How to Manage Your New York Property From Afar - Article Banner

Maybe you love the property you own in New York City, but you need to leave for a year or two and you don’t want to sell. Renting that home out is a good idea. You can earn some rental income until you’re ready to return, and you get to hold onto a valuable asset. 

Or, perhaps you’re an investor from out of state or even out of the country and you want to own an asset in New York, where you know real estate is increasingly valuable. You can do that without living here. 

Managing a New York property from afar comes with unique challenges, but it isn’t impossible. The key to a successful and stress-free experience is working with a professional New York property management company that’s experienced with out-of-state owners.

You need a reliable contact for tenants and a qualified team of professionals who stay up to date on the constantly shifting laws and requirements. When you live hundreds or thousands of miles from your investments, you’ll want to make sure you’re working with a local property manager who can help you lease, manage, and maintain those properties. 

Here’s how to do it right.

Look for a Local Expert 

New York real estate is extremely local, and the same is true for property management. Make sure you’re working with someone who is located in your neighborhood and armed with the resources, networks, and connections necessary to keep your property well-maintained and occupied. 

For example, we specialize in Manhattan, managing homes below 34th Street. We’re not your best option if you’re renting out units in Queens. Don’t hire a company that’s based elsewhere. You need to rely on local experience and leadership. It will affect how your property is priced, marketed, and leased. It will impact how maintenance is managed and condo rules are followed. 

You’ll Need an Investment in Property Management Technology

To manage your rental property from afar, you’ll need a property management partner who is willing to invest in innovative technology. You’ll want an online portal where you can follow rental income and maintenance expenses. You’ll want to review invoices and inspection reports. 

You can use your portal to communicate with your property managers. 

Good technology will keep everything transparent, which is exactly what you need when you’re so far from your property. 

Advanced technology and software allows for direct rental payments into your bank account. It invites online repair requests from tenants, which can be followed by you. It allows for fast, online leasing and document signing. It keeps you connected to your investment and it holds your property managers accountable to both you and your tenants. 

Ask about software and find out how a property manager leverages technology to improve the management experience. 

New York Rental Payments and Rent Collection 

It’s challenging to effectively collect rent on time when you’re not there in the same place as your tenants and your property. Another reason to rely on a local management company. You’ll need a rent collection policy and you’ll need to give your management company the authority to collect rent and pay you.   

All owners want to get paid on time. When you can’t be there to collect the rent payment yourself, the timing seems to take on even more urgency. You want to know that you have good tenants in place and that they can be trusted to pay on time, every month. Your property manager should enforce the rent collection policy, including any late fees. Talk to your management partners about their screening process as well. You want to know that tenants are being screened to ensure they have the resources and the motivation to pay on time. 

Late rental payments are difficult to manage and frustrating. Rent that isn’t paid at all can turn into a major problem that’s hard to manage from so far away. Avoid this with good rent collection policies.

Talk about grace periods and late fees and the steps that are taken if eviction becomes necessary. Who keeps the late fee if one is charged? Are online payments encouraged? These usually lead to more consistent payments. What happens if you do have to evict?

You can’t exactly evict a tenant when you’re managing from afar. So, you’ll need to know how your property manager handles the nonpayment of rent. Make sure you are working with a property management company that has a process in place for on-time rent collection and if necessary, eviction.

There’s collecting rent from tenants and then there’s also paying rent to you. Find out when you get paid. After the management company collects rent from your tenants, how long do you wait until those funds are deposited?

Protecting the Condition of Your New York Rental Property From Afar

You can’t see your rental property or walk by it. So, you’ll rely on your New York property managers to maintain the condition and value of your property. 

Preventative maintenance needs to be a priority. Compliance with building codes and condo requirements is also a requirement. You need to know that your property managers will respond to any repair needs and help you avoid deferred or unreported maintenance. 

You’re also thinking about costs. You might be living in a place that’s far cheaper than New York City. Everything is more expensive here, so factor that into your budget and put aside a maintenance reserve that will cover potential repairs and not leave you scrambling to pay for some unexpected repair. 

You’ll need a good network of vendors and contractors who can provide professional services that are affordable. Your property manager should provide that resource, and they should also manage to keep costs under control. 

Schedule property management inspections so you can be sure the lease is being followed, the unit is well-maintained, and your tenants are happy. It’s impossible for you to create a good tenant relationship when you’re living so far away, but your property manager should have a professional and positive approach to tenant relations.   

Even from another city, state, or country, you can work together with your management team to implement a plan for preventative maintenance. You’ll want to know your unit as well as the entire building is being well-maintained. You’ll count on your property managers to maintain a relationship with any association board members, building staff, and outside vendors.  

You need to know your property manager is available 24 hours a day for tenant emergencies. That’s something you should require as an out-of-state investor. You want to know your management partner can get there right away even when you cannot. 

Vendor relationships are so important. If you already have your own list of preferred vendors in New York, 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. Make sure all vendors and contractors are licensed and insured. You want them to offer affordable pricing. You want to know they’re professional and respectful of your tenant’s time and property. They should be as trustworthy as your property managers. 

You count on your property managers to put together a team of vendors who are responsive and affordable. Leverage those relationships from wherever you are. 

Customer Service and New York Tenants 

Finding and placing tenants is important and perhaps even more important is retaining those tenants. You can’t choose your own residents, and you probably shouldn’t. That’s why you hire an experienced management company. 

Avoiding vacancy and keeping turnover to a minimum is a huge priority for every investor. Vacant properties are not only losing money, they’re also a potential target for criminals who see an unoccupied home as an opportunity. As an out-of-state owner, you’ll need to know your rental property is maintained and protected even while it’s vacant. This might mean an additional security system, upgraded exterior lighting, and the occasional drive-by or visit from their New York property manager. Tenant retention and fast, effective leasing processes can also protect you from vacancy. 

Leave the Details to Your New York Property Managers

Property ManagementAs someone who owns property from afar, you have to practice being as hands-off as possible with your investment. 

This does not always come naturally. 

But, you can trust your property manager and their network of maintenance vendors and other professionals. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can manage from afar. You’ll need to put a friend or family member in charge of keeping an eye on your property, and that’s a lot of pressure. 

Listen to the advice that your property managers offer you. You don’t need to be involved in every minor detail. It’s easy to become emotionally involved with your investment property, even when you’re hundreds or thousands of miles away. 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. 

When you’re working with the right New York property management company, there’s not too much to worry about as an out-of-state owner. We can help you feel secure with your investment property.

If you’d like to hear more about how we can help, please contact us at Krieger Property Management. We’re a full-service property management company in lower Manhattan serving SoHo, West Village, Greenwich Village, Tribeca, and Chelsea.