Investors are always talking amongst themselves about whether they should manage their own rental properties or if they should hire a property manager. Today, we’re talking about why you need a professional property management company in the Portland metro area. This information should help you make the decision easily and understand why it’s a bad idea – and even dangerous – to try and manage your own investment properties.
Portland Property Management and the Rental Laws
In a lot of states, there are new laws coming out including rent control laws, and city and state governments are changing the rulebooks. This has a big impact on investors, especially investors who don’t have the time and the resources to keep up with every new law.
Time has always been a problem for real estate investors. Not having enough time to maintain the rental property on your own or market it when it’s vacant or show it to tenants has always been an issue. You have a full time job of your own and maybe you have family responsibilities and other passions you’d like to pursue. Getting your time back is a great reason to hire a property management company.
But, the political landscape has changed, and now you don’t just want a property manager to save you time. You want a property manager to save you from expensive legal mistakes and potential lawsuits.
Landlords are facing much heavier restrictions and requirements. More important than the laws themselves are the penalties. The amount you’ll have to pay for a mistake or a misstep is much bigger than it once was. So, if you’re hoping to self-manage, make sure you have a plan to understand and stay up to date on all the political changes that are happening. If you do not have that time, then you really need to get a professional Portland property management firm to help you. The stakes are too high, and managing properties legally and in compliance with new regulations is only going to grow more complicated.
Laws evolve and change, and the government that makes these laws will expect you to keep up. Just because one law comes out this year doesn’t mean that it stays static. That law may shift next year, and you won’t necessarily know it’s happened. You might not find out what was actually required of you until it’s too late and you’re in legal trouble.
No one gets into real estate investing to have a second or third job. When you try to self-manage, that’s exactly what happens. You find yourself having to juggle your first job with your new jobs. It takes away your time and it sets you up for mistakes.
So, ask yourself what’s more important to you: time or money? You can always make more money. But, it’s pretty much impossible to make more time. So, paying for professional property management is probably in your best interests. Do you really want to commit yourself to understand the ever changing laws all the time? Acting as your own landlord is an excellent way to set yourself up for failure.
Keeping Up with the Portland Rental Market
Another good reason to hire a professional Portland property manager is the market trends. Unless you have the time, expertise, and resources to stay up to date with everything going on in the local market, you need someone with the experience and the connections to know what properties are renting for and what residents are demanding in rental homes.
This is part of the pattern, and it all goes back to the lack of time. Investors have a hard time staying afloat of the actual market value of rents. So, a common mistake that self-managing landlords make is that they get a resident in place, and then they never raise the rent. Or, they don’t conduct annual inspections. Maybe they don’t do a good job with preventative maintenance or they’re unresponsive to any type of maintenance. Before you know it, three to five years have gone by and a lot of money has been left behind. The property may be renting for $200 to $300 under market. Over the course of a few years, thousands of dollars are lost.
Maybe you thought you had great residents in place because you never heard from them and they never bothered you with maintenance requests. Then, those residents move out and you find a lot of deferred maintenance and unreported repairs. These costs are going to be much higher than they would have been when they were first noticed.
Many owners often think they’re saving money by not hiring a property manager. But, you are probably losing money on the things that aren’t getting the attention they need.
When you own a rental property, you own a business. To be successful, all the pieces of that business need to fit into place. It’s like a pilot needing an airplane. That’s a pretty important piece to make the whole thing work. When you own a piece of property, having a property manager that operates the business is a key part of your success. You have to understand what the rents are and what the laws are and what is best for the business.
We’d love to tell you more about Portland property management and how we can help. Contact us at Mynd Property Management for more information.
You can also visit our Facebook group of investors, which is called Master Mynd. It’s a real estate investors’ club, where you can exchange ideas with other owners. Check out our weekly podcast as well, called The Myndful Investor. We invite leaders in real estate and property management to talk about their success and, more importantly, their failures. There’s a lot to learn from this relatable content.