You’ve just bought an investment property and prepared it for rental. You’ve decided you will manage this property on your own, after all why pay someone else to do it when you can pocket all the money yourself?

It can’t be that hard even though you have other things vying for your time and attention. You can attend to this on your off hours. Advertising for tenants, screening tenants, collecting rents, making repairs and whatever else it takes you think you will have time to do it all.

Life will be easy street from now on right? The truth is, when we try to manage our rental properties ourselves we often come up against competing objectives.We want to increase the value of our property, we want a tenant to pay our mortgage, we want to be loved by the tenant and we want him or her to pay on time every time and we want him/her to take care of the property better than if it was their own. That is one tall order and you may get some of it some of the time but not all of it all of the time.

The competing objectives begin when you want to be liked by your tenant after all who doesn’t want to be “landlord of the year”? Your tenant on the other hand wants to pay the least possible, have you shoulder all the maintenance and repairs and even have the window washing included. You on the other hand want to charge as much as possible, expect the tenant to take care of the place as if it were his/her own and cut the grass.

Voila – the end of love.

Once you have signed the rental agreement with your tenant, your relationship with them will formally begin. When you are managing tenants, you will realize that not all renters are made equal.

Some tenants are a real pleasure to work with and the only time you need to see them is when you are collecting rent. They go the extra mile to maintain your property get along beautifully with the neighbours. On the other hand, some tenants can be living terrors who will require that firm hand under the velvet glove.

Property management can make or break you. This is what will really put you to the test. Unless you actually live within easy reach of your revenue properties, you’re going to be relying upon someone else to manage things. Even if you live close by professional services can market your property easier than you can especially if they have a formal web site and they would know the best price to ask for your rental. They can also be the “buffer” between you and the tenant so that sticky situations where you have to get firm with tenants can be smoothed over.

Property Management means: writing ads, handling inquiries, showing the property by appointment, collecting rent… it all spells personal involvement and free time encroachment. So, unless you know what you are doing, hire someone qualified who will also give you solid reliable service.

When hiring a professional to market or manage your place get references from their existing customers. Once you see that they enjoy a high occupancy rate you can then rest assured you are in good hands and if your place is priced well you should be able to keep it fully rented.