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Property management after FIRE
Old 10-05-2014, 07:24 PM   #1
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Property management after FIRE

I just wanted to get some advise about those who travel or live remote from their properties. Do you still manage your properties yourselves?
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:22 PM   #2
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We are away from our rentals 1/2 the year, but within phone reach all the time. Many of our expenses are on autopay, many more I pay as the bills come in. I have a trusted manager who gets 10% of the gross rents. He sends us the financial data each month and we keep up all records in Quicken. When back around the rentals in the Oregon summer our manager gets gone a bunch and I bat fill in. Also do the odd projects while around, but am careful to let people know I'm just filling in. Found out it is very important to let tenants know that I back my manager - completely.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:44 AM   #3
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We also have a manager. It's a couple that lives on-site at our apartments, but we pay all the bills. We have not been gone for more then two weeks. I am still working. We will have to see how it goes. I do want to snowbird for a couple of months in the winter.
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:53 AM   #4
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Good question OP. I live near my properties now but plan to move in retirement. I will be about five hours away. I am interested to hear from others who have made attempts at being a remote landlord. I do have a good manager but he may retire by then as well. Maybe I will atempt a like kind exchange and gradually swap over to the new area.
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Old 10-31-2014, 11:15 AM   #5
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I pay my PM 5% of gross rents collected.
For that low of cost I don't want the hassles of managing close to 20 tenants.
My leisure time is worth more than that to me.
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Old 10-31-2014, 11:45 AM   #6
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Our rental property is on the same lot as our house. So, no, we don't have a property manager.

We're currently figuring out what we want to do WRT our big trip next summer. Our tentative plan is to offer the tenants a slight rent break for doing some things that we take care of normally (taking trash in/out, picking up litter/flyers in the front yard/driveway from various service providers hawking their business, etc.) We'll ask my sister to come by the house to check our mail in case some of our their mail gets interspersed with ours (it happens sometimes).

We've got awesome tenants. We're even considering offering them a bigger rent break if they watch our dog while we're gone.
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Old 10-31-2014, 11:49 PM   #7
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I've been a remote landlord for well over 10 years now. I rent out a house, so I have the tenants cut the grass, etc.
I manage it totally myself and so far its worked fine.
I have very good tenants.
I visit a couple times a year and do various fixes , but if something goes wrong when I'm not there, I just call a pro (plumber, furnace guy).
Honestly, just think of the house you currently live in, how often does something break?
While a property manager sounds nice, at 10% its pretty expensive over the years, and you still pay the pro to fix stuff (with possibly a 20% markup tacked on), so that's why I don't have one.
I have decided, though, should the current tenants move, I'll just sell the place and put my $$$ into the stock market as it requires no phone call coordination of fixes.
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:01 AM   #8
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I have 24 renters. Currently, I do all my management and maintenance. I am starting to log all of my calls, and for the month of October, it has only been a couple of calls. Issues were easily fixed by me, but I could have called someone just as easily. They were non-emergency issues.

There are definitely some disadvantages of being a long distance landlord. I plan on having a renter who is able to respond to calls, or a person that can be called.

Rent collection is easy. PayPal, lock box services from the bank, auto-pay, etc are all available.

Filling and turning apartments is the main issue, and I can either be around for that, or get it hired out. For the most part, it's easier to turn an apartment if you have better tenants.

Day to day calls are not really an issue, They can be handled remotely, and that is all a property manager does anyway. They take a call, and make a call. They might be on the beach chair beside you, spending the money you are sending them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
While a property manager sounds nice, at 10% its pretty expensive over the years
It's 10% of the gross, but often 30% or more of the profits.
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:10 AM   #9
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... nobody in my hood will work for 10% ... mine was 12% then jumped to 15%. That was when I let them go.

Add to that, in the vacation rental biz it starts at 20% and I've seen as much as 66% taken. Hard to make THAT work.

The 66% take was a condo on a golf course. House keeping (daily, and you can't "opt out") was 33% and management fee was 33% ... the owner got the remaining 34%. Yeah, he was loosing money.
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:08 PM   #10
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So what is the best remote collection? paypal?
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:56 PM   #11
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I use bank to bank transfers to collect the rent. You agree with the renter on a password (make it complex and random). Check your bank on transfer options.
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
So what is the best remote collection
I keep an account the tenants can deposit to. No balance kept, no reserve credit. Just deposits then I move the loot. Another 2 do direct deposit. Paypal is used for the vacation rental - but they fee ~4% is paid by the tenant.
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:39 PM   #13
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So what is the best remote collection? paypal?
I have used PayPal with success. Have a renter set it up by with a personal option, and it is free. A paid invoice costs money. Money temporarily 'lost' take a long time to recover. I have 2 renters, out of 25, that use it.

There are many ways to get money via ACH transfer companies, where a landlord 'pulls' funds. They typically cost ~$15 a month for the first transfer, and less for each one after.

I see WalMart transfers money too, for $9.95. That might be an option.

You can also set up a rental checking account at a bank for that one property for teh renter to deposit funds. Just make sure you drain it every month.

Make it easy for your customers to pay for the goods and services you provide.
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