Owning rental property is a great way to augment--and even replace--your existing income. With good tenants, you can literally make money while you sleep. However, one of the downsides of being an landlord is the time it takes to market your property, check references on prospective tenants and keep the building and unit well maintained. That's where a good property management company can help. However, saving you time is just one of several good reasons to hire such a firm to help you with your rental properties.

Why It Makes Sense to Hire a Property Management Company

1. Saves time. As we mentioned above, a property management company can save you a lot of time, leaving you to concentrate on your family, other job or civic responsibilities. Having a property management firm on your team also keeps you from being awakened in the middle of the night when a tenant's toilet is overflowing or the furnace isn't working. Since "time is money," as the old adage says, you'll also be able to work more efficiently and, thus, save money too.

2. Enhances your reputation with prospective tenants. People looking to rent a good apartment may not be familiar with your name, especially if you only own one or two buildings. However, a good property management firm will be recognized by prospective tenants and can even draw people that may not have been interested before to look at your building.

3. Allows you to offer better customer service. Even the most dedicated landlord can't be everywhere at the same time. Having a property management firm field maintenance and marketing calls allows you to show a unit and fix a sink all at the same time. Plus, many property management firms offer amenities like online payment portals that make it easy for your tenants to pay their rent.

4. Keeps you legal. A good property management firm can keep you from inadvertently breaking local leasing and discrimination laws. Having such a company screen and vet your tenants also adds a professional layer between tenant and owner that helps prevent any dispute from becoming personal.

While hiring a property management company isn't the right choice for every property owner, hiring such a firm can help you save time, give you a better reputation with prospective tenants, help keep you legal and even allow you to offer better customer service to your tenants. Be sure to look into local options as well; for instance, if you live in Vancouver, you may want to consider property managers in Richmond, among other areas.