Residential Property Management: It’s more involved than you might think!
What does it cost to manage a real estate these days? Well, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics (BLS), hiring an individual Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers may cost you upwards of $60k annually! And that’s just for a single individual. BLS also says that, for that $60k investment, you get someone who will:
“…work out of an office…or doing tasks away from the office doing tasks away from the office, such as showing apartments, inspecting the grounds, or meeting with owners”
If that’s what your idea of managing your own property is, then perhaps you might be able to do it all yourself! But here’s a critical point to remember: As a property owner, you really can’t expect someone to just cut you a cheque for $60k each year…and provide you benefits and bonuses. Owner-managed properties don’t come with those types of perquisites.
In real life, residential property management in Baltimore is a much more involved and complex task, often requiring discipline, diplomacy, discretion and discernment – none of which you learn at college or through browsing online articles. And to top it all, this isn’t a 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM job either. As your own property manager, you’ll be on call 24×7 – in sunshine, sleet, rain and snow.
The Illusion Called “DIY” Property Management
It’s always tempting to attempt to save money, especially is you believe that you can replace experienced Baltimore property managers by doing things yourself (DIY). Residential property owners, who believe managing their own properties is the best way to go about caring for their investment, might not comprehend the enormity of the task they’re signing up for
- Property in disarray or poorly maintained
- Disgruntled tenants
- Large number of vacant units
- Low rental value
You may think there’s no “real cost” associated with DIY management – but there are…and some of those costs might be hidden in plain sight. However, because you may not be trained or attuned to the world of professional real estate management, those costs remain largely hidden to you.
Wanted: Broad Scope of Expertise
Contrary to what some may understand it, the scope of work for residential property management in Baltimore is rather extensive. According to the BLS, you need a college degree or a degree in Business Administration to do the job. The fact is that, a lot of what professional real estate managers do, they learn through endless hours of working in the field:
- How to market the property so it attracts great tenants
- How to ensure you receive the highest rent among peer properties in the neighborhood
- What to do when you get a call about a flooded bathroom at 3:00 AM!
- Is the snow build-up in and around the property likely to cause a health hazard? If so, what to do about mitigating that eventuality?
- A tenant hasn’t paid rent on time, what’s the best way to negotiate with them so you and your tenant both get what you want?
And that’s just a partial list of the roles and responsibilities that Baltimore property managers discharge on behalf of their clients – sometimes, all in a day’s work. There are other complex issues they deal with, like legal disputes and compliance with State, City and Municipal laws – any or all of which may cost property owners hefty fees and fines if not managed appropriately.