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How to Know When You Should Find a Property Manager or DIY

Published on: Jul 19, 2022

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Being a landlord is hard work. There's no way around it.

Marketing your property, making repairs, dealing with tenants, collecting rent, answering late-night phone calls—it's all part of the job.

Some people thrive off this busy lifestyle, while others would rather hand off the responsibilities to a property manager and rake in the passive income. And others are in the middle: where they want some responsibility and some passive income (aka balance). It’s important you make the right decision for your situation to give you and your residents the best possible outcome.

There's no right or wrong way to go about it. It all just depends on your wants, needs, financial goals, and lifestyle decisions.

We're not here to tell you what to do—we're here to help guide you to the best decision for you.

Below, we'll walk you through a few scenarios to help you determine if you should be a DIY landlord or find a property manager. But first—let's go over the main differences between the 2 options.

Differences Between DIY Landlord vs. Hiring a Property Manager

DIY landlords do everything on their own. They list the property, advertise, screen, and select the right tenants, execute leases, and clear the way to let renters move in.

And that's just the beginning.

Once the tenant occupies the property, there's rent collection, tenant relationships, maintenance and repairs, and lease renewals to think about. Sometimes, everything functions on autopilot and flows smoothly. Other times, being a DIY landlord can become a full-time job.

For example, you're at work when the water heater starts flooding in the basement. You get a call on Christmas Eve when the tenant gets locked out. You’re constantly swinging by the property to follow up on late rent payments.

It can be a lot.

A property manager can do all of this for you—for a price. When you hire a property manager to take care of your property, they do all the nitty-gritty work while you sit back, relax, and watch the passive income trickle into your bank account.

They'll take a percentage of your earnings, but you often don't have to lift a finger. Well, technically, you still do have to do some work, such as approving major repairs and maintenance, deciding what amount your PM will list your home for, etc.

But what if there are aspects of being a landlord you don't want to give up? What if you like working with your hands and prefer taking care of maintenance and repairs? What if you like dealing with tenants but don't know the difference between a screwdriver and an Allen wrench?

Fortunately, you have options, and Nomad was purpose-built to help you make the decision that’s best for you, your property, and your residents.

Still on the fence about whether you should hire a property manager or remain a DIY landlord? Here are a few situations to consider.

How to Know If Full-Service Management Is Right for You?

If any of the following situations sound like you (especially if there are 3 or more), you're likely better off finding a property manager.

1. You Don't Have Extra Time

Being a landlord is a job. Sometimes, it's part-time. Other times, it's full-time. Nonetheless, it's always a job.

Even though Nomad’s Owner Portal can empower you with DIY superpowers you might still find that you don’t have enough time to do everything on your own. That’s where a professional property management company makes the most sense.

That’s why Nomad has partnered with a variety of reputable and innovative Property Managers in each of our markets as part of our Property Management Marketplace. If you don’t think you can handle it all alone (even with some support from us), then you should absolutely hire a full-service property management company.

Recommendation: Hire a Property Manager From Our PM Marketplace

2. You're Ready to Retire

Landlords don't live the stereotypical beach-vibes, margarita-drinking lifestyle. They're busy.

If you're done working and ready to retire, go completely hands-off and hire a property management company. Heck, if you're feeling really adventurous, move out of your current home and rent it out while you travel.

Nail your pricing and future housing accommodations, and you might just get paid to go see all the places you've always wanted to visit.

Now that's living retirement to the fullest.

Recommendation: Hire a Property Manager From Our PM Marketplace

3. You're Moving

Thinking of moving to a new market, but don’t want to sell off your local properties? Let a property management company manage them for you while you’re away.

Plus, moving is stressful. You have enough on your plate already. Let someone else figure out the whole tenant finding, screening, and rent collection process.

Recommendation: Hire a Property Manager From Our PM Marketplace

4. You’re Not Sure How to Price Your Property

Putting your house on the market and finding a tenant isn't too tricky. However, renting it for top dollar to tenants you can trust is.

If you don't know market conditions, rent pricing, local comps, or housing laws, you need some support. Nomad can help!

Recommendation: Choose Nomad.

5. You Want Guaranteed Rental Income

Rental income can be inconsistent when you're a DIY landlord. Sometimes, you won't find tenants to occupy your property, which means you'll lose money month to month when you have a mortgage loan.

Other times, your tenants won't make on-time payments, and that hurts your cash flow. Nomad has you covered either way. If you choose the DIY path and allow us to vet your resident OR support you with full Marketing & Leasing services, we can guarantee your rent for the duration of the lease. If you still need PM, great—you can still get Guaranteed Rent.

Recommendation: Choose Nomad or Hire a PM From Our Marketplace—We’ll Help You Select the Right Option

6. You Want Professionally Vetted Residents

Finding top-notch tenants isn't easy. You have to advertise to the right renters, screen your tenants fairly, run background checks, show your property, interview tenants, and more. It's a lot of work.

But don’t fret - Nomad or our PM Partners have you covered with professional Marketing & Leasing services! We’ll inspect your home, suggest needed improvements & repairs, clean, professionally photograph, and syndicate your home across 20+ listings sites. Once we’re on the market, we’ll conduct showings, process applications, and select highly vetted tenants.

The overwhelming majority of our owners take advantage of this service and enjoy the experience of working with our dedicated leasing team.

Recommendation: Choose Nomad or Hire a PM From Our Marketplace—We’ll Help You Select the Right Option

7. You Want Passive Income

Being a DIY landlord doesn't generate passive income. It's a side hustle (and sometimes the main hustle). Passive income is defined as "income that is acquired automatically with minimal labor to earn or maintain."

Hiring a property management company means they take care of the work while you automatically make money—no work or effort on your part.

It's as passive as passive income gets.

Recommendation: Hire a Property Manager From Our PM Marketplace

8. You Want Property Management Perks

Property management companies sometimes go above and beyond to provide customers with extra perks and incentives. For example, when you partner with Nomad, you get access to discounted brokerage services, shared upside, $500,000 in property protection, and guaranteed rent.

5 Cases for Being a DIY Landlord

Thinking about going it alone? If you find yourself in at least 3 of the following situations, you're likely better off being a DIY landlord.

1. You Like Being in Control and Have a Good Grasp on the Real Estate Market

It's hard to give up control of your property to another manager. You might have put a lot of hard work into the renovations or care deeply about future tenants. That's natural. If you want to control every aspect of your rental property, you should do it all yourself.

Further, do you live and breathe real estate news and trends? Being in the know will give you an advantage when it comes to marketing, pricing, and leasing your rental property.

However, it's an ongoing investment. It's not enough to just learn the basics now and get to work. Understanding the real estate market requires regular education and staying up on developing trends.

2. You Like Being Busy

Owning and operating a rental property typically take a fair amount of time. If it's a regular part of your week-to-week and month-to-month work that you enjoy, delegating it to a property manager can leave a hole in your lifestyle.

For some, that opens doors to new opportunities, hobbies, and family time. For others, it leads to boredom. Think about if you'd like more free time in your life or if you prefer your time to be spent on your rental business.

3. You Want Relationships With Your Tenants

It's sometimes difficult (though not impossible) to have a strong relationship with your tenants when there's a middle person in the way. Being a DIY landlord gives you more opportunities to interact with tenants during the screening process, rent collection, maintenance calls, and casual exchanges.

4. You Have Time to Kill

Have a bunch of free time and don't know what to do with it? Being a DIY landlord can be a fulfilling career and hobby—and it'll consume most free time you currently have.

5. You’re a Handyperson or Have a Handy Network

Being a landlord entails more than just handy work, but knowing your way around a toolkit and basic DIY skills definitely gives you an advantage. Being able to perform your own renovations, maintenance, and repairs is a huge cost savings that a property management company can’t replicate.

If you’re a handyperson, that’s a good reason to go it alone. However, if you just like the hands-on aspect and don’t love dealing with advertising, showings, and tenants, then working with a solution like Nomad could be ideal.

Choose a Property Manager That Gives You the Best of Both Worlds

There are pros and cons to both property management and DIY landlord methods. Fortunately, you can get the best of both worlds by finding a flexible property management solution.

Speaking of which, that's exactly what we offer.

Check out our available products to see which works best for you.

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