I think so.
It’s no secret that I am a fan of turnkey rental properties myself, as the large majority of my properties were bought turnkey, but I do still strongly believe that turnkeys can be a great entry for new investors.
I’m going to tell you why.
But first, I am also going to tell you that I don’t think turnkeys are for everyone. Quite frankly, I think that if you have the skills and interest to take on distressed properties yourself and you are local enough to good ones to do so, you should do that. However, not everyone has those skills or interest (including me). For more information to help you decide if turnkeys are right for you or not, check out “The One Piece of Advice You NEED to Read Before Buying a Turnkey Property.”
Now that you’ve decided turnkeys might be the right route for you (because if they weren’t, I assume you wouldn’t still be reading), why might they be good for you if you are a new investor?
Turnkeys let you learn the fundamentals of rental property investing without the pressure of figuring out the more complicated, riskier aspects of rental property investing.
The Tasks Turnkeys Eliminate for Investors
What does that mean?
Well, think about it. Let’s say you want to find a distressed property and rehab it and then rent it out. This is an extremely common strategy because it allows you to value-add and have quickly added equity in the property, which is essentially cash in your pocket. Makes sense to me! But what things do you need to master in order to do this kind of investment successfully?
- Market and neighborhood expertise
- Ability to identify what makes a property a good candidate for succeeding with this method
- The skill of finding these properties—knowing where to find them, how to find them, or how to find motivated sellers who might be willing to sell them
- Due diligence
- Funding rehabs
- Finding quality tenants
- Managing tenants
I’m not sure about you, but to me, this is no small list of potatoes. Do you know how to do all of these things, if you are pondering rehabbing or the BRRRR method for buying rental properties? And I don’t mean the basic gist of each; I mean getting a handle on the ins and outs of exactly how to do each one and how to do it well and mitigate risk in each.
If you are missing the boat on even half of one of these tasks, you could sink your investment.
I think if you have the skills for all of this, like I said, you should absolutely go for it. But as a new investor, do you have these skills? Again, they are no small potatoes.
Which of these skills do turnkeys eliminate for you?
Market and neighborhood expertise Ability to identify what makes a property a good candidate for succeeding with this method The skill of finding these properties—knowing where to find them, how to find them, or how to find motivated sellers who might be willing to sell them
- Due diligence
Funding rehabs Rehabbing Finding quality tenants Managing tenants
Can you even see in there what is left over for you to need expertise in after turnkeys help out with the majority of stuff? Numbers and due diligence.
For a list of 10 to get shrunk down to a list of two—that’s pretty serious. And on top of that, those eight things that turnkeys eliminate for you are much more complicated to learn and have expertise in than numbers and due diligence.
Numbers are pretty easy to learn. And once you’ve learned them, you can whip them up pretty quickly on any property you look at. For help on learning the numbers on rental properties, check out “Rental Property Numbers So Easy You Can Calculate Them on a Napkin.”
Due diligence in more thorough, and this is where you are going to learn a lot as a new rental property investor. You are going to verify market fundamentals (note: here you only have to learn how to verify if a market is good, whereas the initial list of DIY tasks requires you to do much more than just verify), run and verify numbers, verify rentability and advertised quality of the investment, follow along with property inspections to verify the quality of the rehab, verify the tenants, and verify the quality of the property management set up to manage the property for you.
Learning the Investing Process With Turnkey Rentals
Do you see a common word in that list? Verify. That is the most of what you are doing with turnkeys.
Learning what things you need to verify and then verifying them, will teach you the most basic (and crucial) fundamentals there are for rental properties.
Verifying all of the things involved with the property is very different than having to do all of those things yourself. You will learn what needs to be done for each component (which can be used later if you decide to DIY), and all the while, the turnkey seller is holding the risk—not you. If you do everything yourself, you are the one whose money is in the pot while you are trying to figure everything out and hope you get it right. With the turnkeys, you don’t have any money in the pot until you confirm everything is up to snuff. That difference in risk-holding is huge!
For help on doing due diligence on turnkeys, check out these three articles:
- The 3 Most Important Due Diligence Items When Buying Turnkey Rental Properties
- 4 Steps to Ensure You’re NOT Getting Duped by a Turnkey Provider
- The One Piece of Advice You NEED to Read Before Buying a Turnkey Property
Now, you do have to add a task to this list of items that you may not have needed on do-it-yourself (DIY) properties: managing the property manager. This is very different than managing tenants or the property. It’s a completely different set of skills.
Without going into the nitty gritty about property managers, oftentimes they may not be great, and therefore you need to understand how to manage them. In one of the articles I already gave you, it talks a lot about dealing with the property management side of turnkeys. For help with dealing with property managers in general, check out “Surviving the Hell We Call Property Management.”
So officially, you only need to understand (very thoroughly) numbers, due diligence, and management of managers in order to be successful with turnkeys. Significantly smaller list than the DIY list, no?
So back to the verdict about whether turnkeys are a good idea for new investors or not. Are they? Well, first ensure that turnkeys fit your goals and interests at all. Then, if they do, then I think yes, they can be great for new investors—