You’ve probably already heard that the rental market across the United States has spiked over the last couple of years. "Rental appreciation has been a freight train these past few years, chugging along without any appreciable slowdown. Since 2000, rents have grown roughly twice as fast as wages, and you don't have to be an economist to understand why that is hugely problematic," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries in a February 2015 Zillow Press Release. As part of the aftermath of the Great Recession, there is a significantly greater demand for rental properties. And, with more renters, come more property managers—more agents who want to take the plunge and enter the realm of property management. But, is it for you?
If you think you’re cut out for property management, take this quiz and find out.
- Are you frequently awake in the middle of the night? If you are often up in the middle of the night, then property management may be for you. Property managers who manage a significant number of units often receive calls in the wee hours of the morning. If you don’t mind the late night or early morning interruptions, then you’ll do just fine as a property manager.
- Do you like working on weekends and holidays? You’re about to take a bite of your fancy 4th of July burger and your cell phone rings. If the intrusion is something that you can tolerate, then property management may be a niche for you. Unless you have a large staff on call for issues arising on weekends and holidays, you’ll have to be available for your tenants (and owners). If you miss a call and the problem is major, there could be significant liability. It’s important for property managers to always be available for their tenants and owners.
- Is balancing the checkbook considered one of your favorite activities? If you love keeping your checking account balanced at all times, than you will be a great property manager. Since property managers are charged with managing other peoples’ money using a Trust Account, it is vital that the bank account be in balance at all times. Transposed digits and you could be accused of commingling funds or mismanaging money. But, if you are one of those agents who adores keeping the accounts balanced, you’ll be a superb property manager.
- Do you enjoy solving other people’s problems? Electricity bills too high? Spiders in the cabinet under the sink? Moisture behind the toilet? If you love getting involved in other people’s business and solving their problems, then property management is definitely for you! Just make sure that you have a team of contractors to help with all the repairs.
- Does paperwork give you a thrill? If your favorite part of the real estate transaction is the paperwork, then you will love managing other people’s property. Each property must have a good balance sheet, a property management agreement, a lease and ancillary addenda, photos of the property at move-in as well as a myriad of other documents. If paperwork is your thing, then you’ll enjoy managing multiple property files at the same time.
While certainly property management can be a challenge, it is not without its benefits. Managing a handful (or more) of properties brings in regular monthly income. When and if there are peaks and valleys in your real estate sales closings, then you can rely on the regularity of the income associated with property management. Just remember that—like anything—property management is not without its challenges!