Should I do my own Property Management or contract it out?
This is a question that every buy to let property investor or accidental landlord has asked themselves at some point.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question as it depends on a variety of circumstances.
I’ve been investing into property since 1989 and have a portfolio that stretches North to South, East to West of England. Whilst I’ve managed my properties myself, I’ve also used agents. Now that my brother has set up a Lettings Agency to manage our family portfolio he looks after most of them but we do still contract managing agents occasionally.
So what are the deciding factors on whether to manage your own portfolio or to contract the work out?
This is my list of considerations, if you can think of others please add them to the comments section below:-
- Do I have time and do I want to use it for this purpose?
- Do I know the laws?
- Am I good with paperwork?
- Do I want the hassle?
- Have I got all the contacts I am likely to need?
- What’s the monetary cost vs the value of spending my time focusing on other productive activities?
- Who will deal with issues when I’m on holiday or ill?
The answers to these types of questions will significantly influence my decision. However, there’s another set of questions:
- Will somebody else care as much as I do about keeping my properties let to responsible tenants and keeping them well maintained?
- How do I know who to trust?
- What’s their experience?
- What do other people say about them, especially the landlords and tenants they work with?
- What are their procedures and charges and am I happy with them?
There are some relatively easy ways to check out a Property Management company as follows:-
- Talk to the local landlords association
- Google the company name followed by the words; Complaints, Scam, Fraud etc. and see if anything comes up. Most businesses have complaints but it’s how they deal with them that makes all the difference.
- Ask for references from existing client/tenants. Property Management Businesses who are listed as Gold Business Members on Property118.com are encouraged to ask their landlords and tenants to leave references in the comments section of their business profile
- Mystery shop them – pretend you are a tenant interested in one of their properties and see how you are treated
For several years I managed my own properties and I still take an active interest in the local ones, even though my brother does most of the hard work these days. I’m writing an eBook on how I manage my properties, you will find some interesting ideas here.
I’m always interested to learn more so please leave any comments or feedback in the section below.
If you offer a service to property investors, whether it is Property Management or any other service which is of use to landlords, we are very keen to offer you in a free listing in our Business Directory.
To learn more about my property investment strategy please read the following posts in this order:
- The Roots of my Property Investment Strategy
- What you shouldn’t do with your buy to let mortgage
- How I maximise the returns on my liquidity fund (cash in the bank)
- Sell or hold after completing a refurbishment?
- Buy to let strategy – in this article Mark Alexander explains the 20% liquidity reserve rule of thumb
- What’s more important, cashflow or liquidity? Mark Alexander reports
- Is your property portfolio ownership structure optimised to enable you to pay the minimum amount of CGT, income tax and IHT?
- The history of No Money Down and Instant Remortgages since 1992
- How I minimise rental voids
- How I choose my tenants
- How I minimise property management issues
- Are YOUR tenants YOUR best ambassadors
- Due Diligence
- My 1000th post on my favourite property forum
- (You are Here) | Property management advice
- Property investment advice