Can I Manage My Own Rental Property? Take The Quiz
Belong on Jan 20, 2022
Why can't I just manage my own rental property? If you think you're ready to take this plunge, take the 4-question personality quiz that will answer the question: am I cut out to be a landlord and a property manager or should I outsource this work?
Often when talking to a homeowner who isn’t a thousand percent sold on Belong, we get asked, “Why can’t I manage my own property, by myself?”
It's a great question, because the truth is that there are people out there who can take on the responsibility of self-managing a rental property. But when you peel back the onion and really look at what’s required, it turns out those people are few and far between.
Managing a property takes a truly rare combination of personality traits. If you possess them all — and you also have ample time to dedicate to the task — then we encourage you to step up and manage the property yourself.
But if you don’t, our recommendation is to seriously consider working with a property manager (though of course, not just any property manager). Our simple quiz will save you and the residents of your home countless hours of stress and anxiety.
Quiz: Am I cut out to self-manage my rental property?
Question #1: Do you have incredible patience?
When self-managing a rental property, you have to keep in mind that the home effectively belongs to the residents as well. In fact, they sometimes lose sight of the fact that the home actually belongs to you, and that you love it as much as they do.
That’s why oftentimes the relationship between resident and homeowner can turn sour and adversarial; people forget that the interests on both sides of the equation may seem not to be aligned. But fundamentally, are.
Hence, the need for patience. You need to keep in mind that, when something goes wrong in the house — when there’s a leak, or the toilet isn’t running, or the boiler’s on the fritz — it’s your residents who are on the frontlines. It's their lives being disrupted. That’s why they’re so freaked out and upset and texting you every other second, wondering when the plumber or the boiler guy’s going to show up.
Question #2: Do you mind being persistent to the point of annoying?
Being a property manager often means being a bother to someone else. It means calling an unresponsive contractor or craftsperson over and over until they finally pick up the phone – or respond to an email – and schedule an appointment.
Then, after you’ve managed to schedule the appointment, it means following up with your tenants to make sure they’ll be home when the locksmith’s supposed to show up to fix that faulty door-latch in the bathroom.
It also means being tenacious and persistent when it comes to late rent and fees. If your tenant doesn’t pay you your rent, it’s your responsibility — and yours alone — to collect. And if worse comes to worse and you need to take legal action and start the process of evicting them, that’s on you, too.
Last point here. You need to be persistent with managing your tax situation. So being your own property manager can mean reaching out to your accountant to see if they’re taking advantage of every benefit afforded you in the changing tax laws.
All this takes the ability to be thick-skinned. To call one more times than you’re comfortable with. To use a sterner tone of voice then you’re maybe used to using. In other words, to be an effective property manager, you have to be relentless.
Question #3: Are you prepared for the workload?
The number of things you need to keep track of when you’re managing your own property is just incredible. Not only all the paperwork, which is hard enough to deal with, but all the follow-up calls you have to make, and make again, to all the people on the other side of that paperwork. That’s why even the most organized person would find self-managing to be an incredibly difficult task.
In short, don’t be misled by the phrase “passive income.” It is often bandied about in the property management industry. But as you can see from this blog post, if you do choose to take on the responsibility yourself, the income will be anything but passive. It requires tireless dedication and endless obligation, and a very specific kind of personality that can deal with it all.
Question #4: Can you turn on the charm at will?
Though toughness is obviously key, as the old cliche goes, you win more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. And in the world of self-management, there really are a ton of flies you have to deal with — a constant stream of seemingly minor obstacles and annoyances that need to be taken care of.
Lawyers. Accountants. Home inspectors. Carpenters. Plumbers. Electricians. Roofers. Exterminators. The list goes on.
The thing is, the better these people are at their jobs, the more in demand they are. And the more in demand they are, the harder they are to get on the phone — and the less they need your business. So if you try to use some of that toughness we were talking about earlier, chances are they’ll just blow you off and deal with the hundreds of other clients they have. This is where you need to balance being stern and persistent, with knowing when to be kind and helpful so that others are more inclined to do you a favor. That’s why we say a little bit of charm goes a very long way in the self-management game.
What to do with your score
If you've read questions 1-4 and think you've got what it takes, great! But if you're unsure about one or more and truly want your income to be passive consider Belong as an alternative to hiring a traditional property manager. Belong brings together the latest technology and high-touch concierge-level service to make property management as seamless and easy for everyone involved. Not only that, but they’ve built in protections for homeowners, like guaranteed rent, which takes the risk and anxiety out of the process altogether.
So if you’re not the kind of person who checks boxes #1-4, make a conversation with Belong a #1 priority.
Curious to learn more? Click here.