Are you considering self-managing your rental property? Atlanta property management may seem easy, especially in a hot market such as Atlanta. But before you dive into the property management world, you should know it isn’t as simple as it is made out to be. We are here to dispel six myths of property management to help you decide whether self-management or hiring a property management company is right for you.
Myth #1 – Leasing a Property is Simple
The basics of leasing your property sound simple. Post a “For Rent” sign in your front yard, market the property on free sites like Craigslist, and wait for the qualified candidates to request a showing. Not sure what you should price your rental? Just look at a few other rentals in your neighborhood and average their price. Atlanta is a booming rental market, and your home should rent in no time. Now all there is to do is sit back and enjoy that cash flow. Hiring an Atlanta rental management company will only take money out of your pocket.
Fact #1 – Leasing is Harder Than it Looks
The average number of days a rental home is on the market is 52. This number will increase drastically for inexperienced property managers due to several factors. First, your home should be rent-ready before you begin to show it. Tenants will have a difficult time picturing themselves in the home if the bathroom is in the middle of a remodel, or the carpet is being replaced. Additionally, many tenants want to move in right away, and ongoing construction may scare them away. Secondly, you must market your rental on a wide variety of sites in order to get the exposure you need to bring in a qualified tenant. While you may have heard an anecdote about someone finding the perfect home by just walking by and seeing a sign in the front yard, the truth is that does not happen often. Specialized Property Management Atlanta will market your home on 90+ sites, including MLS. In addition, we do a full property assessment before you put it on the market, ensuring it is fully prepared for a tenant. Our Atlanta property management fee also includes all showings, screening applicants, lease signing, and collecting funds.
Myth #2 – All Property Management Companies are the Same
You may have heard this myth from other property owners who self-manage. All property management companies are the same, and you should pick the company that offers their services at the cheapest price. You won’t get anything extra from a company who charges more than one of the “discount managers”, so why pay more?
Fact #2 – Hiring Specialists Will Give You a Better Return on Investment
Have you ever heard, “you get what you pay for”? That phrase is especially true in property management. Most property management companies have a handful of property managers, and will assign one to handle every aspect of your property. This model requires each manager to be an expert in all aspects of the rental cycle, rather than focus on their strengths. Instead of following this model, which is used by most Atlanta rental management companies, Specialized Property Management Atlanta has a team of professionals dedicated to their specific job. Our team includes experts in marketing, leasing, maintenance, collections, accounting, compliance, real estate law, and more. Our experienced professionals will give you a better return on investment by ensuring you get the best possible outcome at every stage of the rental cycle.
Myth #3 – Finding a Qualified Tenant is Easy
Finding a qualified tenant to rent your Atlanta property will be easy, right? Even if it takes a few weeks (as we stated above), most families who are interested in your home will easily qualify. After a quick background check, your new tenant can move in without hassle. If circumstances arise requiring your tenant to move out, re-marketing your home and finding a new tenant is simple and the home should still be in rent-ready condition. Simple maintenance tasks like re-keying and cleaning can be done in a day, making turnover easy.
Fact #3 – Placing the Wrong Tenant Can Cost Thousands
Our Atlanta property management experts take great care when placing a tenant because the truth is, placing the wrong tenant could cost you thousands. For example – if your tenant fails to pay rent for one month it can cost $1,500 in lost rental income. Add to that, eviction court fees ($500), the cost of additional days to evict ($750), repairing damages ($1,750), and re-marketing and vacancy days ($2,250). The average total cost of placing the wrong tenant is $6,750.
We perform a background and credit check on every person over 18 who will be living in the house. With today’s technology, it is easier than ever to create false documents, or appear more creditworthy than you are. We are trained to identify these issues, ensuring any tenant we place is qualified. We know it will cost less to wait around for the right tenant than to place a risky tenant.
Myth #4 – My House Will Bring in More Than Enough Rental Income
Some Atlanta rental management companies will tell you that when you have worked hard to get your house in good shape for a tenant, you can expect to bring in rent high enough to cover your costs. What’s more, your rental income should cover PITI (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance), other out-of-pocket expenses, and leave you with cash at the end of the month
Fact #4 – Most Rental Property is Cash Flow Neutral
Your home may be in great shape, but that does not always mean your rental will have positive cash flow. Most property owners can expect to break even on their rental property, and some owners must pay a small portion of their yearly expenses out of pocket. You may be asking, “is it really worth owning a rental property?” The answer depends on your unique financial situation. However, property owners we work with realize benefits beyond monthly cash flow. These benefits include using their property as a tax strategy, gaining equity as the home appreciates, and deducting property management fees on taxes.
Myth #5 – Tenant Maintenance Requests Will Be Easy to Handle
When a tenant has a maintenance request, you should be able to respond quickly and efficiently. Getting an Atlanta property management company involved will only slow down the process. After your tenant contacts you, you simply need to send a reputable company to address the issue. Treating your tenant fairly and using common sense should help you avoid any tenant issues.
Fact #5 – Stringent Laws Mean the Landlord is Liable
Tenant-Landlord Law is strict, and ignorance of the law is not a defense for breaking it. The property must meet Health and Safety requirements, or you could risk a lawsuit brought by a tenant. According to Federal laws, local ordinances, and property codes, a landlord is responsible for certain, specific aspects of the property. Communication between tenant and landlord, items that must be fixed, and even the type of technician you hire to repair your rental home are all dictated by property law. Specialized Property Management Atlanta has property managers available 24/7 to take your tenant’s call. Every vendor we use has the proper licensing and insurance to keep your property safe and fix it correctly. Maintenance requests are not always easy to handle, but with our experienced professionals and proven processes, you will never need to worry about the health and safety of your tenants.
Myth #6 – Atlanta Rental Management Companies Just Collect Rent
After the hard work of placing a tenant all that is left is to collect rent and handle the occasional maintenance issue. Why hire a property management company for these easy tasks? The rare legal compliance issue can be dealt with swiftly by any attorney you know.
Fact #6 – Property Management Companies Do Much More Than Collect Rent
In a typical rental cycle, much more is needed than simply collecting rent and performing routine maintenance. To manage your own property, you must stay up to date on all housing laws, property codes, and city ordinances. Responding quickly to tenant needs, scheduling a licensed vendor to handle maintenance, and keeping your books in order are just a few of the daily tasks you will need to complete as a landlord. Even small mistakes could cost you thousands of dollars, putting your investment at risk. Our team includes experts for every aspect of rental property management, reducing costly mistakes and giving you a better return on investment.
Call Us For Your Atlanta Property Management Quote
Specialized Property Management Atlanta provides comprehensive property management services. We take the hassle and stress out of running your rental property. You can trust our property managers to take care of the day-to-day tasks like rent collection and emergency maintenance, as well as rare issues like evictions. Your management fee covers our comprehensive services, so all you need to do is sit back and watch your investment take off. To learn more about all the services we offer, visit this page. Call 404-596-8454 today for a rental estimate.