When you own a rental unit, you either run the business on your own or hire a third party to do so. This third party is known as a property management company. Hiring a property management company comes with its pros and cons, but in general, the benefits are higher than the drawbacks.
As a self-managing landlord, you can run the risk of burnout. However, a property management company is equipped with professional and skilled staff who can operate a rental far more efficiently than a one-man act.
Even if there's an upfront cost to hiring a management team, you're simply optimizing your time and drastically reducing your stress!
What is Property Management?
Property management companies offer services that help manage a client's rental property. Property managers are responsible for marketing the unit, handling tenant concerns and requests and making sure the rental property earns returns.
Property management encompasses many aspects, such as taking care of a property and the tenants, as well as ensuring the property owners' goals are met.
Here are some other duties of a property management company:
- Overseeing the maintenance of the property
- Screening tenants
- Collecting the rent
- Attending to the tenant move in and tenant move out
- Conducting rental home inspections regularly
When Do You Need a Property Manager?
As a property owner, it's your decision if you'd like to hire a property manager.
In many cases, working with a property management firm can be extremely beneficial.
Here are some of those situations:
- You live far away from your real estate investment. A nearby property manager can take care of your rental space.
- You have a demanding career and want to maximize your time spent with your family, so you have little time to manage your units.
- You want to focus more on finding opportunities to expand your portfolio rather than managing properties.
- You own several rental properties and splitting your time managing them is causing you stress.
What Are the Tasks of a Property Manager?
1. Setting the Rent
Property managers can set the perfect rental price by analyzing similar properties around your neighborhood. They'll make sure to factor the current market trends, the housing demand and the features of your rental property.
They make sure that the set rent is reasonable. If rent is too high, the property might not attract high quality tenants. If rent is too low, it might not earn optimal profit.
So, property managers will use a reliable system to set the perfect rent amount for your rental space.
2. Collecting the Rent
Property managers ensure you earn rental income by using an effective system for rent payment. They carefully outline the due dates, enforce rent collection policies and send notices in case a tenant delays or fails to pay the monthly dues.
They also take care of charging and collecting late fees if those are part of the agreement.
In general, they make sure that the conditions set in the leasing agreement are strictly followed.
3. Maintaining and Repairing the Property
Rental properties require regular checking and property managers make sure everything runs smoothly.
Here are some of the things they'll do as part of preventative maintenance:
- Regularly check the plumbing and electrical systems
- Ensure the lawn is maintained
- Verify the HVAC systems
- Contact contractors to conduct any minor repairs
- Make sure the living space is clean and habitable
- Ensure the premises is safe
In addition, in case of emergencies, property managers are responsible for resolving the situation with urgency.
4. Screening the Tenants
Property managers are also in charge of accepting rent applications and verifying the data provided by prospective tenants.
In doing so, property managers make sure your rental is filled with high quality renters.
While performing the task of tenant screening, the property managers also keep the Fair Housing Act in mind to avoid potential complaints. Every applicant will be treated fairly and given the same set of requirements.
5. Advertising the Property
When the tenant moves out and the rental space becomes vacant, the property manager is responsible for finding a new occupant as quickly as possible.
Property managers use several methods to attract tenants. Here are a few:
- Creating a property listing
- Conducting property showings
- Staging the rental home
- Preparing the rental unit to be "Rent Ready"
- Using their extensive network resources
6. Keeping Financial Records
To know how profitable your rental business is, financial recordkeeping must be conducted properly. Property managers are able to record all the maintenance expenses, keep the receipts, record utility and insurance costs and organize financial statements for your easy review.
The only way for you to know how your rental is performing is to obtain a neat record of your finances. Property managers provide records and some even conduct additional bookkeeping and help file your rental property taxes.
These are just some of the tasks a property manager will do for you! Working with a property management company means you can minimize your stress and increase your ROI.
At Windermere Property Management, our property managers are experienced and trusted. We can offer you services that'll take your rental business to the next level.
If you'd like to work with us, or learn more about how we can help you succeed, contact us today.