The DIY fad has been on the rise since the birth of the internet, finding ways to save yourself money by doing-it-yourself. While projects can be fun and get your creative juices flowing, you don’t want a property management project. Take it from real estate investors who have learned the hard way, or should we say, the “do-it-yourself way.” RPM SAC-METRO has found that DIY in property management most often leads to stress, loss of sleep, endless internet research on how to fix things when they break, and time-intensive research on how to adhere to the housing laws to avoid lawsuits.
Time is Money
Time is your most valuable asset. Think about it—you can always get more money, but you cannot get more time. Time is limited. Time is what gets stolen away from you when you choose to be a DIY landlord. It sounds harsh, but it is reality. Sacramento rental property management does not take vacations or holidays. It comes knocking on your door at 3:00 AM when you have to get up for work at 6:00 AM during a weekday. Or on the weekend when it’s your only day to sleep in. It calls your cell phone on Christmas morning while your family is wrapped up in the magic and tearing open presents. It comes emailing even when you are sitting on the beaches of Bora Bora with your sweetheart soaking up the warm sun and smell of coconut sunscreen.
Everything from inspecting the property on a tenant move-out to scheduling maintenance to paying vendors and ensuring they completed their work to advertising of the property, conducting property showings, proper tenant screening, lease agreement signings, collection of rent payments, chasing down rent payments when a tenant doesn’t pay, maintenance, and handling of the finances all takes time and energy. In addition, tenants want a landlord who is available. Allowing yourself to be available at all times helps with tenant retention and encourages renters to take better care of your property. Do you have time for all of this? If so, be our guest and DIY in the property management industry. If you’re like most people, you may reconsider and hire a Sacramento rental property management team, like SAC-METRO.
Be Friendly, But Not Friends
Finding a balance between good cop and bad cop can be difficult. You want your tenants to like you, but you also need them to respect you and the lease agreement rules. That’s why it is wise to be friendly, but not friends, with your tenants. Sometimes this can be a thin line in rental property management. Sacramento investors should think of their rental property as a business, and not as a personal asset. When you have the business mindset, you can easily stick to your lease agreement rules. For example, what will you do when your tenant comes to you and says they lost their job and their car broke down last week, leaving them with no money left to pay rent. While the sympathetic personal side of you will want to say, “I’m sorry to hear this. Please pay when you get your next paycheck,” the business side of you will say, two weeks down the road, “Where is that rent check? I never should have bent the rules like this.” Always follow the lease agreement rules and treat all tenants the same way. If you do not have the strength or firmness to be strict and follow your lease agreement rules, it would be wise to find a management team. Bending the rules for one tenant, but not the other, can lead to discrimination lawsuits.
Follow Sacramento Rental Property Management Laws
Failing to follow the housing laws, can lead to endless hours of stress, loss of money, and time in court. A recent lawsuit filed by The U.S. Department of Urban and Housing Development (HUD) against Facebook claims that the social media website which also allows users to advertise items for sale, including rental properties, was participating in housing discrimination. In the press release, HUD claims that rental property owners were able to control and select which types of Facebook users could see their ads, discriminating against race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, disability, and zip code, all of which are protected classes under the Fair Housing Act.
Failure to treat all persons equally is a quick way to land yourself in court in rental property management. Sacramento rental properties are often patrolled by “secret shoppers.” These “secret shoppers” pretend to be interested in your property, but they are undercover agents for companies looking to file discrimination lawsuits against property owners and management companies who may be discriminating against protected classes of people. This is why it is so important to treat everyone equally when showing properties, accepting applications, and during tenancy. With so many housing laws, it is difficult to stay educated on all of them. SAC-METRO participates in regular education courses to stay informed on all local, state, and federal laws.
Save Yourself a Headache, Hire SAC-METRO
SAC-METRO’s management fees are so reasonable, they practically pay for themself. Our vacancy rates are lower than our competitors and our tenant retention is exemplary. We save our property owners time, money, stress, and the risk of lawsuits. Keep your rental property safe. Call the top Sacramento rental property management team, SAC-METRO today to receive a quote for service.