The Pros and Cons of Self-Managing vs. Hiring a Property Manager in Los Angeles

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Jumping into the role of a landlord in Los Angeles can be a pretty cool way to make money without too much effort. If you don’t believe us, take a look at this stat. It says that the average net profit generated from the rental income was $45,777 in 2019. That was huge.

But don’t forget, it also means taking on big responsibilities. One big choice you’ll have to make is whether you want to handle everything yourself or get help from a property management company. Both ways have good and not-so-good parts. This post will look at both sides, so you know what’s what and can choose what works best for you.

And hey, if you want to know more about property management in Los Angeles, just get in touch with some good companies. They’ll chat with you for free, so you can see what they offer and how much it’ll cost. This way, you can figure out if you should be the boss or have someone else take care of things for you. 

The Essence of the Decision

Before you decide whether to manage things yourself or get help, it’s good to know all the stuff a landlord has to do:

  • Taking Care of the Place – You’ll have to check it often, arrange repairs, make sure things are working, and keep everyone safe.
  • Finding Workers – If you need people to fix things, you’ll have to find good ones, get quotes, and work out deals.
  • Finding Renters – You’ll need to put up ads, show the place, and pick the right people.
  • Checking Renters – You’ll have to look into their past, call references, check their money situation, and see if they’ve been good renters before.
  • Getting Money – Collect rent, make sure rules are followed, and handle any problems.
  • Being Nice to Renters– If things break or there are issues, you’ll have to fix them fast and keep everyone happy.
  • Knowing Laws – You have to know all the rules about renting, like fair housing and health codes.

Being a landlord is way more than just cashing checks. It takes a lot of time, skills, and effort.

Choosing between doing it yourself or hiring a manager depends on your personality, skills, time, and money. There’s no one right answer for everyone.

Effective Marketing

Not marketing your property well can cause problems like having it empty for a long time, lower rent, and not-so-great renters. Smart advertising and great listings are super important, especially in places like LA where the rental market is tough.

Property managers know how to make your place look awesome with pro photos. And guess what? Listings with good photos get more people interested and the place rents out faster.

They also write descriptions that make your place sound great – talking about all the good stuff and what’s nearby. That way, renters know what they’re getting.

Property managers put your place on lots of websites like Zillow, Trulia, and more. This makes sure lots of people see it.

They also know how to make the listing show up when people search for things. It’s like magic – it helps your place show up at the top of search results.

Property managers plan when to show the place so that people who work can come see it. They even reach out to folks to make sure they come.

They figure out the right rent based on the market and demand. If it’s too high, the place might stay empty. Too low means you lose money.

They also only show the place to people who are really interested and can afford it. This saves time and makes sure only the right people see it.

If you do everything yourself, you might not know how to do all this. That can lead to losing money from empty places. Having experts on your side makes a big difference.

To have a clear picture of LA’s market, here is the chart for you that explains the average cost of the management fee in some states.

Source: 2022 National Property Management Fee Survey by the National Association of Residential Property Managers

Flexibility in Property Management

Many landlords choose to handle things themselves. Here are some good things about doing it on your own:

  • Full Control – You make all the calls about repairs, tenants, how much to charge for rent, and more. No need to ask anyone else.
  • Personal Interaction – You deal directly with tenants without someone in between. Some landlords like having that personal touch.
  • Saving Money – You don’t have to pay a monthly fee to a property management company (usually 8-12% of rent).
  • Freedom – You can make your own schedule and do things your way. You can be really involved if you want.
  • More Money – You get to keep all the rent money without giving some to a company.

But, being a DIY landlord means you have to be ready all the time – to handle tenant issues, manage everything, and even deal with tough tenants. Property management companies offer an alternative. They give you flexibility by taking away everyday tasks and keeping an eye on things for you.

Repairs and Maintenance

Landlords who manage things themselves can run into problems like sudden repairs, finding good workers, and keeping costs down.

But property management companies have an advantage. They already have a bunch of trusted contractors they work with. They also have deals with them to get good prices. This means they can get things fixed quickly and without costing too much.

Thorough Tenant Screening

Checking out tenants is super important. You need to make sure they have a job, enough money, and good references. You also want to know if they’re good at paying their bills.

If landlords do a poor job at this, they might end up with renters who don’t pay rent or mess up the place.

But property management companies have the tools to do this right. They do deep background checks and look into tenants’ pasts to help you make smart choices.

Healthy Tenant Relations

Being too close to your tenants when you’re managing things yourself can cause issues and make things unclear.

Property management companies are a bit more neutral. They can step in when there are problems between you and your tenants. This stops things from getting worse and helps everyone involved.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it more cost-effective to self-manage or hire a manager in Los Angeles?

While self-management seems affordable initially, the time, effort, and potential pitfalls add up. Professional management may cost more upfront but provides expertise and long-term peace of mind.

2. How do managers handle emergency repairs?

Property management companies have networks of reliable contractors to promptly handle maintenance emergencies, keeping tenants satisfied.

3. Can I stay involved with only some management tasks?

Many companies offer customized packages allowing landlords to remain involved in selected aspects while delegating the rest.


In Los Angeles, landlords have to choose whether to handle things themselves or get a property manager. Doing it yourself gives control and could save money, but it can also be a lot to handle. A property manager has knowledge and makes things easier, even though it costs money. Take your time to think about what works best for you. It’s a big choice.

The content published on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, health or other professional advice.

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