Being a landlord in Kenya has proven to be a solid and stable source of wealth and an excellent investment opportunity for investors especially with the good performance of the real estate sector in recent years. As a result many individuals are in pursuit of a slice of the real estate cake. You are one of them and you have started the landlord journey. You have your property up already and the next hurdle is how to manage it. There are two options when it comes to real estate management. You can either do it yourself (self-management) whereby you not only own the property but also handle the day to day operations necessary. Or you can opt for a professional property manager who will run the property you own, for you. Handling the day to day tasks big and small.
The following questions will help you make a decision on which system of management will be suitable for you.
- Are you willing to spend enough time to manage your property?
- What is your tolerance for dealing with tenants?
- How much experience do you have in real estate management?
- How proper are your marketing skills?
- How close is your rental property to your home?
With these questions in mind, let us take a look at some of the day to day duties that you will be faced with as a rental property owner.
With a rental property comes routine and emergency maintenances. Individuals staying at rented property are more likely to cause more wear and tear on a house than home owners. This translates to more energy to the property owner or manager who has to ensure that the property is always up kept. You will therefore have to every so often schedule seasonal maintenance as well as responding to emergencies from your tenants.
Rent collection and setting
You need to come up with a rent collection system that will ensure timely rent collection and ensure proper cash flow. This system should strictly enforce late fee policies to make sure that you always have cash to promptly cover monthly property expenses. Rent setting is setting competitive prices to attract tenants to the property. This is done by conducting a proper survey of comparable properties in the area and it should be a frequent activity.
Many renters want to know they can contact someone who will respond to them promptly be it for emergencies such as maintenance issues or even a tenant locking their keys inside the apartment. Tenants also want flexibility and efficiency when it comes to means of paying their rent. Tenants nowadays prefer paying their rent electronically. A feature that a self-property manager may not have .The importance of giving attention to your tenants cannot be overemphasized. As a property owner; your main focus should be offering satisfactory services to your tenants. If satisfied with your services, they may become long-term renters and may even refer friends to rent from you, as well.
When you have a vacancy in your property, you want to get enquiries from tenants as soon as possible. Getting that deal from a prospective tenant involves more than just posting a photo of your vacant property on a Kenyan real estate Facebook group. It involves site visits, meetings and showings. You also need to have proper marketing skills to get your property selling. One advantage that property managers have when it comes to marketing property is that over time they have developed a pool of prospective tenants and they might find tenants for your property much faster.
In conclusion, you might start out thinking that you will be able to handle the management of your property but what you will realize is that the benefits are not worth the stress. On top of handling the roles mentioned above, you will have to become familiar with real estate legislation, you will have to learn how to perform valuations and inspections and do you even have the time to carry out background checks on every prospective tenant that you get? It is for these reasons that it is advisable to get professional help from professional property managers.
Having said that, it is important to understand the right property managers to entrust your property to. Managers who you will feel comfortable handing the control of your property over to. To guide you to identify the right property managers to hire, c heck out our next blog on Traits of a good estate and property management company.