Interview With Our Property Managers!
We receive many questions about property management. To help you out, we sat down with our property managers at Elevate. They share their as property managers, so you can get clarity into what’s required to manage your own investment property. Let’s get started!
What kind of responsibilities should I expect from being a landlord?
It can be a lot of responsibility, but with it comes great rewards! If you’re not already well-versed in the governing legislation, applicable by-laws and codes, landlord duties, it can certainly be inundating to undertake the knowledge growth experience alone and in a short time.
However, owning rental properties and being a landlord present amazing, solid returns on investment opportunities. If you need extra help, our tenured and experienced property management team can help you navigate through it all!
What kind of ad hoc expenses should I expect from having an investment property?
Maintenance and repairs in an investment property vary widely. Often we’ve found that newly purchased properties that are even in really good condition when purchased can incur a large amount of expenses in year 1.
After owning for a few years, typically you will flush out the more major repair jobs and be left with general ongoing maintenance like clogged drains, HVAC units that don’t turn on properly, or appliances malfunctioning.
A good ballpark figure would be to allocate 3% of gross rent on operating expenses each year. That way, when the things start to break down, it won’t hurt as much to incur the expense.
How much time would I be expected to spend managing a property a month, if I were to do it on my own?
We recommend routine maintenance, such as seasonal spring / fall inspections, winter maintenance, furnace maintenance.
There’s also unexpected repairs and maintenance issues which crop up. For an ideal income property that has been well maintained with good tenants, expect to spend 5 to 10 hours in total per month managing. Of course, the less ideal an income property is the more time it will take to manage.
If you manage my property, can you walk me through how you work with me to get an issue resolved from start to end?
I’m solution driven! As issues arise within properties, I always aim to bring you the most cost-effective and meaningful solution right away.
Therefore, the simple equation is:
problem > solution > execution + prevention = low stress for landlord!
The universe of problems that can arise is large. Having already worked through the majority of problems that can arise and a great list of service providers in our trusted network, I make sure issues are presented with their best solution and execution quickly.
Finally, I take a very sensitive approach to understanding what the goals of each client are and to deliver what they want. If you want to be very actively engaged in the property, I’ll keep you dialed in throughout. If you want to be hands off, I’ll take that into account. I tailor my approach to suit your needs!
What kind of maintenance do you help with?
How do you deal with repairs?
With small repairs, we find it helpful to establish a minimum approval limit so we can authorize smaller jobs right away. If the amount is higher, we will seek the landlord’s approval before we confirm any work to be done.
How can you help with Landlord Tenant Board (LTB) issues?
Our property management team has a very strong background and knowledge in the applicable legislation governing residential tenancy in Ontario. Because of this, we know how to address the majority of LTB issues that come up. When there are more complex scenarios, we consult with our legal contacts to ensure we are aware of all options, get the right advice, and ensure all legal processes are followed properly.
What is your most memorable property management story?
The biggest wins often come when you’re able to negotiate good compromises that lead to minimal cost to the landlord. I had a property earlier this year where a neighbour complained about damage done to his property due to a basement flood.
While we weren’t at fault, the neighbour was angry enough to suggest taking the issue to court, with trumped up charges, which would lead to my client spending time and money defending. I worked hard to diffuse the neighbour and identified an outcome that he was happy with and negotiate a cost-sharing plan that both parties agreed to.
In the end, this was far less to my client than going through litigation. The outcome was a diffused situation and an important lesson – it’s always best to negotiate a settlement with a calm attitude than to allow anger to escalate things to the point of combativeness. We continue to remain on very good terms with the neighbour!
What are some tips you can give for a first time real estate investor?
The main tip is that it gets easier! After a little while, you get more thick skinned and solution oriented when difficult problems arise. It’s worthwhile experiencing managing your own properties at the start so you can understand the issues that arise and how to deal with them.
Later on once you’ve grown your portfolio, it’s best to hire a property manager and focus your time and energy on growth or enjoying the fruits of your labour. At that point, having had your own experience with dealing with property level issues will definitely improve your ability to manage your portfolio at a high level.