How can we best help Buyers?
Buying your first (or second or 10th!) rental property in a town like Auburn is exciting and scary at the same time. You may have nostalgia for the places you lived in college, or want to find the best pace for your kid and their friends, or just want to ride the wave of economic success that Auburn has been going through for the last 20-40 years. But you know you can't let your excitement get in the way of making a good deal, and you can't let your nostalgia blind you to the current realities of the market. Or, if you are completely unfamiliar with Auburn, you need someone to help you navigate the landscape and help you narrow it down from there.
At the same time that you are learning (or re-learning) Auburn's rental property landscape, you also need a new set of skills and need to develop a second set of eyes, essentially. Maybe you've bought several houses for yourself over the years, but this time it's a whole different ball game. I can help you learn a new way to look at property, and help you understand the different aspects of the game you are about to start playing. Simple things like investment property financing & insurance in the beginning. And then after closing, things like marketing, screening tenants, signing leases, coordinating repairs, will become critical to your investing success. But the most important factor that makes the whole thing work or not work is to understand the market well enough to buy the right house, condo or whatever in the first place! I get excited when I get calls from aspiring investors just getting started. I like to try to be the bumpers on their bowling lane and gradually help them see the Investment Property business here in Auburn: where there is need, or oversupply, what signs to look for when choosing a neighborhood, etc. Those calls are fun. And once we find them the right place(s), my clients have an amazing track record of success with finding good tenants and keeping their places rented. It's not a coincidence, it comes from being very deliberate and repeating what has been proven to work.
But there's another side to that coin also. My least favorite calls are from frustrated investors that ask me if I do Property Management services. I don't do Property Management at this time, but that gives me the chance to listen and advise as an unbiased source of information. Tell me your problem, and I'll try to suggest the best solution to fix it. Sometimes they are just expecting perfection from their chosen Management company, but I have to tell them they are already using the best one in town. But more often, they are having problems with bad tenants, they signed a bad lease, or they are just struggling to stay rented and that wasn't what they expected at all. In a growing town like Auburn, with plenty of well-funded tenants, if you are having a problem renting your property or just finding good, qualified tenants, it's probably because you bought the wrong place, or the market has changed and what you are offering isn't attracting good prospects anymore. I haven't run across a dishonest or seriously incompetent agent in our market, but there are definitely some agents out there that are more focused on their commissions than your rental success, or maybe they just don't know the rental business very well, and are blindly assuming "everything will rent, just buy whatever you want!" That is bad advice, and can cost you a lot of money. I remember getting a call from an investor new to Auburn who bought a place for their kid, (good idea) and 3 other properties at the same time, without seeing them (bad to very bad idea!). So this Buyer bought approximately $1M worth of properties he knew very little about, and handed them over to the Property Management department of the same company as the agent worked for. Well, even with a Property Manager working to get them filled, two of them were still sitting empty a month after school had already started. I've never had an unplanned vacancy in 20+ years, and this guy had 2 in his first few months. Sadly, the Buyer's agent probably made about $20K in commissions, but now their client was losing his ass every month. It was a wake up call to me that people out there needed my services, really. and it I was going to keep playing small I'd be OK, but others could be hurt badly by making decisions based on the wrong advice.
I don't want to ramble on about that any longer, I think you get the point by now: Having an agent that actually knows what they are doing and has been successful doing it is a very important part of your team. The best part is that it doesn't cost you anything extra to work with me. Most of the time, I get paid by the seller as part of the normal commissions when they list a house with someone, so it's already baked into the cake, so to speak, and it doesn't cost you any more than using a crappy or unexperienced agent would cost. If we work together and you end up buying a FSBO, they have typically planned to pay a partial commission to an agent who can bring them a buyer and handle all the paperwork. Either way, in almost every case, it costs you nothing as a buyer to use me as your agent.
A quick word about Property Management:
About half of our buyers choose to self-manage their units, and find that it's not that hard if you have someone showing you the ropes. It gives them the best return per month, and the most control of the situation.
The other half of our buyers end up turning over the daily activities & responsibilities to one of Auburn's local Property Management companies, leaving the owner free to worry about their day job, their kids activities, etc.
There isn't a right or wrong answer on the Management decision, I'll help you set it up so it works best for you: your personal schedule, level of interest, repair skills, etc. Don't let the management decision paralyze you and stop you from moving forward. And don't let the fact that I don't offer Property Management be a reason you decide to go with a "full service" firm. If I can help you pick the right place and find you the best people to handle any updates needed, you should have a very easy time finding tenants no matter which Manager you go with. After buying the right place, everything is so much easier!
If you are ready to get started, give me a call today at 334-821-1227 and let's get started!