5 Risks of Not Hiring a Seattle Property Manager
Rental property owners in Seattle, WA, may be tempted to take on the responsibility of managing their own properties because they think it will save them money. However, this could be a costly mistake!
What happens if you don't hire a property management company? Without hiring a professional property manager, rental property owners could go months without rent and end up with bad tenants who destroy a rental property. Keep reading to learn more about what could go wrong without Seattle-based property managers.
Are The Risks Worth Perceived "Savings" of Self-Management?
Hiring a property manager is a tough decision. Investors must weigh their goals, free time, and budget to determine if hiring a property manager is the right decision. What are you risking without the best property management in place? Many landlords don't realize how these factors impact cash flow and lead to income loss.
1. Longer Vacancy Times
It's hard to find qualified tenants. If you rent your property on your own, it's more likely that a potential tenant won't work out without professional help to find and place quality residents. It takes time and energy to screen potential renters, show the rental unit or house in person, collect applications with accurate information up front, and check references for every applicant.
Depending on your rental marketing and tenant screening process, your property could sit empty for weeks (or months) before finding the right resident. Without a renter to pay the rent, you lose money. A property manager has the right experience and processes to find quality tenants quickly, reduce vacancy times, and manage your rent roll!
2. Bad Tenants
Without an expert screening process in place, your rental is at risk of a bad tenant. If a difficult renter slips through your cracks and moves in, they could cause significant damage to your residential property and refuse to pay the rent (or move out).
Property managers know how to provide thorough background checks on applicants so tenants can't slip through with false information. Rental managers are also experts at identifying red flags that indicate someone may not be trustworthy or reliable. They look for things like outstanding debt, criminal records, poor credit ratings, and more--all before giving them access to the property!
3. Expensive Maintenance Problems
Delaying critical maintenance or skipping routine care leads to expensive maintenance problems. Plus, tenants won't stick around to live in a poorly-maintained property when rentals fall into disrepair.
However, a proactive plan requires time, experience, and quality work! Landlords must handle ongoing maintenance and respond quickly to an emergency maintenance request. Not keeping up with excellent maintenance practices lowers property values and drives good residents away. With a Seattle property manager, landlords have access to maintenance staff to handle every maintenance task!
4. Late (or No) Rent Payments
Landlords who don't get paid on time risk their cash flow! Improving on-time rent collection is one of the best ways to maximize returns and maintain healthy cash flow. Still, it takes time and resources to enforce rental collection and late fees with uncooperative tenants.
Disputes between landlords and tenants can lead to evictions or unpaid rent if not handled carefully by both sides. Seattle property managers have experience in tenant relations and the right property management software to encourage on-time rent collection.
5. Lawsuits and Legal Problems
When managing a rental on your own, it's important to keep an eye on your residential properties and handle tenants, documents, and processes according to the law.
What happens when you find a squatter in your property or a tenant leaves personal property behind after abandoning the rental? What should you do if a prospective resident claims you applied discriminatory practices during your screening process? If residents (or potential residents) have a case to pursue a lawsuit, landlords face lengthy legal processes, fines, and the potential to shut down rental operations.
If legal problems arise for any reason, a Seattle property manager can handle the situation and protect your rental investment.
What's Your Plan?
While not every property owner needs full-service management, outsourcing your most critical needs can boost ROIs and protect properties and income from risk and financial loss. A smart plan with a professional property management company will keep your rentals on track to improve cash flow, minimize vacancy times, improve maintenance services (while reducing costs), and save time spent managing properties!
Choose a Seattle Property Manager Solution That Meets Your Needs
At RentWatch, we understand the challenges that come with owning a rental property. We know how difficult it can be to juggle all of your responsibilities as a landlord and keep up with everything from repairs to finding qualified tenants.
That’s why our team is dedicated to providing you with the highest level of service at an affordable price on whatever specific needs you might have for managing your property. If you need help avoiding vacancy or generating more income (and better returns) through your rentals, let us know what type of services would best fit your budget and needs. Our goal is to increase your returns while minimizing stress!