What will you do if your tenants don’t pay?
How can you make sure your insurance policies and leases are up-to-date on current laws and protect you from potential lawsuits?
How will you screen tenants and coordinate advertising, reference checks, key transfers, and walk-through inspections?
Who’s going to keep an eye on your property to catch potential maintenance issues (like that pipe that’s ready to burst) early on?
As many people seem to find out the hard way, there’s a lot that goes into managing a property – it’s far more than simply dealing with the occasional clogged toilet, lost key, leaks, or late rent payments.
That said, not all types of property owners are at a point when they’re ready for a property manager. To see if a property manager is a good fit for your property, take a read through the “10 ways to know” list below.
Important note: not all Boston area property management companies will offer help for all the items below (for example, some management companies really only offer maintenance and rent collection). So if any of these items seem important to you, make sure to check if the property management company you’re looking at actually offers it as a part of their service.
10 Ways to Know If You Need a Property Manager in Boston
You might need a property manager if you want to…
- …avoid those Friday night emergency maintenance calls from worried tenants about no hot water, leaking pipes, or clogged toilets.
Many people turn to property managers in the first place because they want someone to take care of maintenance issues for them. Generally, not only will a property manager be responsible for responding to your tenant’s plea for help, but also for arranging, meeting, and scheduling the relevant service from plumbers, roofers, maintenance staff, cleaners, etc.
Beyond this, they’ll often deal with unit turnover, cleaning, and repairs after tenants are gone.
And as a bonus, since most property managers will have a regular set of vendors they turn to, they can usually get help out to your tenants far more quickly than you would be able to as an individual owner.
- …get insight into the best ways to optimize your property so you can earn as much on it as you can.
A good property manager will also have expertise in your area’s market so they can make sure you’re getting market rate.
Additionally, by visiting your properties physically and using their knowledge of the market and what has worked for their other owners, they should be able to give you suggestions for ways you can improve them and increase their value.
- …quickly fill vacancies and have help finding and screening reliable tenants.
Of course, one of the biggest challenges any landlord faces is finding good tenants who will pay rent on time and take care of the property.
Luckily, many property management companies offer support in helping you fill vacancies, and should have a strong process in place for screening tenants to make sure they are a good fit.
One thing to keep in mind – it’s very much in the property management company’s interest to find you a good tenant! After all, if the tenant turns out to be difficult, it’s going to be the property manager that now has to deal with them, not you.
- …have some preventative maintenance checks that catch problems early and make sure your property is always in great shape.
Whether it’s making sure you don’t forget to change the air filters every few months, or just knowing someone has eyes on your property to find and take care of problems before they become serious, this preventative maintenance can be a major relief both in peace of mind as well as for your wallet.
- …pass along the responsibility of tenant communication.
Beyond just maintenance requests, you’d be surprised by how many inquiries tenants have and how much time it can take you to handle them all! Questions about renewals, other properties available, how to use their garbage disposal or their heat/AC, disputes with neighbors, delays in their trash pickup…the list goes on.
Just about any property management company out there will take full responsibility for all tenant communication and become your tenant’s point of contact.
- …be 100% sure that all your leases and legal documents are up-to-date and in accordance with the current laws.
Unfortunately, it’s harder than most landlords might expect to get their legal docs in order and air-tight against lawsuits or broken leases (in other words, just pulling a template from Google usually doesn’t cut it).
Many property management companies will not only handle the review and signing of leases with the tenants, but also ensure they are fully up-to-date and reviewed by their lawyers.
- …give your tenants access to streamlined systems to pay rent and make maintenance requests.
One of the biggest benefits of working with a property manager is that they have better, more efficient systems than a solo, self-managed property owner might have.
For example, instead of making the tenant call you directly to make maintenance requests, a property manager will often have their own online portal where tenants can submit them in minutes.
Naturally, this also means they’ll have better, more efficient systems for the landlord as well when it comes to things like financial and maintenance reporting.
- …have someone take care of all bookkeeping, accounting, and rent collection.
Dealing with the financial side of being a landlord isn’t only time-consuming, but prone to errors.
And this is where property managers can give you serious peace of mind – by taking care of everything on the financial side of things (including delivering a complete 1099 for you at the end of the year with your investment earnings), all you’ll have to do is keep your eyes out for the rent payment landing in your bank account each month.
- …guarantee that you’re not overpaying on insurance and maintenance, nor undervaluing your property.
There’s a lot to keep in mind and consider as a landlord, and these are just a few of them.
Ideally, a property management company will be partnered with the experts needed to look at your insurance and maintenance costs and see that you’re paying fair prices for them. Beyond this, they should be familiar enough with the Boston market to ensure you’re charging the right rent price and thus getting the full market rate for your property.
- …make your property truly become a hands-off, passive investment for you to benefit from in the long term.
Put simply, a good property management company will take care of everything related to your property – allowing you to skip out on the stress of tenants and the evenings taken away from your family, other life commitments, or even vacation to deal with it – so truly all you have to do is decide what to do with the rent payment that’ll be hitting your bank account each month.
How do you find a property manager in Boston that offers everything above?
As we’ve said, not all (or even very many) property managers in the Boston area will offer all of the items above.
That said, here at MerGo we do offer our property owners all of these things (as well as a few extras).
To learn more about how MerGo can help you turn your property into a truly passive investment, head to the Our Service page.