Here are four quick-and-dirty reasons why, if you’re in the market for a residential property manager for your investment rentals, you should hire one who has a rental portfolio of their own.
The PM understands why it's important to control expenses and improve cash flow.
If your goal is to buy and hold long-term rentals, it’s likely that your focus is on generating a decent-to-good cash flow to pocket as passive income, or use to reinvest, or rely on to quit your (perhaps not-beloved) day job real soon. A PM who owns a least a few units and has had to spend money to fix them knows a few things about expenses—for instance, when it’s better to spend more money now to prevent large expenses in the future, or to spend less now to meet more short-term cash flow goals. They’ve seen the hit to their bottom line when they hired the cheapest plumber to fix the ceiling leak and then had to go back and hire the bestplumber to fix that fix. But they’ve also seen the cost savings in buying a lesser-quality product than they would for their own homes to maximize cash flow.
Let’s talk about the common tasks you might perform as a landlord. This will give you just a sample of the kind of tasks a landlord is responsible for.
64 Tasks Landlords Are Responsible For
- Preparing a property to rent
- Collecting forms needed for the businesses
- Placing ads in the newspaper and/or online
- Placing signs in the yard
- Determining fair market rent
- Determining the security deposit amount
- Setting minimum qualification standards
- Taking phone calls from prospective tenants
- Pre-screening tenants
- Scheduling appointments to show properties
When you purchase a new rental or commercial property with investment intent, you must allocate a portion of the purchase price to improvements and the remaining amount to land. The reason for this practice is that you cannot depreciate land, only improvements. This makes sense because dirt lasts forever.
Depreciation is the reduction in value of a property over time due to the particular wear and tear on the asset. Residential properties are depreciated over 27.5 years, while commercial properties are depreciated over 39 years.
This reduction in value is a current expense, yet no money comes out of your pocket. Sounds like a pretty awesome deal, right? You get to reduce your reported income by your annual depreciation expense without actually paying for anything!
But what is depreciation really? Do you think the IRS, our favorite government agency, would let you have it that easy? I’ll give you a hint: the answer starts with the letter “N” and ends with “O.”
For many people, being a landlord is a rewarding and profitable experience, but if you are new to the rental real estate business, you might have discovered that managing a rental property is not a simple endeavor. Taking the time to gain a basic understanding of some key landlord responsibilities, property marketing tactics and areas of the law will go a long way in helping you find (and keep) a tenant, effectively manage your rental and avoid the most common landlord mistakes.
In this guide, we’ve compiled several tips for new landlords to help you succeed and get the most out of your real estate investment.