5 Ways to Save Money by Being Your Own Property Manager

Written on August 3, 2017 by , updated on December 3, 2019

If you want to run a hands-off rental business, by all means, hire a property manager to take care of things for you.

But if your goal is to keep as much money as possible from your earnings, you’ll need to do most or all the managing yourself. Skeptical? Don’t be. Give it a try.

You can save a lot of money by managing your own rental properties!

Once you see that managing your own rental properties isn’t as hard as you thought, you’ll be glad you made the decision to take control of your own properties. And you’ll hold onto more of your money.

Here are five ways you can save money by managing your own rental.

1. Do Your Own Repairs

Many of the repairs needed at a home are minor. You could probably do them yourself, even if you have no experience. We’re not talking about major stuff, here. If you tackle a major project, and something goes wrong, you’ll need to hire a professional to not only do the job but to fix whatever it was you botched.

A leaky faucet or a clogged toilet are projects you can probably tackle, but installing or upgrading new plumbing is generally best left to a professional plumber. Also, unless you’re an expert, never try to remove lead paint yourself, adjust electrical wiring, or do anything that requires outside ladder or scaffolding work.

But for basic repairs, such as caulking in the bathroom, repairing drywall, loosening a stuck window, or fixing that leaky faucet or clogged toilet, go ahead and try doing those jobs yourself. You’ll save money and will probably walk away with a sense of satisfaction. You can learn a lot from any number of basic DIY repair books, from websites like HomeRepairTutor.com, or from YouTube.

Here’s some information that should motivate you. If you hire a contractor, you’ll likely spend at least $75 just for the service call, not including labor.

Related: 10 Most Common Repairs That You Can Do Yourself

2. Compare Professionals

Property managers often hire their favorite contractor. Either that, or they won’t take the time to get multiple bids. Even worse, some property managers have their own handyman service, and you’re obligated to use them per the contract. However the property manager handles repairs, you’ll likely pay more than if you got three quotes yourself.

A website like HomeAdvisor.com makes this process easy. You can even read reviews before you contact people to get quotes for your project. Plus, if you set up the repair yourself, you can coordinate with your own tenants to be present for repairs.

3. Show a Property While It’s Occupied

Many property managers refuse to show a rental until it’s vacant. This costs you a significant amount of lost rent. While it’s difficult to avoid vacancies altogether, you can avoid most vacancies by listing your rental before it’s vacant.

That means you’ll need to show the property while the outgoing tenant is still living there. There are good ways to do this, and there are bad ways. By properly handling this situation with your tenant, you’ll have a better chance everything will go well.

Tell your tenant when you will start showing the property. Let them know that you will be as respectful as possible to their schedule by giving 24 hours notice before a showing and by limiting your showings. If you work with your tenant, they should be more willing to work with you by cooperating with your schedule, tidying up, and securing any pets.

Note that if the tenants have the place in a terrible condition, you might be better off waiting until they leave before you start scheduling showings.


4. Find and Screen Applicants Yourself

Many property managers charge a finder’s fee. This can be equal to one month’s rent or more. And they’ll charge you whenever the property manager finds you tenants. The finder’s fee is usually added on to the normal fee.

It’s easy to find your own tenants by listing a property through Cozy. All you need to do is upload some great photos of your property and write a short description. Then Cozy provides you with a link to your property. You can share that link in your emails, social media, or on your website. Cozy will advertise your listing on its partner sites as well.

When people want to apply to your property, they can send you applications through Cozy. You can request applicants share background checks and credit reports with you. In Cozy, the applicant pays for the screening reports.


5. Be Your Own Property Manager

Most property managers charge a 10 percent monthly fee for regular management services. Their services include rent collection (most of which is online collection anyway), coordinating repairs, and getting leases signed. You can save this money by managing your property yourself.

Besides using Cozy for marketing and tenant screening, you might want to use Cozy for rent collection, too. This service is also free for landlords.

Related: The Landlord’s Guide to Rent Collection

Bottom Line

There’s nothing wrong with hiring a property manager. And sometimes, it may be the best decision, especially if you live far from your rental property, have many properties, or just don’t want to deal with any of these elements of being a landlord. But by doing some basic landlord duties yourself, and managing your own rental, you can save yourself a lot of money on your rental business. #truth

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