No matter the size of your investment portfolio, or how many years of experience you have as a landlord, it’s important to leverage your available resources to manage your property efficiently and effectively. On one hand, there’s the traditional hands-off way of managing your investment property through hiring a property manager, and on the other there’s the new, convenient way to self-manage your property on a digital platform like TurboTenant. While both can offer attractive benefits to your rental property management process, it’s important to know the major differences to decide which is best suited for your unique business.
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What is a Property Manager?
A property manager can be either an individual or a company that is hired by a landlord to manage their rental. They typically oversee the daily operations of a property such as maintenance, tenant communications, lease management, and screening tenants. In theory, a great property manager takes all the responsibilities of managing your rental off your hands. However, there are drawbacks to hiring a property manager that can be impactful to your business.
What is TurboTenant?
TurboTenant is a platform that offers an all-in-one solution to self-managing your rental property. Although you will have sole control over daily landlord operations, landlord software provides you with state-specific lease agreements, e-sign capabilities, rent collection services, tenant screening, marketing syndication, and more. Plus, it’s all online and easy to use – for both landlords and tenants. Of course, this might not be an ideal option if you prefer to be a hands-off investor, though you will maximize your cash flow by managing it yourself.
While we have discussed the overall definition of property managers and TurboTenant, let’s dive into the key differences to help you decide which one is right for you to boost your bottom line:
One of the biggest differences between self-managing your property through TurboTenant and hiring a property manager is cost. Property managers typically charge between 8% and 10% of your rental’s monthly income. This can be a significant price when profit margins on your investment property are slim. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective way to manage your property, TurboTenant charges just $99/year for an all-inclusive Premium subscription.
While there are tradeoffs with both options, it’s important to factor your management costs into your monthly budget to determine your bottom line. As a smaller landlord, it might be a no-brainer to opt for self-management to keep 100% of your profits, however, for someone with 50+ properties, young children, and a day job, that 10% might not be a deterrent from hiring a property manager. Whichever route you choose, make sure to lay out your finances before making a decision.
2. Customer Service
Another factor to keep in mind when weighing your property management options is customer service. When hiring a property manager or purchasing a subscription to TurboTenant, you’re placing administrative tasks onto another company or individual – which means you’ll need good customer service to make sure everything is running smoothly and is up to your management standards.
TurboTenant has a Colorado-based customer support team available 7 days a week, with an average response time of less than three minutes during business hours. TurboTenant’s customer support team is dedicated not only to navigating you through the platform from day one, but also improving TurboTenant’s platform, staying on top of any potential challenges, and keeping up-to-date with market trends to accommodate you and your rental business.
In addition, TurboTenant has an education and community team that hosts free monthly webinars, releases educational YouTube videos, writes a weekly informative newsletter, and manages a popular Facebook group to make sure your questions never go unanswered.
On the other hand, property managers can be all over the board with their customer service. When signing your property’s administrative tasks to a property management company, you risk the potential for a manager who has bad customer service and no attention to detail. Because you aren’t in control of your property’s management, there is a chance that your rental will not be managed professionally, successfully, or efficiently. Challenges like maintenance costs, property upkeep, and most importantly, tenant relationships can all be negatively impacted when hiring a property manager. Plus, they have no specific motivation to be responsive or accommodating to you and your property as long as rent continues to come in.
3. Tenant Relationship
One of the most important success factors of managing a rental property stems from a respectful landlord-tenant relationship. The more respectful and trusting the relationship is with a tenant, the better your property will be treated, and the better chance they’ll renew their lease and save you from losing out on extended vacancies. That’s why it’s important to ensure that whoever is communicating with your tenant is aware of the importance of a solid tenant relationship.
When self-managing your properties through TurboTenant, it’s easy to touch base with your tenants from anywhere. Since you’re the main point of contact for your tenants, the success of your relationship is in your control. TurboTenant landlords also benefit from automatic tenant check-ins, which touch base with tenants after each monthly rent payment; ensuring there are no pressing issues or maintenance requests that need to be addressed. Whether it’s through TurboTenant’s online platform, or the accompanying smartphone app, landlords can easily instant message their tenants, view received messages, and conveniently manage all aspects of their property in one place. And TurboTenant’s education and community team is dedicated to the success of your landlord-tenant relationship, offering regular resources and communication tips.
Property management companies are notorious for less than ideal tenant management. When managing large quantities of properties you don’t own, it might be difficult to see the benefit of regular and timely tenant communication. However, this can be detrimental to your rental business. Unhappy tenants can lead to mistreated property or an early notice to vacate. If your tenants distrust their property manager, they could leave bad reviews for your property and make it difficult to find tenants to fill upcoming vacancies.
If you are looking for an easy, trustworthy, and affordable way to manage your property, choose TurboTenant instead of a property manager. Although it may seem intimidating at first, self-managing your property can be empowering, lucrative, and sustainable. Especially if you’re using a community-centric platform like TurboTenant, you’ll never feel alone in your self-management journey and you’ll always have a place to go for questions.
If you’re not sure you have the time to dedicate to self-management, we completely understand. For many, hiring a property manager is a good route to go with, however we recommend doing your due diligence to make sure they will take good care of your property, your tenants, and your investment.