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Property Management in Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C.
Diversifying your investment portfolio with real estate can be one of the most strategic and conservative decisions you make to protect your wealth from the unpredictability of the stock market. In addition to competitive risk to return ratios, real estate has the added benefit of asset appreciation that you can’t get from owning shares of a company. However, every investment has it’s advantages and disadvantages. As a professional property manager of almost 100 homes, we can testify that the biggest disadvantage of rental real estate are the consequences of a poorly managed home.
“I own my rental home and it’s in my best financial interest to manage it on my own. How could I possibly manage it poorly?”
This is something many owners think when they purchase their first few rental homes. The simple answer is that you aren’t a professional. This is why some people choose to hire an Accountant rather than do their own taxes…to save money, and reduce liability. The same goes for hiring an attorney. Most people would agree that when it comes to an activity that involves liability, it’s best to hire a professional. I wouldn’t feel so passionate about hiring a professional if we were talking about maintaining your lawn or washing your car because there is little to no liability involved. Sincerity simply cannot replace the experience and knowledge that a professional will bring to the table. Whether you are managing a home yourself or employing a company, here is a simple checklist to diagnose the management “health” of your investment home.
10 Questions to Diagnose your Property Management Health
- Do I have access to current market data to understand the market price, absorption rates and the current competition?
- Do I understand the Principle of Price Elasticity and how to strategically position my home to meet my desired goals?
- Do I have a proven marketing plan to expose my home to the maximum amount of qualified renters on the market?
- Do I have the time and resources to respond to lead inquiries in a timely manner, prequalify and show the property during the day?
- Do I have a proven system to qualify a tenant that can result in less than a 1% eviction rate?
- Do I have a communications plan to maintain top-of-mind awareness with the tenant?
- Do I have a network of trusted vendors that I can rely on to make timely repairs or get a second opinion?
- Do I have an “expert” level of experience by conducting a leasing and management transaction over 100 times?
- Do I have systems in place for automated rent payments, monthly statements and annual CPA-produced tax records?
- Do I have continuing education in negotiation expertise, property management, and local property codes to avoid potential lawsuits?
If you answered “No” to any of these questions, you are leaving money on the table and/or creating unnecessary liability with your investment. Good property managers should be able to answer all of these questions and give you, the owner, peace of mind that your home is being rented and cared for. Risk reduction and maximizing your return will more than account for the money you pay for a good property manager.
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Click here for a general overview of services we provide for property management in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C.