Managing the (Property) Manager

As millions of “accidental” homeowner-landlords have discovered the last few years, managing residential real estate is labor-intensive.

That’s especially true for an older, dated home.

headachesIn other words . . . . precisely the kind of home that was hard to sell a few years ago, and got turned into a rental.

Or couldn’t be sold, because the homeowner was underwater (and maybe still is).

So, it’s no surprise that these have been bountiful times for property management companies.

But what I’m hearing from more than one homeowner acquaintance is that, just because the home is being professionally managed doesn’t mean there are suddenly no problems.

Trading Headaches

For starters, there are the property managers themselves.

Not a few are inexperienced, stretched too thin, and/or, well, just not very competent (unfortunately, the choices are not mutually exclusive).

So, there’s that.

In addition, there’s all the home maintenance issues that existed before — now just at retail prices, because there’s basically a general contractor involved on every repair.

Bottom line:  yes, owners who’ve waited for a stronger market have been rewarded.

But, if they’d sold two years ago and plunked it down in the stock market — or bought another property, cheap — they’d arguably be just as well off today.

Having suffered a lot fewer headaches.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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