If you live in an area where the real estate prices of investment properties are well above the median, say like California, Florida or Massachusetts, you may have thought about investing in real estate in other areas of the country. Areas such as Cleveland, OH where the median home value is below the national average, may provide you with excellent opportunities to expand your portfolio with profitable rental properties at a significant discount compared to where you live. However, before you invest in out of town deals, you should consider what it means to manage property in a place different from where you live. As an out of town landlord you will face the following issues:
You do not have local real estate knowledge.
You do not have a network of local vendors in place to provide services.
It is difficult to market and show your rental property to prospective tenants from a distance.
You may have difficulties collecting rent from a distance.
You should strongly consider partnering with a local property management company to provide you with the expertise you lack in the geographic area. A good property management company will be able to connect you with expert local realtors who regularly sell investment properties. You will be able to interview the realtors by phone and browse a list of available properties before you travel to the area to view the properties. Now a bit of self-promotion, All County® NEO Property Management provides property management services throughout communities in Northeast Ohio such as Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Youngstown. We choose not to sell real estate, but instead, to be expert property managers. Our clients are not required to buy or sell rental property through us. Instead our clients are referred to the realtors, who are investment property experts, in their desired geographic location.
A good property management company will also be able to provide you with a network of local service providers who provide fair pricing and honest repairs. Often, out-of-town property owners are sold much more costly repair services. Inflated repair costs happen in two ways: 1) the local property management company uses an expensive “in-house” maintenance department or 2) the out-of-town investor is the victim of a service company who takes advantage of the investor’s location. Imagine your car breaks down while you are on an extended family vacation. You find yourself at the mercy of the local car mechanic. So instead of being the victim, find a property manager that has developed relationships with local service providers.
Realistically, finding good tenants is the result of effective marketing and quality screening. As an out-of-town investor, you may not be able to meet your prospective tenants during the marketing process and you may not have the processes in place to screen applicants from a distance. A good property manager will be able to screen tenants on your behalf and minimize your expenses.
Finally, there are a number of ways to collect rents from a distance, but there is nothing like a property manager with a good rent collection process. As an out-of-town investor you may find the biggest drain on your resources and bank account is rent collection. A property management company should have established processes in place to collect rent and to protect your investment if a tenant does not pay rent. In addition to providing skilled tradesmen, a good property management company should have the legal resources ready to obtain the best possible outcome for you and your investment.
All County® NEO Property Management property managers are licensed real estate agents, members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers, Ohio Association of Realtors and the North East Ohio Regional Realtors Association. Our team of professionals offer unparalleled rental property management services in the following areas: Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown and their surrounding communities.