West Coast Equity Group

Should you Hire a Property Manager?

A few of my apartment building clients have chosen to manage their properties themselves. After all, property management isn’t rocket science, and it’s not hard to keep you building full in a market like Whatcom County where in most areas we have sub 1% vacancy rates. Just post the occasional vacancy on Craigs List, screen tenants carefully, and turnover units quickly. Definitely doable, and part-time for most people. Even fully employed people can manage it and pocket the 5-9% per month it would have cost to hire a property manager. In many cases however, property managers do a better job keeping rents at market rate and making sure rents come in on time, especially if they’re incentivized to do so.

Your property manager should be able to

It’s critical to raise your rents by 3% each year to keep pace with our regional inflation in this area. I have found that many landlords who self manage have a tendancy to fear raising the rents because it might cause a vacancy. But ino not keeping your rents currents impacts more than just your monthly cash flow. It will impact the future resale value of your building and your building’s appreciation potential.

Keeping your rents current means tracking comparable rents, and that’s not as simple as it sounds. Your real estate broker should be providing that information to you annually.

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