If you have been following this blog for a while, you know I self manage my rental portfolio and for the “full-time” investor I am a big proponent of doing it yourself versus hiring a property management company. You may also know that one of our goals was to hire an assistant to do be in charge of this process once we got to 60 houses.
To update you, we broke 60 early this year and on May 1st we hired a full-time property manager.
What we put him in charge of immediately:
What we still do:
After 3-months we have been pretty happy with the results and really think we achieved the best of both worlds.
The Hiring Process:
We were looking for some specific items: property management experience, bilingual and someone who is relatively self sufficient (we have enough tenants to babysit). We put an ad up CraigsList and got about 30 applicants. We did a phone interview with 5 or 6 candidates that we felt best fit our style and requirements. From there we did an interview with the top two applicants and discussed many tenant issues we deal with on a daily basis and asked them how they would handle it.
We decided to provide a base salary and a bonus per house that he rented. I would eventually prefer to tie his bonus to our overall loss rent/vacancy rate but that is a lot harder to track so we wanted to keep it simple.
What we provided him:
It is still pretty early, but we are very happy with the results. The goal was to save time so my partner and I. I estimate we managed our portfolio of 70+ houses in 10 hours a week each, so it’s not like it was a full-time job for us, but it really affects your mood. Dealing with 10+ tenant inquiry phone calls a day is not fun at all. Now we can figure out how to buy more properties to keep our manager busy, instead of spending 1.5 hours round-trip to drive and meet a tenant.
Now if we compare this option to hiring a professional property management company, I think we are way ahead! We could hire a second manager and it still would be cheaper than a 7% management fee. We also get to train him on our requirements, aren’t worried he is steering the best applicants to another landlords properties and we can easily replace this position with a different employee.
Can you tell I’m glad not be taking all those phone calls?!?