Property management sounds so easy, right? If you just manage a handful of rental properties, you can sit around the rest of the time, or so you have heard. Starting a property management company may not be the easy street you thought. Here is a list of skills you will need to get started.
Can you plunge and auger a toilet? Can you clear clogged drains? What about disassembling sink pipes and putting them back together? All of these things are your responsibility. You are the sole person responsible in a property management startup. If you have to hire a pro to manage the plumbing, your profits will go to pay the pro. Granted, you should not have plumbing problems after every attempt to rent a property, but the months that you do have to hire a plumber means that you may just break even. This is especially true if you have five or less properties to manage when you are just starting.
Unless your tenant is willing to mow the lawn and shovel the snow, or your property owners hire their own gardening teams, you are the one who has to do lawn care. Your dreams of carefree weekends will not happen until someone else does this job. Of course, on the properties you personally own and manage, you can always write the lawn care duties into the rental contract or lease agreement, for a reduction on the rent.
Whether you manage homes or apartments, you still have a lot of home maintenance. All of the home and apartment maintenance is par for the course when you are a property manager. If you do not know how to fix electrical work, change furnace filters, stop faucets from dripping, install water heaters, etc., then you have to pay someone else to do it. You may end up spending more money on the tasks of your business than you had expected.
Property Management Is for "Jacks of All Trades"
Property management is work for those who are "jacks of all trades." Most commonly, people who have had jobs as custodians, plumbers, janitors, electricians, landscapers, and custodians do well with starting a property management company. This is due, in part, to the fact that these people can do at least some of the work themselves. If you have absolutely no experience in any of the above areas, you may want to reconsider an entrepreneurial venture in this line of work.