Being a landlord in Nigeria can be a difficult job, especially if you have decided to put up your property for rent.
Aside from having to sift through potential tenants, promote and manage your property, you also have to ensure that you can maximize your return on investment without breaking the law or allowing your properties to fall into disrepair.
This can prove to be a very daunting job if being a landlord is what you’ve decided to do full-time, let alone if you are not a retiree and has to hold down a regular daily job.
As a result, hiring a property manager will be one of the biggest decisions you will have to make regarding your property (use). If you want to not just maintain but optimize the value of your property, you will need to consider hiring a ‘property manager’.
A property manager can handle everything from marketing your property to handling repair and maintenance jobs, ensuring that everything stays running smoothly without the risk of your property loosing value because of worsening physical conditions.
Owning a rental property is a dream come true for many landlords, but the one fly in the ointment is the inability to properly preserve the property’s value over time.
The thought of sitting back and collecting rents at the end of every month, quarter, half year, year or as the case may be, while tenants take the utmost care of your property and look after it as though it were their own is unreal and almost impossible even in the better organized societies of the world, not to mention aspiring countries like Nigeria.
I have an elderly friend who once owned a 4 bedroom apartment in Ilupeju, Lagos. A nicely built house in a gated estate with excellent features. The kind of house most Nigerians dream of owning.
He lived there for almost 6 years, before, fortunately for him, he was transferred to Netherlands by his employers to work in their branch there. His small family were all factored in by the company and arrangements were made for them to join him a month later.
So without putting too much thought to it, he handed over and tasked his immediate younger brother with the care of the property. He didn’t know he was in for the shock of his life.
To be quite fair, his brother did the best he could, but because he didn’t have the knowledge of how to manage a property and wasn’t able to handle the excesses of the tenants who lived there over time, the property soon fell into a state of disrepair.
To cut the long story short, his house that had looked so beautiful just few years before, had suddenly just become a shadow of itself when he decided to come on a short visit to Nigeria.
What he saw was disheartening to say the least. The windows were all broken, the gate was almost fallen off its hinges, doors were creaking all over the house, every inch of the property wall (both interior and exterior) that had previously been nicely coated with paint was covered with huge stains, green shrubs and dirty markings.
The weed that had grown all over the property as well as the stench that oozed as soon as he stepped in through the door was palpable. The whole property had an unkempt feel to it.
Believe me, there is no worse feeling than seeing the property you paid through your nose for just fall into a state of mass disrepair that could easily have been avoided.
The heartache and anger was so much that at some point during his visit, he decided to just sell off the property before returning to his base abroad.
He however had to have a rethink because the average asking price he had from potential buyers was some tens of million naira less than what he bought it for!
I repeat, all this could have been easily avoided by enlisting the services of a property manager, to handle the affairs of the property.
In a bid to make this very clear, I will be highlighting the major roles a property manager plays and how it can be of immense benefit to you.
If you’re a landlord, or are considering investing in a rental property, here are ten (10) reasons why you most certainly need a property manager:
- No More Wake-Up Calls
If there’s a sudden problem at the property, it naturally falls on you as the landlord, to fix it. With a property manager, you’ll be able to say goodbye to late-night emergencies. When a problem arises, the property manager will get the call and respond accordingly.
- Improved Tenant Sourcing and Screening Process
Property managers have access to a wealth of resources that enable them to find new tenants faster, helping you to keep those vacancy rates down. Not only that, but they’re also able to thoroughly screen tenants. They know what to look for, what questions to ask and how to identify a would-be troublesome tenant through observable behavioral traits.
- Regular Maintenance and Repair Help
With a property manager, you don’t have to be the on-call maintenance person anymore. Your property manager will perform routine maintenance for you, preventing small issues from getting out of control. When repairs are in order, the property manager will show up on-site at the first sign of trouble.
Also since they deal with this type of thing all the time, they’ll have a database full of vendors and contractors who do reputable work at fair prices. That way, you’re able to make more money by minimizing costs.
- Avoid Messy Legal Problems
Keeping up with landlord-tenant law can be tedious and quite costly if you’re not up to speed. New regulations are constantly coming into effect, and staying out of trouble depends upon your compliance with these laws. A professional property manager should be experienced with landlord-tenant law and able to navigate the various complexities to make sure you stay on the right side of it.
- Get the Income Balance Right on Your Properties
With a property manager on your team, you have a better shot at making more money, because of their unique market knowledge and ability to sniff out threats/opportunities.
- Stop Being the Bad Guy
As landlord, it’s your job to enforce the terms of the lease. Unfortunately though, this is easier said than done. When a tenant starts misbehaving or mismanaging the property, there is a tendency for things to get ugly.
With a property manager, you don’t have to show up and try to reason with the tenant who’s arguing the merits of converting the property front into a mini-store all of a sudden. Instead, let your property manager handle it.
- Keep an Eye on Your Property Without Having to Watch It
Whether you’re a long-distance landlord or just down the street, keeping a close watch on your property is important. Having a property manager means that your home will be checked routinely. This is especially important during vacancies, as empty properties are prime targets for burglars. A property manager will be able to keep the property well-maintained, giving it a lived-in, occupied appearance.
- Never have to deal with late rent payments.
As a property owner, you depend on the rent arriving each time on time. When this doesn’t happen, there’s often a tremendous amount of time and effort involved with tracking down the rent. Letting late rent slide can create a situation where the tenant is able to live in your property rent-free, for as long as it takes to evict them. A property manager will be your no-nonsense rent collector and will take immediate action if the rent is late. They’ll document all steps taken and remain in compliance with the law.
- No More Dreaded Evictions
Evictions are the bane of every landlord, and understandably so. There’s a tremendous amount of procedure surrounding a lawful eviction process.
A good property manager is on the ball and able to handle evictions for you — quickly, efficiently, and in compliance with state laws and regulations.
- Freedom to Invest in Better Housing Markets
Finally, property managers make life easier — so much easier, in fact that you may be tempted to get yourself a few more rental properties in other areas.
With a property manager, you’ll even be able to invest in properties that are out of town; since you won’t be managing them yourself, it won’t matter where you invest.
This allows you to take advantage of more affordable or growing housing markets.
By now, it will have become obvious that owning a property can be a great investment. But, as you can also see, having a property manager can make your life so much easier.
If you would like us to connect you with a trustworthy property management outfit, who have been properly vetted and come highly recommended because of their affordability and mode of operations, kindly click here.
If you own rentals, but are feeling overwhelmed, do yourself a favour and look into getting a property manager to take some of the load off. You won’t regret it!
Click here now to connect with them and learn more about their operations.