During the last few years, rental markets around the country have grown at an outstanding rate. The Pew Research Center reports that there are more renters now than any point in the last 50 years, making it a great time to be an investment property owner. If you’re considering real estate investment you may be wondering if you should self-manage or hire a property management company. Atlanta real estate management is certainly easier in today’s market, but property management is also hard work, and self-managing your rental property can lead to expensive mistakes. Learn how experienced property managers can help you make the most of your investment.
What are Your Options for Property Management?
Whether you are just starting out, or you already have an investment property, you should explore all your options for property management before moving forward with one company. To make things easier when you are researching property management companies, we lay out each type of company you might come across below.
- One-Man Operation: A property manager who does everything on his own may offer what seems to be specialized attention. The problem with a one-man operation is that property management takes time and expertise, which can be difficult for one person.
- The Mom and Pop Shop: This type of property management company knows Atlanta like the back of their hand. They live here and have knowledge of local trends. However, similar to the one-man operation, property management is most useful when approached by a team of experts. A small, local company cannot offer the incentives of a larger company.
- Full Service Atlanta Real Estate Management: A full-service property management company, like Specialized Property Management Atlanta, provides everything you need to make your investment into a success. A team of experts will use their knowledge of the local market, trends, advertising techniques, efficient maintenance, and more to get you the best return on investment.
Be aware of the differences between property management companies when you are searching for the right manager. The old saying “you get what you pay for” is true more often than not.
Do it Yourself Property Management: The Pros and Cons
What if you don’t want to hire a property management company? Managing your own rental property sounds appealing, especially if you live close to the property. Many first-time landlords assume DIY property management will save them thousands of dollars. The truth? You can save thousands by managing your own property, but only if everything goes perfectly, 100% of the time. Atlanta real estate management is easy when you have a long-term tenant who takes care of your home and pays rent on time, every time. Unfortunately, tenants don’t always pay their rent on time, maintenance issues arise in the middle of the night, and a local housing regulation you were not aware of can cost you big money. Unless you are an expert in local and federal housing laws, tenant relations, screening applicants, advertising, and home maintenance, you could be putting your property at risk. The reality of DIY property management is that this method ends up costing you more than it would take to pay a full-service property management company.
What Does a Property Management Company Do?
What exactly does a property management company have to offer? Services between companies may vary, so make sure you compare specific services when you are looking at different companies. In general, a property management company should take care of every part of the rental cycle. The rental cycle includes the following steps:
- Property Inspection: Before you put your property for rent, you need to make sure it is “rent ready”. This could be as simple as rekeying and cleaning, though in some cases the property requires more extensive repairs. In Georgia, as in most states, property owners are required to keep rental properties safe and habitable. Our Atlanta real estate management team will conduct an inspection to ensure your property meets all safety requirements. If repairs are needed to bring your property up to code, we will help you coordinate it quickly so you can get your home on the market as soon as possible.
- Marketing: Advertising your rental property through the right channels is the best way to bring in high-quality tenants. Putting a “For Rent” sign in your yard and posting the listing on Craigslist simply isn’t enough, and you could end up with an extended vacancy. In order to reduce vacancy days, we advertise your rental property across dozens of websites, including our own rental property search page. This method also brings in more applicants, allowing you to pick the best one for your property.
- Showing: We save our property owners and potential tenants time and money by posting video walkthroughs of our rental properties. Video walkthroughs allow tenants to get a feel for the property before scheduling an in-person showing. By the time a potential tenant decides to schedule an in-person showing, they are more likely to request a rental application.
- Screening: After a tenant has filled out their application they must be screened. This step can be tricky for new landlords to navigate. You and your Atlanta real estate management team must follow all fair housing laws to ensure everyone has equal access to housing. Rejecting an applicant can only be based on their credit, employment, rental history, references, and income.
- Lease Paperwork: Drawing up the lease, and making sure all parties understand it, is an important part of property management. All the leasing documents should be signed and deposits secured in an escrow account in order to protect you from risk. Additionally, when paperwork is delayed it could end up costing you a great tenant, and lead to increased vacancy days.
- Collections: Setting firm expectations for rent due dates and late fees is one of the most important, and most difficult, parts of the rental cycle. At the end of the day, owning rental real estate is a business. Always deal respectfully, yet firmly when collecting rent.
- Maintenance: If you only visit your rental property when something breaks, you are not practicing cost-effective maintenance. Our property managers regularly inspect your rental home and perform seasonal maintenance to ensure your property is in good working order. Catching a small problem early on will keep it from becoming an expensive issue down the line. Emergency maintenance issues are dealt with swiftly by one of our experienced professionals, any time of the day or night.
- Moving In and Out: The final portion of Atlanta real estate management is overseeing the move in/move out procedures. These procedures include; walkthroughs with your tenant, collecting and disbursing deposits, and ensuring your tenants know their responsibilities.
In addition to these services, property management often includes managing outside vendors for repairs, dealing with legal issues when they arise, and being available 24/7 for your tenants. Property management isn’t a “set it and forget it” type of investment, which is why smart investors hire experienced, professional property managers.
What Makes Specialized Property Management Atlanta Different?
What makes Specialized Property Management Atlanta different from other Atlanta property management companies? We are a full-service property management company, meaning we take care of everything during the rental cycle and more. In addition to managing all aspects of the rental cycle as explained above we offer the following services:
- Vendor Partnerships: We partner with qualified, licensed vendors so that you can be sure you are getting great quality work and a great deal when you hire an outside vendor.
- Technology Driven Atlanta Real Estate Management: Our technology-driven approach to property management makes life easier for everyone involved. Access your owner portal at any time of day or night to see property reports and records. Tenants can pay rent and submit maintenance tickets through their tenant portal.
- Local Experts: Rather than rely on one individual’s knowledge of the entire industry, Specialized Property Management Atlanta is made of a team of experts. Every aspect of property management is taken care of by individuals with extensive knowledge of, and experience with, your unique situation.
- Experience in the Single-Family Rental Industry: Since beginning Specialized Property Management Atlanta, our focus has been single-family homes. This focus has provided us with invaluable experience in a sector of the real estate industry that is growing at an incredible pace. While other property management companies are trying to pivot their services to better fit single-family rentals, we have hard-earned knowledge from years in the industry.
For the Best Atlanta Real Estate Management, Contact Us Today
When you’re trying to decide if you should hire a discount property management company, self-manage, or hire a full-service company, make sure you are aware of all the pros and cons of each choice. The time and money you will save by hiring expert property managers is often much more than you will save by self-managing. Our property managers not only take the day-to-day stress out of owning a rental property, but they also use their knowledge and experience to keep you from making costly mistakes.
Schedule your rental quote today by calling our office at 404-596-8454.