“I ended up having two or three, apparently, prostitutes living in my basement and a drug dealer on the main floor. I had a property manager at the time, but he wasn’t good,” Tyler Soulliere, president of TySoull Real Estate Group, told Canadian Real Estate Wealth. “He basically found me two tenants and then he went MIA. Eventually after a month or two without rent and then I got a call from my brother in law (who was renting the garage) who told me to get to the property right now.”
That horror story – which included a clutter of sleeping bags and cots within the home’s unfinished basement -- occurred in one of Soulliere’s first investment properties at a time before he fully grasped the value of an experienced property manager.
He eventually had to evict the tenants himself, paying cash for the keys and changing the locks in a bid to end the nightmare as quickly as possible.
But he’s since learned his lesson.
“I wish I had a property manager at the start; the difference is night and day,” Soulliere said. “When I had one or two properties it was OK, but by the third property it started to get to be too much.”
And it isn’t all about handling troublesome – and, at times, uninvited – tenants, Soulliere argues.
Property managers also help free up an investor’s time – so he or she can focus on the next deal.
“I factored in what my time was worth. Even living only 20 minutes from a property, having to deal with an issue myself it’s $40 and any headaches of dealing with the tenant, having to stay an hour. Even just once or twice a month or a phone call here and there [makes it worth having a property manager],” he said. “They charge 6-8% based on who you hire; say on a $1000 a month rent, that’s $80 a month. I figured my time was worth more than $80 an hour so it’s worth it.”
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An experienced property manager would never have let this one landlord’s tenant situation get so out of hand, he argues.