Owning one or more rental properties can be an excellent investment and income stream, especially in Tampa’s super-hot rental market. The idea of steady monthly payments, expansion of your real estate portfolio, and building equity sounds great - but what happens when you fail to anticipate marketing costs, miss something on a tenant screening resulting in lost rent, or have an emergency rental property issue while traveling? Suddenly, landlord life gets expensive and is far less appealing. Luckily, property management exists to prevent and solve many of the financial issues landlords face. These services aren’t just for large companies with dozens of rentals - most of our property management customers are landlords with just one or two rental properties - and hiring us actually saves you money. Read on to learn how.
1. Marketing Is Included
When someone buys their first investment property or chooses to rent out their home, they often worry about rent collection, property maintenance, and other issues that arise once a tenant is placed. But what about finding that tenant in the first place? Properly marketing your rental property takes still and includes things like photography, writing a great listing, knowing the local market, setting the right rental price, and more. Failing to market your property effectively can delay placing a tenant and getting your income stream going. At Vintage Real Estate, advertising and marketing your property is included in our pricing so you don’t need to worry about it.
2. Proper Tenant Screening Is Performed
One of the most significant benefits of hiring a property manager is the tenant screening process. While it’s tempting to place the first tenant that comes along and get your rental income rolling as quickly as possible, renting to a well-qualified tenant is more important. When handling your rental yourself, this process can be daunting and full of potential legal and financial issues.
For example, an inexperienced landlord might ask a seemingly benign question (like “are you married?”) while conducting a tenant interview or make an honest mistake during the background screening process that can result in potentially severe legal and financial consequences. Performing legally-compliant background checks is critical.
The more obvious reason to thoroughly screen your tenants is financial. Did you know that over half a million renters in the state of Florida are currently behind on rent, with over 15% of that group being 3 months or more behind on payments? For a $2000/month rental, that’s $6000 in back rent owed and unlikely to be re-couped - could you afford to lose that as a landlord? A tenant with good credit history, steady job and income, good rental history, and other positive aspects is unlikely to fail to pay rent. An inexperienced or overly-eager landlord might gloss over the screening process to place a tenant and start collecting rent, a potentially huge financial mistake.
At Vintage Real Estate, our tenant screening process is something we have developed over more than a decade. As a result, we have less than a 1% eviction rate across all our rentals. We are well-informed of all legalities as it relates to tenant screening, and can help you as a landlord avoid pitfalls - both financial and legal.
3. Rental Property Maintenance Costs are Reduced
Over half of landlords are most interested in property management for the maintenance aspect. Most landlords, particularly first-time landlords, don’t usually have a list of licensed, skilled, insured, affordable, and available contractors up their sleeve. Paying top dollar to various vendors for fixing roofing leaks, making plumbing repairs, landscaping, painting, pool maintenance, and other tasks can quickly eat into your profits as a landlord. At Vintage Real Estate, we not only have our own contracting company to perform these services, but we have a list of fantastic, local, licensed contractors ready to perform any and all maintenance to your property - and we manage the repair job for you! By keeping most of these tasks in-house, our landlords enjoy significantly better pricing on rental property maintenance costs, and their tenants aren’t kept waiting for weeks for a repair to be performed.
4. You Can Deduct Property Management Fees from Your Taxes
Did you know you can deduct the cost of hiring a property manager from your taxes? This benefit isn’t necessarily a savings, but it’s a huge financial plus nonetheless. You’re going to be paying hefty taxes on your rental property income each year - would you rather manage your property yourself (and do all the work that comes with it) while paying the IRS as many taxes as possible, or would you rather hire a property management company to completely handle your rental for you AND get a tax break? The choice is clear.
According to TurboTax, some of the most common tax deductions landlords take include
- Cleaning and maintenance
- Pest control
- Equipment rentals
- Building supplies
- Yard maintenance
To take advantage of these tax deductions, you’ll need to keep highly detailed financial records (down to the penny), itemized lists, receipts, and more. Organizing all of these documents at tax time is extremely cumbersome, particularly for landlords that own more than one rental property. Wouldn’t it be nice to just pay a flat fee to a property management company, and deduct that single monthly cost instead? When you hire us, the burden of record-keeping for all these small tasks is on us instead of you. We perform all the above tasks for you throughout the year and make your life easier at tax time!
Hiring a property management company has so many advantages - from proper tenant screening and placement to maintenance conveniences to tax benefits. There are no downsides to turning over the bulk of the work in managing your property to us - it’s a no-brainer. We pride ourselves on providing both landlords and tenants with an excellent experience and are certain you will find your investment in our services to be worth it. Contact us today, or get your free rental analysis right here on our website.