How to Manage Your Property From Afar - Article Banner

Renting out a property, but you’re not living in the same city? 

As people become more nomadic and remote, this is a common occurrence. 

Luckily, it’s not that hard to do, especially if you’re partnered up with a local property management company. We provide leasing, management, and maintenance services to a number of landlords and investors who are renting out a home in the greater Philadelphia area, but don’t live here. Either they’ve moved themselves or they’ve bought an investment here, with the intention of earning money on it in the short and long term. 

Whether you’re renting out a home you once lived in yourself or you’re an investor from out-of-state, we want to help you manage your property from afar with efficiency and ease. 

Here’s what we recommend, as experienced management professionals who understand the needs of non-local property owners

Invest in – and Trust – Philadelphia Property Management 

It’s always a good idea to work with professional property managers when you’re renting out a property. 

When you’re renting out that property from afar, it’s not just a good idea: it’s an essential need. 

You’re not there. You cannot rush over to the home if there’s a maintenance emergency. You cannot be present to show the home when it’s vacant. You don’t know the local laws and the ever-changing rental values. Local expertise and presence is required. 

So, make sure you have a great management partner. Preferably, you’re working with one who has experience serving out-of-state owners. 

Once you have a property manager, take a step back and let them handle the day to day operations that you aren’t present for. 

Trust your property manager and their network of maintenance vendors and other professionals. 

Listen to the advice that your property managers offer you. You don’t need to be involved in every minor detail, especially when you’re not there yourself. It’s easy to become emotionally involved with your rental property, even when you’re hundreds or thousands of miles away. You might want to push for a higher rent even though the local market really drives the rental value of your property. A good management team will understand the demand and price your home competitively. 

You pay your property management team to make good decisions that are in your best interests. Trust us to take care of your property when you’re not here to do it yourself. 

This is the difference between a landlord and an investor. A landlord will want to maintain control over every tenant interaction and every minor issue. An investor knows that they have a qualified, expert team in place to handle those details on their behalf. 

When you are managing a rental property from afar, be an investor. 

Prioritize Communication and Technology 

When you’re renting out a home from afar, you’re in a long distance relationship.

And, if you’ve ever been in one before, you know that long distance relationships will only work when there’s communication flowing back and forth between partners. 

You will not have to participate in the communication that’s required with tenants. That will be left to your property manager. But, you still want to be kept in the loop. You need to know how your property is performing.  

Communication is always a major concern for out-of-state owners and investors. 

You’ll need access to your management team, and they’ll have to reach you if there’s an emergency or a big decision to be made. 

This illustrates why it’s so important to work with a management company that’s experienced with owners who live out of state or even out of the country. You need access to innovative technology. Look for someone who places a lot of value in communication. You want responsiveness and an easy way to send and receive messages. 

Expect an online portal that provides:

  • Photos with inspection reports
  • Detailed notes and accounting statements
  • Instant messages 
  • Invoices and rent payment tracking 

When you own Philadelphia investment homes from afar, you’ll need a property management company that’s invested heavily in technology so you can stay informed during the listing process, tenant placement process, and when major maintenance is needed. 

Protecting the Condition of Your Property 

Property ManagerNon-local investors rely on their Philadelphia property managers to maintain the condition and value of their properties. 

You are limited in your ability to protect your property on your own. It’s not like you can drive by your rental property to check on it. You can’t take a walk through the home during a turnover to decide which improvements and upgrades you’re ready to make. 

Your investment is protected, well-maintained, and in good condition when you have a property management team that prioritizes preventative maintenance and discusses the improvements that might be necessary. 

As an investor who lives outside of the Philadelphia area, you’ll want to know there are inspections happening routinely at your property. Discuss with your property manager the frequency of those inspections, and whether you’ll receive inspection reports with photos. 

Even from afar, you can work together with your management team to implement a plan for preventative maintenance. Make sure the HVAC is serviced every year. Have the roof checked and ask if the sinks, tubs, and appliances are routinely checked for leaks and drips.  

Talk about emergencies and how they’re responded to. Will your property manager be available 24 hours a day for tenant emergencies? 

Your local property manager must have a solid network of vendors and contractors. Maybe you have your own list of preferred vendors in Philadelphia. If so, share those contacts with your management company. If you don’t live here, though, you’ll likely lean on the expertise and the relationships of your property manager. You count on your property managers to put together a team of licensed and insured vendors who are responsive and affordable. Leverage those relationships from wherever you are. 

It doesn’t have to be stressful to rent out a home from afar. We help owners like you do it all the time. If you’d like to hear more about how we make it happen, please contact us at Innovate Realty. We work with investors of all experience levels in the greater Philadelphia metro area as well as surrounding suburban areas in Montgomery, Chester, Burlington, and Delaware County, to the Delaware River.