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Property Management Debate: DIY vs. Professional Services

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Over recent years there has been a growing trend in investors opting to self-manage their investment properties. There are said to be around 1.7 million property investors in Nigeria and of these, one in three will attempt to self-manage their property because they think it is easy to do so and cut the agents fees out of the process, saving them hundreds of dollars. 

The obvious advantage to do-it-yourself property management is it’s an easy way to save money especially when 75% of investors are using negative gearing to make their investment work. However the time, juggling of tenant demands and at times high stress involved can often significantly outweigh the cost of using a property manager. So just because you think you can do it yourself, doesn’t actually mean you can, or should.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Saving money is a tempting draw for going the DIY route. But consider the hidden costs of your time, potential legal issues, and learning curve associated with managing properties yourself.
  • Being a landlord requires significant time investment. From screening tenants and collecting rent to handling repairs and eviction notices.
  • Landlord-tenant laws can be complex. DIY landlords risk unintentional legal trouble if they’re not well-versed in regulations.
  • Professional property management companies bring expertise and experience to the table. 
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DIY vs. Property Management

Whether you own property or you’re interested in buying a property, you’ll need to consider how you want to manage it. There are two options. You can either self-manage the property and take care of all aspects of the rental process on your own, or appoint a third-party professional, or property management company, to look after the property for you. 

The question of self-management vs. property management has no right or wrong answer. It all depends on an individual investor’s circumstances and preferences. Here are the services of a property management company or a self-manager:

  • They take care of finding and placing tenants in the investment property.
  • They take care of property emergencies and repair calls from the tenants.
  • They coordinate with the handymen to get the repair fixed.
  • They carry out regular property inspections to ensure that the tenants are taking good care of their units.
  • They take action against the tenants if they aren’t paying rent or adhering to the terms and conditions of the contract.
  • They handle the eviction process if necessary.
  • They collect monthly rents and deposit them into the landlord’s account.

The decision to manage your rental properties yourself or delegate the task to a professional management company can significantly impact your investment’s success. Understanding the advantages and drawbacks of each approach is essential for maximizing efficiency, minimizing risks, and ultimately achieving your financial goals in the real estate market.

Pros and Cons of Property Management: DIY Perspective

Managing your rental properties yourself offers a sense of control and autonomy, but it comes with its own set of challenges and limitations.

Benefits of DIY Property Management

  • Cost Savings: Managing your properties yourself eliminates the need to pay management fees, allowing you to retain more of your rental income.
  • Hands-On Control: DIY landlords have full control over property operations, tenant selection, and maintenance decisions.
  • Personalized Service: Direct communication with tenants fosters stronger landlord-tenant relationships and enables prompt resolution of issues.

Drawbacks of DIY Property Management

  • Time and Commitment: Managing rental properties is time-consuming and requires constant attention to tenant needs, maintenance requests, and administrative tasks.
  • Limited Expertise: DIY landlords may lack the expertise and resources to handle complex issues such as legal disputes, property maintenance, and tenant screening effectively.
  • Scalability Challenges: As your rental property portfolio grows, managing multiple properties yourself can become overwhelming and may hinder your ability to focus on strategic growth opportunities.

Considerations for Choosing Property Management

Deciding whether to opt for professional property management services or manage your properties yourself involves evaluating various factors that impact your investment goals and personal preferences.

Property Owner’s Experience and Expertise

Consider your level of experience and expertise in property management, including your understanding of landlord-tenant laws, maintenance protocols, and tenant relations. Assess whether you have the skills and resources to effectively manage your properties or if professional assistance is warranted.

Property Location, Size, and Type

The location, size, and type of your rental properties can influence the complexity of property management tasks. Properties located in different regions, multifamily units, or commercial spaces may require specialized knowledge and resources that professional property management firms can provide.

Financial Considerations and Budget Constraints

Evaluate your financial resources and budget constraints when weighing the cost of professional property management services against potential savings and benefits. Determine the impact of management fees on your cash flow and overall profitability, ensuring that the benefits outweigh the costs.

Factors Influencing DIY Property Management

Managing rental properties yourself requires careful consideration of various factors that can impact your ability to effectively oversee property operations and tenant relations.

Time Availability and Commitment

Assess your availability and commitment to managing rental properties on a day-to-day basis. Consider the time required to address tenant inquiries, coordinate maintenance tasks, and handle administrative duties. Ensure that you have the bandwidth to dedicate sufficient time and attention to property management responsibilities.

Property Owner’s Proximity to Rental Property

Consider the proximity of your primary residence to your rental properties. Being geographically close to your properties allows for easier oversight and faster response times to tenant emergencies or maintenance issues. Evaluate whether you can effectively manage properties located farther away or if professional management services may be more practical.

Skillset and Knowledge Required 

Assess your skillset and knowledge base in key areas of property management, including tenant screening, lease negotiation, maintenance coordination, and legal compliance. Determine whether you possess the expertise to handle these tasks effectively or if additional training or resources are needed to succeed as a DIY landlord.

The Value and Cost of Property Management vs. Self-Management

One of the big deciding factors when choosing between self-management vs. a property management company is how much it will cost. If a property management company isn’t going to provide enough value for the work you have to do, then you may want to hold off on hiring one. On the other hand, if you have several properties that you aren’t able to handle on your own anymore, then a property management company might be exactly what you need.

You’ll have to look at your income from your rental properties and compare it to the fees that the property manager charges. If the amount will eat into your profits too much, then you’re going to want to hold off on hiring a property manager until it’s worth it. For some rental property owners, a property manager may be worth taking smaller profits to avoid the headache that managing your own properties can bring.

A property manager can handle rent collection, finding tenants, and ensure that maintenance issues are addressed right away. They do all of this without having to contact you. Of course, you need to understand which services the property management company provides and what your responsibilities are as the property owner. This ensures that everyone understands their obligations right from the beginning.

When weighing the value and the cost of self-management vs. property management company, make sure you think about the goals of your company. If it’s worth your savings in time to pay a property management company, do your research and find one that will help you meet your real estate investing goals.

Evaluating Property Management Companies

Choosing the right property management company requires thorough research, vetting, and consideration of various factors that impact the quality of service and partnership.

Researching and Vetting Property Management Firms

Conduct comprehensive research to identify potential property management firms in your area. Seek recommendations from local real estate associations, online reviews, and referrals from fellow landlords. Vet each firm carefully, considering factors such as experience, reputation, and track record of success.

At Propsult we offer property management service in Lagos, Nigeria, dedicated to providing exceptional service to property owners. They assist you with all aspects of managing your investment, ensuring your Lagos property runs smoothly and generates steady income.

Benefits of Using Propsult (potential benefits):

  • Peace of mind: Knowing your property is in good hands, frees you from daily management hassles.
  • Increased rental income: Effective tenant screening and rent collection can maximize your returns.
  • Reduced vacancy rates: Propsult might help find qualified tenants quickly, minimizing downtime.
  • Professional property maintenance: Regular maintenance can extend the lifespan of your property and attract quality tenants.
  • Compliance with local regulations: Propsult can ensure your property adheres to Lagos rental laws.

Considering Reputation, Experience, and Services Offered

Evaluate the reputation and experience of each property management firm, including their tenure in the industry, portfolio of managed properties, and client testimonials. Assess the range of services offered by each firm, including tenant placement, rent collection, maintenance coordination, and financial reporting.

Evaluating Costs and Fees Associated with Property Management

Request detailed information about the costs and fees associated with property management services from each firm. Inquire about management fees, leasing fees, maintenance costs, and any additional charges that may apply. Compare pricing structures and service offerings to ensure alignment with your budget and investment objectives.


Should I hire a property manager or self-manage my rental property?” This is a question that every property investor has probably found themselves asking at one time or another.

For some investors, self-management may be a good option. This is especially true if you live close to your property and have prior experience in managing and maintaining rentals. Self-management can also be a good option if you’re looking to have full control over your investment.

For others, however, hiring a property manager can be in your best interest. You may be able to save a lot of time and stress if you hire a good property manager. While professional services come at a cost, the value they offer in terms of time savings, tenant satisfaction, and peace of mind can outweigh the financial investment.


Is it better to manage my rental property myself or hire professional property management services in Nigeria?

Managing a property yourself may save money on management fees but requires hands-on involvement in tenant relations, property maintenance, and organisational tasks. On the other hand, professional property management services offer convenience, expertise, and peace of mind, as they handle all aspects of property management efficiently, ensuring optimal tenant satisfaction and property performance.

What are the benefits of hiring professional property management services in Nigeria?

Professional property management services in Nigeria offer numerous benefits, including expert knowledge of the local rental market, efficient tenant screening and selection, timely rent collection, proactive property maintenance, and effective conflict resolution. Property managers handle day-to-day operations, freeing up your time and alleviating the stress of managing tenants and property upkeep..

Can I successfully manage my rental property myself in Nigeria without professional assistance?

While it’s possible to manage your rental property yourself in Nigeria, it requires dedication, time, and expertise to handle tenant-related issues, property maintenance, and legal obligations effectively. Successful self-management entails thorough tenant screening, prompt rent collection, timely property inspections, and proactive maintenance to ensure tenant satisfaction and property preservation. 

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