Why Zillow Still Can’t Replace A Property Manager
When homebuyers are looking for listings in their area, they turn to Zillow. If sellers are interested in what other homes in the area are going for, they check Zillow. When locals want to know about school ratings, rental properties, local mortgage rates, and neighborhood guides, they trust Zillow. Zillow has become a trusted resource for buyers and sellers across the globe, but even with its innovative calculators and guides, it still can’t replace a property manager. They can do a lot, but there are some things that only a professional property management company can do.
Zillow can’t find and screen tenants
They may help you find properties, but as a landlord, you’re on your own when it comes to finding the right tenants to fill it. Finding the right tenant is so important because the wrong tenant can cause damage to your property, fail to pay rent, or cause chaos in the neighborhood. Finding the right tenant requires background checks, screenings, and checking of references. It takes time, but it can mean the difference between a long-term, trusted tenant and someone who constantly costs you money.
A property manager works with a wide network of contacts and has the time, tools, and resources to find high-quality tenants. They spend time checking for past evictions or criminal history and work to get the right tenant the first time. Zillow can’t do that.
Zillow can’t keep an eye on your property
Unless you plan on living in the same neighborhood as your investment property, it will be pretty hard to keep an eye on your property all the time. Zillow can give you information about a property and a neighborhood, but it can’t tell you if something is actually happening to your property. If you’re planning to manage your investment property from a distance, you must use a local property management company. This extra attention to your property helps to catch small issues before they become big ones. It also gives tenants a contact point when they have questions or problems so they aren’t calling you for every issue or concern. Property managers can keep an eye on your property and your tenants when you can’t. Zillow can’t do that.
They don’t do maintenance
Keeping up with regular property maintenance can be a full-time job, especially when you have more than one property. Proactive maintenance keeps systems and appliances working at their best, and ensures tenants are living in a space that is healthy and safe. Regular maintenance helps maintain the value of the home and helps reduce costs in the long run. A property management company works with a wide network of trusted contractors who can perform routine and emergency maintenance promptly. Zillow can’t do that.
Zillow doesn’t collect rent or handle tenant issues
Efficient rent collection strategies are critical in making sure your property generates consistent rental income. Property managers can help you set rental rates, establish rent collection policies, collect rent and administer late fees. They also take care of the bookkeeping so you always know how much you’re making vs. how much you are spending. Property managers send out reminder emails and work with tenants on rent-related issues. As an investor, the last thing you want to be doing is chasing down tenants for their rent or, in extreme situations, handling an eviction. Property managers make sure your property is making you money. Zillow can’t do that.
They can’t help you with local landlord-tenant laws
Professional property management teams make it a point to stay current on local rental laws. They invest in continued education and training so they always know rules and regulations regarding landlords, tenants, and investment properties. They handle the taxes and know the legal way to handle an eviction. Property managers can help you avoid lawsuits by knowing the local laws and following them closely. As an investor, you may not have the time to stay up to date on the local rental laws in your area, which is another reason property managers make owning an investment property a little easier. Well-educated property managers can make sure you’re following the rental laws in California. Zillow can’t do that.
There’s no doubt that Zillow is a high-performing and useful resource for buyers and sellers in California. It puts a lot of relevant info into one easy-to-use platform and is a trusted starting point for investors. However, there’s no substitution for a professional who knows the market, knows the industry, and can make sure your rental property is working for you. Zillow can do a lot of things, but it can’t do that.
Want to learn more about how a property manager can relieve stress and improve your bottom line? Connect Los Angeles’ premier property management company, Benefit National, today!