Spencer Sutton - Wednesday, May 30, 2018
You may be trying to decide between self-management or using a Nashville Property Management company for your rental house.
I’m glad you found this article because that’s what we’re going to break down.
Weighing the advantages and disadvantages closely, one can easily see that it is not all about how much it costs.
When you consider the headaches of dealing with middle of the night maintenance calls, late payments, tenant complaints, and understanding your local landlord-tenant law, it can seem a bit overwhelming.
To these people, it may make sense to look for a Nashville property management company that can take tenant calls, schedule maintenance, and collect rent. All while keeping landlord-tenant law compliant.
To others, however, they enjoy the hands-on nature of managing rental property. And having the opportunity to trade their time for a more in-depth understanding of managing rental property makes sense.
The Case For Self-Management
You are intimately aware of all aspects of the rental process.
Some owners enjoy and want to know everything that is going on with their house and the tenant.
Hiring a Nashville Property Management firm might give you advantages in many ways, but it won’t give you 100% clarity on the day to day operation of your rental.
For that hands-on ‘in the business’ clarity, it is best to manage the property yourself.
You will be involved in marketing and advertising, showing the home, processing applications, signing leases, collecting rent, and managing maintenance. This process will give you insight into your rental business that you won’t have if you hire a Nashville property management company.
You will keep more of the monthly rent for yourself.
One of the first questions a prospective owner asks us is, “How much are your fees?” It’s a good question and an appropriate question. But the point here is that no matter which Nashville property management company you hire, you will be paying something!
It could be a flat fee per month or possibly a percentage of monthly rent. But the point remains, you will forfeit some of the rent each month to pay your property manager.
Some property owners may need the extra money to help cover a mortgage each month. Also, some owners may want to manage their property so that they can reinvest what they would have paid in fees back into their rental business.
Whatever the case, if you manage your property, you will save those monthly management fees and can use them how you feel best for your situation.
You have the opportunity to hand-pick your tenants.
If you manage your rental property yourself, you are responsible for finding a qualified tenant. Now, if you’re a homeowner without rental experience, this can be a daunting task.
What if you put a tenant in your home that has a prior eviction on his or her record? What if your tenant falls on hard times? How will you address this with the tenant? This issue can be especially nerve-racking if your tenant is a friend or relative.
However, if you have a well-defined process for screening prospective tenants and do not fall prey to using your gut feelings, this can be a positive experience.
Also, you will need to understand and follow the Fair Housing Act. Adhering to this act will make sure you do not discriminate during your application process.
You can evaluate and hire maintenance people to do work on your home.
Hiring a maintenance person will give you control over the work and presumably the cost of each repair. If your HVAC goes out in the summer, you will choose the HVAC contractor that appeals to you.
This kind of hand-picking your maintenance person can happen even if you hire a property manager, but it will depend on the property manager’s agreement with you.
Some managers say you must use their preferred vendors or staff while others are ok letting you bring your contractor to the relationship as long as they do quality work.
If you have a lot of experience with property maintenance, then this would be an advantage because a property manager is most likely going to charge a fee to manage the maintenance project.
The Case For Hiring A Nashville Property Management Company
You will not be mired down in the day to day of managing rental property.
For the busy person who is not an expert at managing rental property, this will be good news! The Nashville property management company you hire will handle all of the details and keep you informed of the most critical aspects of your rental house.
- Marketing information
- Leases signed
- Rent collected
- Maintenance issues handled
- Monthly accounting
This service can save a rental house owner many hours and a lot of stress and headaches. There’s a reason why the majority of property managers manage less than 300 houses. It’s because managing rental homes is a tough business and you need to be able to handle the stress and conflict in a professional manner.
You trade a management fee for your time and save the emotional stress of rental property.
Hiring a professional Nashville property management firm is going to cost you a monthly management fee, that is true. But to the owner who is looking for value, this will be a no-brainer.
Some owners don’t have the expertise to market a home. Much less screen tenants, review leases, collect rent and manage maintenance. To these owners, the monthly management fee is money well spent.
When you hire a Nashville property management company, they act as your agent and handle any issue with your tenant or home.
And if you own rental property long enough, you will have times of conflict with your tenant. This situation alone may be worth the monthly management fee you will pay a Nashville property management company.
You significantly reduce your risk and liability by allowing a professional to screen your tenant.
A Nashville property management firm will more than likely screen tenants in at least three of these five ways (we do all five):
- Credit – A good manager will have what they consider to be a baseline credit score and possibly some exceptions if a tenant agrees to a more substantial security deposit
- Employment verification – This allows the property manager to ensure that they haven’t recently (within the past weeks) lost a job that the income verification would miss.
- Income verification – Having a minimum ration of income to rent is advisable, and your Nashville property management company will have years of experience on what ratio works well.
- Criminal background check – We believe in second chances, but our owners would rather that second chance not come at their rental house’s expense.
- Previous property management referral – Asking questions like, ‘Would you rent to this tenant again?’ is an objective question that every former landlord or property manager finds easy to answer – yes or no!
A professional will know how to screen in a way that follows the law and dramatically reduces the risk that you will have a delinquent tenant in your house.
A professional property manager will mitigate your risk when it comes to maintenance on your rental house.
For the ordinary landlord, having a company with trusted staff or vendors who can work on your house is great. A trusted maintenance crew can end up saving you thousands each year. We have many owners who come to us only after a horrible situation. It usually happens during a rehab or if there is a complex maintenance issue.
If you are not careful, you can end up paying for shoddy work that only serves to make your tenant more unhappy and eventually leave.
The goal of owning rental property is to keep tenants long-term so that you don’t have to deal with expensive and complicated rehabs. If you bumble and fumble maintenance, that is a recipe for losing a good tenant.
A good Nashville property management firm will have trusted vendors or staff in-house. This expertise will give your tenants the assurance that you are looking after their best interests.
For instance, at gkhouses, we have a maintenance guarantee for 12 months. If something breaks within 12 months of us fixing it, we will make it right at no additional cost.
That kind of guarantee can give you peace of mind that you’re receiving quality work that will last.
No matter which decision you make for your situation, you can succeed owning rental property in Nashville.
If we can ever do anything for you, give us a call at (615) 925-3880. You can also fill out a form on our site.