Many people who own one or two GTA or Toronto rental properties try to “go it alone” when it comes to managing their properties. This can be for various reasons – they think they’re saving money, they think they can handle the duties of property management, or they think that property management companies only handle multi-tenant apartment buildings. All three of those notions are incorrect.
Self-managing does not save you money
It’s easy to look at the cost of a property management company as being prohibitive, but a good property management company will actually increase your income flow rather than decreasing it. They do this by setting the correct market pricing for rental units (many first-time landlords make the rookie mistake of setting it too low), proper screening of tenants, and excellent marketing to minimize or prevent vacancy, as well as many other services. Even if you are doing everything “right”, a property management company will still have more experience than you in the most important task of any landlord – screening tenants. If a property management company won’t let one bad tenant slip through the cracks, where you may, it will have saved you countless amounts of money in unpaid rent, legal costs, and property damage repair.
Most one-unit rental property owners have invested in rental property as a nest egg for retirement. If you hire a financial planner to manage your money and make sure everything is taken care of, why wouldn’t you do the same for your property with a professional property management firm? The fees are negligible considering the services that are provided, and may even pay for themselves.
You don’t have all that time – and patience – that you think you do
As professional property managers, we know how much time it takes to manage properties and tenant complaints. In a word, lots. Lots of time will be spent on managing the state of repair of your properties and tenant complaints. If you were ever a renter, you know what the answer to every problem was in your unit: “Call the landlord”. What’s more, to keep tenants happy, you can’t treat their calls as nuisances – even if they are. You have to have a happy customer service face on the whole time, even if they are calling you at 9:00pm to tell you their air conditioning has just stopped working and they aren’t willing to sleep through the night without it.
If you need convincing, check out this story about a couple who decided that one of them would manage their rental property while she was doing her MBA. She was just a student, so she could handle a bit extra, right? Managing tenants – and their disputes – ate up far more time than they thought they would, so they ended up hiring a property management firm.
Property management isn’t just for the big players
A good property management firm will cater to clients with any number of properties. The more clients they have on their list, the healthier their business is. You won’t be treated differently if you own one property or ten. You’ll get great service either way.
Property management firms will work with every client to ensure that they can come up with fees that will ensure positive cash flow for the landlord. If you aren’t making money, you aren’t going to be happy about it, and will eventually leave. That doesn’t work for anyone. That’s why we sit down with you to plan out exactly what the services we offer will be and what our fees are so your costs are fully transparent.
Highgate is an ideal choice for landlords with one or two properties because that is the bread and butter of our business. Our founder, Brian, started off as a real estate agent in Toronto and started developing the property management side of the business when he received numerous client requests for property management services once they had purchased a rental property with him. Ideally, you’ll come to us before you purchase your rental property, and we’ll help you find a house or condo in specific areas where you can make more money and get the kind of tenants you want, because we are Realtors too. But it isn’t necessary – we can work with what you have to make it more attractive to tenants.
Most importantly, we know the reason you are with us – money. In the end we are protecting and managing your investment, so we look for the best balance of excellent work and affordable price if you ever need any repairs or maintenance done. Plus, our marketing, tenant screening, and tenant relationship management are second to none.
Even if you’ve been sailing along and “going it alone” in managing your own property, you will hit a speed bump one day. With us, you just don’t hit the bumps. Call us today to find out how affordable property management is, and how we can help you get more juice for the squeeze out of your rental property investment.