Successful real estate investors know that it’s not just the “fix and flip” model that makes financial sense. Buying a distressed property from a homeowner who is near foreclosure or buying units from a bank’s REO department is a tried and true method for success. Find a property, save the ownerhire a property manager from foreclosure, fix up the place then sell or rent the property.

That’s how it works and there is little need to change the process. Different investors can have different ways to find such properties but in the end the result is the same. Flip or rent. But it doesn’t always have to be an existing property with an owner in foreclosure. Sometimes a home can be built from the ground up—a “build and flip” transaction.

However, if the property is held for long term another dynamic comes into play. When a real estate investor finds initial success in the field, then you can bet that investor is already out looking for the next transaction. That’s why it’s not uncommon for an investor to have 10 or even 20 properties in a portfolio. But those properties must be maintained. Tenants must be cared for and rent collected. That’s an issue real estate investors who hold properties for the long term soon face. And that means it’s time for a property manager.

Property managers take care of the mundane details of owning real estate as in investment from collecting the monthly rents to answering middle-of-the-night emergency repairs. You, the investor might be able to properly manage one or two units but when the volume starts to eat away at your time spent searching for and evaluating potential deals, it’s time to hand over the reins to someone else. You don’t make money managing your own properties, you make money finding and closing on successful opportunities. Whether it’s existing homes or building from the ground up, if you’re keeping these homes for the long haul, begin your search for a property manager.