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Stop Running Your Business Like A Mad Man – 5 Experts You Need
You can quickly get overwhelmed with landlording tasks once you start to scale up your investments. So it is best to only shoulder the key responsibilities yourself and delegate the rest to others through outsourcing or hiring staff.
The real estate business has been around since people started to offer valuables in exchange for a roof over their heads. It is a very mature business that probably has had every possible loophole or opportunity exploited. For almost any task associated with real estate that you can think about, there is probably a business buzzing that is providing the exact service you are seeking. You are going to make good friends with them. That is, unless you intend to hire your own employees or do everything yourself.
Whatever the case, these are the 5 experts you need to keep things in order.
Property manager. A capable and resourceful property manager is the best prescription a doctor can write you for insomnia. But even so, you are never fully off the hook. Hiring a helpless manager however, will actually double your work load.
A good manager should be able to provide you with rental market surveys, advertising expertise, screening and selecting tenants, preparing contracts and legal forms, among others. A property management company IS EXPECTED to provide these and a whole lot more. Whatever questions you need answered, make them responsible to give you an answer, their job is to do so.
Handymen. Electricians, plumbers, painters and all the lot, often put up advertisements and list themselves on directories like the Yellow Pages. But what you really need is a handyman who is a jack-of-all-trades. Someone who can clear the pipes when a choke occurs, change the light bulbs when they burst, repair a faulty ballast when it blows, etc. It is critical that the person you hire is an expert. Because these problems not only put stress on tenants, but also delay your time to market when the unit is vacant.
Remember that you need those who are licensed. Not just that neighbor down the block who does it as a hobby when he has the time. Professional contractors can solve all your problems. But they come at a much higher costs. You may want to balance between using freelancers, general contractors, and you own staff from time to time depending on your goals and circumstances.
Accountant. According to the authorities, your biggest responsibility as a business owner is probably to keep in line with accounting and taxes. Since this is an area you don’t want to mess around with, get someone to do it. Hire at least a book-keeper to keep track of all expenses. If you leave things unattended for a week, the job required can quickly add up. Receipts start going missing, and bank statements get misplaced. Accounting is definitely one of those tasks that is not meant for people who patient and meticulous. If you so much as suspect you don’t have these qualities, please pass this job to someone.
Lawyer. When the shit hits the fan, the only thing that is keeping you clean are the contracts. Sometimes it may not be worthwhile to pursue a matter in court even when you are absolutely certain you will win. A proficient lawyer will be able to build your contracts like an impenetrable defence system against moronic tenants.
Screener. You will not be able to forgive yourself if you end up with a tenant with a less than attractive track record that is easily available when searched. Imagine if you had spent that extra 5 minutes in the first place to check up on a prospect before he became your problem child, it would have saves you months of rental arrears and hours of wasted time. There are professional agencies that aggregate these type of data. And they are well worth their prices. What if I tell you that there is a source which can check out within 5 minutes whether someone has any outstanding legal proceedings? Is it worth the money if it cost $10?
Due-diligence is something that cannot be avoided unless you are contented with a half-past-six type of business. Banks are known to spend billions of dollars for diligence checks alone. So why shouldn’t you spend a little money to protect your investments? In the area of screeners, the best option is to hire third parties who are experts in this area.