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To be or not to be?

That was the question posed by Shakespeare several hundred years ago. And it’s similar to the question you’re asking yourself about your buy-to-let portfolio: should you manage it yourself or enlist the help of an estate agent?


This is no small question. Because after all, you’ve personally invested huge amounts of time, energy, and toil in securing the buy-to-let mortgages for acquiring your rental properties. So the last thing you want is to then hand it over to someone else to make significant decisions that may be vastly different from the ones you’d make. You want to be in control to make sure that your property is being well taken care of.

But on the other hand, managing a buy-to-let property is no walk in the park. There’s the continual litany of ongoing requests/demands from your tenants, there’s cutting-short your Christmas holiday time with family to fix a broken boiler, there’s complying with changing housing regulations, minor and major house repairs, gathering quotes from plumbers, electricians etc. And as great as it is to receive the income from the property, the incessant demands can become quite exhausting and make you wish there were a better way of doings things, particularly if you have plans of adding more properties to your portfolio.

So again the question: should you manage it yourself, or enlist the help of an estate agent?

The most compelling reason for managing your rental portfolio yourself is the savings you would make in terms of costs. Typically an estate agent would charge you 7-10% of rental income plus VAT for doing tasks that which you could very well do yourself. And if you’ve got the right combination of property and tenants then you could find yourself pocketing that 7-10% without having to do anything arduous to earn it.

But the downside of managing the property yourself is that you only have a limited amount of time and energy available each day. And on the days where everything goes wrong at the same time in more than one of your properties, being the only one responsible for managing it can be extremely stressful and can cause you to lose money on your property through inefficient management.

However, if you’ve partnered with a real estate agent who specialises in property management (a vital qualification), you’ll have effectively outsourced the headaches and 3am-broken-toilet-needs-fixing phone calls from your tenants to a specialist with the systems, team members and networks of specialists to handle every eventuality.

Your estate agent will handle time consuming duties such as:

• Sourcing and screening potential tenants
• Marketing and advertising your properties
• Carrying out inspections on a consistent basis
• Organising tradespeople for necessary repairs and maintenance
• Ensuring your properties have as low a rental vacancy rate as possible

And with an estate agent in your corner, you’re free to focus on seeking out more buy-to-let mortgages for growing your portfolio … and of course spending your extra time on enjoying the lifestyle funded by your rental properties.