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Starting your real estate portfolio is an exciting time. For most entrepreneurs, their real estate portfolio begins with rental property. Once they have secured their property and got their tenants in place, they face their first hurdle. Do they oversee the property themselves or invest with the help of a property management team? 

Most Property management firms, such as Sea to Sky Management (SKS), invest in technology that streamlines the process for both the owners and their tenants. You may also prefer to keep your costs low and maximize your profit margins by looking after your investment properties yourself. 

The question remains – do you invest in property management or go down the self-management route when starting your real estate portfolio?

Rental property maintenance tips 

When you invest in a property portfolio, managing the day-to-day running of the property and overseeing its listing on the market may not be at the front of your mind. Unless you come from a property background, property management could feel like a mind field. 

Before deciding whom you want to oversee your property management, you want to become familiar with your property. Whether it’s a new build or an older property, learn as much as you can about the building. Identify its weaknesses, any problems that may prop up, and any issues you could address early on – such as repairing or replacing utilities. 

Seasonal maintenance is a health and safety measure necessary for commercial and residential property. Briefly, this maintenance includes cleaning gutters and ensuring appliances are functioning correctly. Maintenance is at the heart of property management to prevent costly problems and disturbances.

You’ll also need to be prepared to address vacancy issues. If you decide to self-manage your property, you’ll oversee everything, from submitting the listing to approving your tenants. Choosing a property management service can simplify this and reduce the vacancy time by speeding up the tenant screening process. 

Property management vs self-management

The decision you’ll want to make early in your real estate investment is to decide between property management and self-management. Everyone’s portfolio – and the time they can commit to their properties – is different.

If you go down the self-management route, it’s worth considering everything you’ll be responsible for. You may end up chasing your tenant for their monthly rent or find yourself taking multiple phone calls a week from tenants looking to make changes to the property. Landlord duties include everything, from overseeing regular inspections to enforcing the lease terms and checking in with your tenants at least every few months.

But what can property management offer you? Yongmin Zhu, the CEO of Sea to Sky Management, says that the “modern management system from SKS changes the traditional service model and brings a more convenient service experience to the residents”. 

Hiring a property management service allows you to benefit from their expertise and data management skills. You’ll be working with an agency familiar and up to date with the latest in property legislation and rental policies. 

The amount you pay for a property management service is typically a percentage (up to 10%) of the monthly rent for the property. While this may seem like an unnecessary additional cost, you want to consider the cost of your time if you oversaw the property management yourself.

The qualities to look for in a property management firm

Where should you look if you’re interested in investing in property management? Sea to Sky Management (SKS) is a real estate investment company that invests primarily in commercial and residential properties. Their goal is to provide a convenient living experience to diverse groups at the correct location. 

SKS utilizes the ‘Appfolio’ software that offers a more streamlined service for residents and owners, focusing on data management. It establishes communication lines and makes properties easier to manage at every stage – from promoting the property listing to managing tenants. 

You want a property management firm with experience in the district where your property is alongside an efficient data management system. They should have a long-standing reputation, all their professional licenses, and experience of dealing with properties like yours. 

Deciding to start your real estate portfolio is an investment in your future. Property is one of the most high-yielding assets you can hold. Once you have your first property under your belt, you must decide who oversees the running and management of your property. While you may be inclined to oversee this yourself, your time is money, and a property management service is an appealing option. 

If your property is an investment, what’s the best way to spend your time to further that portfolio?

Produced in association with the FG Magazine

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