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If you want to make money in real estate, hire a property manager!

Just to give you some background… an acquaintance of mine owns a couple rental properties. Several weeks ago, he asked one of my agents to find him a tenant, but he didn’t want us to become the property manager. Last week he stopped by my office and complained that it was taking too long to rent the apartment and that the only tenants that my agent ran by him weren’t quality tenants. I told him that I would look into and get back to him.

I checked the advertising of the unit and it was advertised properly and priced properly. I spoke to the leasing agent and that’s where the truth came out.

The property was in below average and the carpeted was stained to the point of disgustingness.

Here was the basic email conversation between me and the owner:

Me: I just took a look at pictures and a video walk-through of your property. The appliances are old. The bathroom is dated and the carpet needs to be cleaned or replaced. If you want to find a quality tenant, you need to update these things.

Owner: The carpets were cleaned.

Me: The replace them.

Owner: The carpets aren’t the reason the we can’t find good tenants… it’s the way your advertising it.

Me: If you want to rent an apartment with carpets in horrible condition then you’re only going to find tenants who don’t mind that carpets are in horrible condition. Generally, people who don’t mind living in filth don’t make the best tenants.

Owner: OK. I’ll replace the carpets.

This is one of the many examples where owners don’t take care of their investment property and the profitability of their property isn’t there. If you want to make retain good tenants or get your property rented quickly, it needs to be up to the average condition of the marketplace. Happy tenants = paying tenants which means more income for the owner. Properties in decent condition = minimal vacancy which means more income for the owner.

If you don’t have the time to ensure that your rental property is in decent condition, hire a property manager.