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Will Hiring a Property Manager Make Purchasing Out-of-Town Real Estate Easier?

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While most landlords get their start investing in properties that are close to home, sometimes it makes sense to branch out a bit.

For some, it's the opportunity to invest in an up-and-coming housing market -or an area with higher demand for rentals or better housing stock. For others, it's the chance to buy property in an area where they'd one day like to live themselves. Still others may simply prefer to cast a wider search net -giving them a wider pool of properties to choose from. There could be any number of reasons why an investor would look for properties outside of their own locality.

For most landlords, though, out-of-town investing is something that seems challenging -or even risky. After all, what happens when you're not there to oversee your rental? Is it easy to manage your property from afar? What if something comes up when you're not there? How do you source tenants?

While it's true that long-distance landlording brings its own unique set of challenges, there's a lot that you can do to mitigate them and make long-distance landlording a smooth, stress-free, and yes, a successful venture.

One solution that many long-distance landlords today are taking advantage of, is enlisting the help of a property manager.

A good property manager will be your boots on the ground, allowing you to ensure that your property is well-looked after, and managed property when you're not there. They'll act in your place to take care of all of the day-to-day work that's involved with property management, as well as the bigger projects as well -tenant screening, enforcing the terms of the lease, and conducting inspections of your property.

Wondering how it all works?

Here's a look at some of the ways that a property manager can help to make long-distance investing a stress-free -and rewarding process!

1. They'll Find Qualified Tenants for You

Wondering how you'll be able to source and screen tenants from afar? Wonder no longer! Having a property manager means that you'll be able to outsource the tenant sourcing and screening process entirely. A good property manager will have systems in place for screening tenants, processes that they rely on to ensure that only qualified applicants gain access to your rental.

2. They'll Handle Rent Collection

"The check's in the mail." "I forgot that rent was due." "I'll pay you this weekend." As a landlord, you've no doubt heard plenty of excuses for late rent. But one of the benefits of using a property management company is that you'll be able to outsource the rent collection process as well. You can say goodbye to the hassle of calling tenants and attempting to collect rent when it's past-due -something that can be especially difficult long-distance. Your property manager will be able to assume this role, ensuring that the rent is paid on time, into your account. You can sit back and let the money roll in!

3. They'll Take Care of Maintenance, Service, and Repairs

You haven't really been in the trenches of landlording until you get that dreaded 2 am phone call. The one informing you that a pipe has burst, the roof is leaking, or there is another disaster that needs attended to -immediately. Landlords are on call, 24/7 -especially when it comes to emergencies. Just because it is a holiday, or you happen to live out of state, doesn't mean your rental won't spring a leak at some point. It will then be up to you to find a way to solve the problem. Tackling repairs issues in the same town can be challenging enough, but trying to find a plumber in a different town, in the middle of the night, can be disastrous.

With a property manager, though, you'll be able to outsource repairs, as well as all of the maintenance tasks as the property, saving you from having to coordinate everything from afar. And since they'll likely have a network of reputable contractors that they can call on for repairs, they'll be able to find professionals who will perform the work to a high standard -and often for a better price!

4. They'll Conduct Routine Inspections

Part of keeping up with your rental is performing routine inspections to ensure that it's being looked after properly. With a long-distance rental, this is especially important. If your tenants know that you live farther away, they may feel tempted to bend the rules a bit. Regular inspections show that you care about the condition of your property, and expect them to do the same. Of course, having a property manager on your team will make routine inspections a far easier process. Your property manager will be able to conduct the inspections for you -giving you peace of mind that everything is well.

5. They'll Help to Fill Vacancies Faster

Finally, when tenants leave -whether at the end of their lease or unexpectedly, the process of screening and sourcing new tenants begins -once again. Of course, for out-of-town landlords, this job is even more challenging. Not only will you have the prospect of an empty rental -one that may require repairs, maintenance, and cleaning -but you'll also have the monumental task of advertising, showing the property, and screening applicants -again. For a long-distance landlord, the tenant placement process for an out-of-town rental would normally involve traveling to the property and conducting business on-site, but with a property manager, you'll be free from the hassles of tenant sourcing and screening, as well as the work that's involved with getting the property into rent-ready condition again.

If you're thinking of investing in a rental, don't let your location hold you back. A good property manager will not only allow you to outsource the work -and stress, of trying to manage a property from afar, but will also give you the freedom to invest in property that meets your specific criteria -even if it happens to be out of town!

Long-distance or local investment properties? Which do you prefer?

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