to be a drain financially and mentally. They’ll pay rent late or not at all, giving you a new excuse every time you try to hold them accountable. They’ll violate the terms of the lease agreement and they may leave property damage behind after they move out or get evicted.
Professional property managers are more likely to place well-qualified tenants.
Most landlords who manage their properties on their own will tell you that one of the most frustrating parts about having a rental home is finding and screening potential tenants. There’s a lot of marketing involved just to reach potential tenants. You’ll have to create a fantastic listing that competes with all the others on the market. You’ll need good photographs and a rent-ready property. There’s marketing knowledge required so you can take advantage of all the online advertising resources. Then, you have to show the home. That takes time.
By the time you get through all of that, you’re likely willing to accept the first application that rolls in. Spending any additional time and resources on a thorough background check might just seem like more than you can handle.
That’s a mistake. You absolutely have to properly screen tenants, and that’s why a property manager can be so invaluable.
The benefit of having a Boston property management company handle the tenant screening and placement is that you can entrust the entire process to them. An experienced property manager will know how to weed out problematic tenants and conduct a consistent, legally compliant, and successful screening process.
2. Lower Maintenance Costs with Boston Property Management
Paying for maintenance is always going to hurt, even when you know it’s necessary to protect the condition and value of your property, and even when you understand it’s your responsibility to maintain a safe and habitable home.
Emergency repairs are especially frustrating. You get that call in the middle of the night or while you’re enjoying a holiday weekend, and you have to immediately respond. Those are the highest costs, too – the ones you aren’t expecting. While routine and preventative maintenance will save you money in the long term and protect your property, it can be difficult to remember when the gutters need to be cleaned or the sprinklers flushed or the HVAC systems inspected.
You also have to find vendors willing to respond when you need them.
An experienced Boston property management company will have worked with a large network of vendors, contractors, and handymen throughout their many years of experience. This can be a tremendous resource for property owners. Your property manager will have a preferred network of vendors. These will be licensed and insured professionals they count on to do exceptional work for competitive prices.
With these established working relationships, you can expect speedy service as well as lower costs and volume discounts.
If you want to save on maintenance costs, which are always rising, it can be to your benefit to partner with a Boston property manager. You’ll have an expert taking care of your property and you’ll also have a wide range of resources when you need repair work, upgrades, and updates.
3. Boston Property Managers Help You Avoid Costly Legal Mistakes and Liability
It’s ridiculously easy to make an expensive mistake when you’re renting out a property. Your tenants have rights, and those rights are protected by local, state, and federal laws. Unless you are completely up to date on those laws, you might make a mistake without even realizing it. You may discriminate against a tenant without intending to. Here are some of the most common mistakes we see self-managing landlords make:
- Fair housing mistakes. Advertising rental homes with discriminatory language, or not screening applications consistently and fairly.
- Hiring unlicensed vendors to complete work at the property, and then having to pay for medical bills and other expenses when that vendor gets hurt.
- Security deposit disputes with tenants.
- Treating service animals and companion animals like pets, either by not allowing them or trying to collect a pet fee or pet rent on service and companion animals.
- Failing to complete repairs in a timely manner, leaving the home uninhabitable.
- Mismanaging the eviction process or not following the legal steps when rent is late or unpaid.
A Boston property management partner will protect you from costly lawsuits and liabilities that often stem from simply not knowing the law. One wrong move or even one wrong word could lead to lawsuits.
Property management companies like ours have a solid understanding of all the landlord-tenant laws that apply in Boston, throughout the state of Massachusetts, and on a federal level. We know the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. We study best practices for eviction, and we know what’s required when the security deposit is returned.
A good property manager can keep you out of court. A handy thing to remember is that the monthly management fee you pay your property management company is just a fraction of what you might spend on legal expenses.
4. Property Management Leads to Higher Rents and Better Rent Collection
How can you be sure you’re charging the right amount of rent?
Your Boston property manager is always following the local real estate and property management trends. Property managers know what homes like yours are renting for and how long it’s taking them to be rented. This allows us to access the data that’s needed to accurately and competitively price your property. We’ll let you know what kind of rental increases are warranted at renewal time, too.
We have found that self-managing landlords will run into one of two problems:
- They’ll have an inflated idea of what their property is worth, and they’ll price it according to what they want to earn, not what the market demands. This leads to longer vacancy periods, which are far more expensive than dropping the rental price.
- They’ll attach an arbitrary rental amount that’s too low, thus collecting less rent than what the property is worth. This makes it incredibly hard to get yourself to market rates.
Of course, it doesn’t matter how much you’re charging if your tenants aren’t paying. You need to collect rent payments consistently each month, and a lot of landlords struggle with this. A good property manager will ensure rent is collected on time. It will be deposited directly into your bank account, and you’ll receive regular accounting statements that reflect your income and expenses.
5. You Deserve to Take Your Time Back
You probably weren’t expecting a second job when you decided to rent out a property.
But, that’s exactly what it can become. You have your own responsibilities to family, career, and yourself. You have passions you probably want to pursue. Every minute you spend dealing with tenants, vendors, and the frustrations that come with rental property is a minute you could have spent doing something that’s surely a better use of your time.
Property managers allow you to take your time back. When you leave us to do what we do best, you free up more time to do what you do best.
We’d love to be your Boston property management partner. If you’d like to chat, please contact us at Platinum Realty Group.