You just purchased your first property in Mexico. You took time to decorate it the way you wanted. It is perfectly set up and awaiting your first paying guest. However, the only thing you are missing now is a property manager. You can set out to look for a reliable and trustworthy management company. Or just hire yourself – Become your own property manager!
There are pros and cons to being your own property manager. It takes time, patience and sometimes relying on other responsible resources. If you live in Mexico and in the same community or city/town where your property resides, it’s rather easy to manage your rental. However, if you are a landlord that lives out of the country, there are certain protocols that you must need to practice.
The suggestions outlined are a few simple procedures that offer a basic safety net for any potential problems. The below bullets can be expanded on and/or added to your already laid out rental program.
Here’s how you can become your own property manager:
- When you first acquire your new property, plan on spending a month or two setting up several local contacts and resources. This is very important when you are not in the country.
- Prearrange multiple vendors or individuals who can repair/replace such items like water heaters, air conditioners, plumbing and electrical issues.
- If your property has a pool and/or yard, hire a reliable pool company, gardener and a house cleaner. Don’t be afraid to pay above average wages. Trust us, it is well worth it.
- Visit the local utility companies – cable/internet, electric, pest control, tax office and any other payables, to make arrangements for payments.
- We highly recommend to have local legal representation. Ask other out-of-state or local property owners for recommendations. Visit these counselors and agree on an arrangement that works for you.
- Find an individual (possible your realtor or trusted neighbor) as a go to person who can arrange and/or be there for deliveries like appliance replacements. They can also be your liaison for issues that need immediate attention,
The above suggestions can easily be arranged within a few weeks.
Then take time to work on any potential problems you could see happening during your absence. You should also become familiar with stores in your immediate area like hardware, appliance and other needed supplies.
Once you have everything ready to go, you need to market your condo. Consider using either Airbnb or VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner), or both. Once you have completed your first couple seasons and/or years, you can reevaluate your marketing strategies . You could decide to continue or eliminate one or both websites.
The second part of this equation will assure that your renters/guest are fully informed when they elect to rent your property. Make sure they have all the necessary specifics and instructions regarding the house/condo and its operable devices. This is key when your guest arrive. They will know what to expect during their stay.
The following recommendations are very important and will help your guest enjoy their stay:
- When you confirm a reservation, make sure you get a deposit and a percentage of the rent upfront. Use clearing houses like PayPal, Google Wallet and WePay. Make sure you state and/or itemize any end of agreement charges – possible charges like cleaning and utilities.
- Send an email with any written instructions like how to operate the TV, AC, WiFi or any other devices that require specific attention.
- Let your tenants know what provisions you offer like water, toilet paper or paper towels. It is recommended to send a list that shows several nearby stores that offer these types of necessities.
- It is suggestion to include a map of the area. Make some suggestions where to eat, points of interest and places to tour.
- Provide a point of contact if an emergency with the condo happens to occur. However, make it known that they should try to contact you first with any problems.
All the above suggestions and recommendations will allow you to stay on top of your property and its guest. It is actually fairly easy to manage your own property(s) as long as you provide all the necessary information people need to know. Not only will you save money, but assure yourself that you will always be in the know regarding your investment. Last but not least, you should make it a point to visit your property every 5 to 6 months.