At some stage in your Real Estate Investing career it will come to a point when you can no longer effectively manage your properties on your own. Even the most experienced of professional property managers begin to have spinning plates fall approaching 20 or more homes. It’s a lot of work as most competing property managersinvestors ultimately discover. On the other hand, perhaps you never intend to handle daily management and decided to let someone else take over the monthly tasks of collecting rents, showing homes and signing lease agreements.

There’s no shortage of property managers in town and it’s likely the real estate brokerage you may have used has a property manager on staff. But with so many choices, it’s probably a good bet to pick out a property manager that owns rental units as well. After all, great minds think alike and they know what to expect, right?

Of course experience brings tremendous value to any profession. You wouldn’t want to handle the management of your multiple properties to a rookie. Experienced property managers know how to screen tenants, when to make repairs and when something can be put off for a few days. Collecting rent is a requirement when tenants fail to pay on time and sometimes even the most qualified of tenants can find themselves in situations that keep them from paying this month’s rent on time. But beyond the experience part, does that manager take care of properties he or she owns?

Why would that matter? Think of someone who has 20 properties on contract and five of them are manager-owned, the rest for other investors. Now you add five of your own units to the mix for a total of 25. A lot mind you but not too many for an experienced property manager. Now, imagine that a unit he owns called in an emergency repair at the very same time one of yours called one in. Most managers would do the right thing and take care of the client’s property first. But again, the initial reaction might be to take care of one’s own first and deal with the rest later. There’s no way to tell what will happen until it does but the possibility is always there when a manager you hire wears two hats. Yours…and his.