This may seem so obvious that you might be wondering why it’s even worth mentioning. After all, you wouldn’t go to a foot doctor for a heart ailment or a trial attorney for a real estate closing! You also wouldn’t go to a piano teacher to learn how to play the tuba. So why do so many rental property owners choose generic real estate agents and companies to manage their Sarasota, Venice, Bradenton, and North Port area investment properties?
In all fairness, I rarely see savvy landlords do this—the ones who really know what they’re doing know better. It’s often the owners of just one or two rentals. This is someone who is just starting out, trying to save a nickel. They are willing to cut corners and willing to take a gamble with their real estate in the hopes of getting lucky—and not getting burned. These tend to be the same people who say, “I tried real estate investing, but it doesn’t work,” or “Property managers are rip-offs and a waste of money.”
There may be a kernel of truth here. When you hire a generic real estate agent or company to manage your rentals, there’s a distinct possibility you’ll lose money and get burned. What these landlords fail to realize is that their sad state of affairs is entirely their own doing. Their decision to hire an amateur for a job requiring specialized knowledge and expertise was a poor decision with an inevitable conclusion.
A lot goes into effectively managing residential rental properties. The property manager you choose must command a high level of specialized knowledge and skills that they don’t teach in real estate sales school.
A Sarasota Property Manager Who Manages as a “Side-Gig” Is a Big Mistake!
Property management isn’t the priority of sales agents or companies, but an afterthought for them to pick up some extra cash (your cash). Sales skills are great, but property managers need long-term relationship skills—property management is a completely different business from sales.
Do you want full-time, professional management, or a company that manages rentals as a side-gig between sales? Which sounds more invested in your success?
Choose a Sarasota Property Manager Who Only Manages Rentals
Want to know why you should only choose a Sarasota property manager who exclusively specializes in managing residential rental properties? Consider this: you are effectively handing over thousands of dollars of your money (your property’s value) to a stranger. You are the one who will be left holding the bag if—or when—they screw things up!
There it is. That’s why you should only hire a professional property management company that does one thing, and does that one thing well. You are the only one who stands to lose if you hire an amateur. How do I know this? I know, because my firm and I are often called in after the fact to pick up the pieces. We’re the ones who get things back on track for owners who are unfortunately reaping the consequences of their original hiring decision.
At Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee 98% of our revenue comes from residential property management. We do not solicit outside sales — our focus is on managing our owner’s assets. The handful of sales we do annually are for current clients only who are either adding to their portfolio, or cashing out an investment. It makes sense for us to handle such sales (we know the property better than anybody) and purchases (we know the client and the market and can advise our owners on whether a particular property is a good fit for them). Make sense? Outside of that, we stick to managing rentals.
Tips for Success—How to Choose a Sarasota Property Manager
- Only select a property manager who is a member of NARPM: The National Association of Residential Property Managers promulgates standards of practice, ethics requirements, and training programs exclusively for residential property managers. Anyone claiming to be a “professional” property manager who isn’t a member of NARPM should be avoided. Only hire a current NARPM member to manage your residential rentals.
- Check with the BBB: Go online to the Better Business Bureau website to see what they have to say about any company you’re considering hiring. Look for an “A+” rating.
- Check online Google reviews: Google has become the de facto source for finding and leaving verified feedback and reviews on companies actively doing business. Look for a company with at least 25 reviews (you want a meaningful sample size) and at least 4 out of 5 “stars” (leave the mediocre companies to someone else).
When was the last time you met a so-called “Jack-of-all-trades” who genuinely had expertise in all of the areas he claimed to be an expert in? Personally, I never have.
You’ve worked hard to get where you are in life. You’ve reached the point where you have the means to leverage residential rental properties in the Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice, and North Port, Florida area. You use these investments to build wealth and generate additional income for you and your family. You’ve reached this point by making smart decisions along the way, and you’re not about to stop now.
Selecting the right property manager to take over the day-to-day care and nurturing of your rental real estate portfolio is a big decision. It is also a decision that you must get right the first time. Hire a dedicated, professional, residential property manager—not some generic real estate company that does management as a side-gig for extra income.
About the Author
John Michailidis, JD, is the Broker/Managing-Member of Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee, a Sarasota, FL based residential property management company. Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee provides both Full-Service and Lease-Only services to Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice, and North Port area landlords. If you own residential investment real estate anywhere in Manatee or Sarasota counties, do feel free to reach out to our team at 941-216-0005, or through our website.
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