What does a property manager do? Simply put, property managers provide a wide range of services to apartment owners. In general, they’ll do the following:
Control behavior of tenants. One of the most critical responsibilities of Property Managers is to control the behavior of their tenants. How? They’ll perform background checks, check references, investigate claims of discrimination, and implement disciplinary measures. They’ll also seek out security violations. By seeking out security risks and other concerns, property managers can improve the quality of the rental experience.
Maintain inventory. When leasing an apartment, you may be expected to pay your Landlord for any carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, or hardwood care you want to be performed on the property. However, when a property management company manages the unit, you won’t have to pay those fees. Instead, you’ll be responsible for maintaining the inventory of appliances, furnishings, beds, clothing, and more. Ensure to maintain the proper record keeping, and always ask for a detailed list of everything that needs to be tracked. In addition, property managers are responsible for collecting rent from tenants, providing receipts for purchases, and collecting late fees and penalties.
Communicate with tenants. Another critical responsibility of property managers is communicating with tenants. For instance, if a tenant decides not to pay their rent, property management software can communicate this to the Landlord. If a new tenant moves into an apartment, a property management software program can be used to communicate to the tenant’s phone. A message can then be sent or emailed as well as posted on the building’s door.
Enlist the help of a professional. Most rental property managers are also real estate agents. Realtors have access to much more information than property managers do and may be able to help in many ways. Realtors can locate good deals on units for rental and can help with the screening process. Property owners can obtain tax and insurance information and receive updates on tenant evictions. In short, real estate agents are invaluable to landlords, since they give landlords the advantage of knowing the finer details of rental law.
Invest in a computer. It may sound weird, but property managers often use computers daily to track income and expenses and update applications and receipts. The truth is that property managers need access to all of this information, as it relates to their business. As a real estate investment property owner, you can be up and running every day, but if you don’t know the right software, you’re like a ship without a rudder.
Work closely with your property management companies. Many property management companies offer several different rent collections services. Make sure that your Landlord can use one or more of these services effectively.
Let your tenants know what’s happening. Property management companies are experts at keeping tenants informed about what’s going on with their apartment. In fact, many property managers will actually advertise their apartments online, encouraging tenants to check in online at any time. This lets tenants know what’s going on in the building, and how to contact their landlords should problems occur.
Stay connected with your property management companies. Real estate investors often work with several property managers, all of whom are responsible for different aspects of the rental property. Therefore, it’s important to stay informed about your company’s activities. Call them regularly, or visit the office to check on the status of projects and other important decisions. When a problem occurs, it’s important to know what your Landlord is doing to resolve it.
Join a national association. A national association is similar to a local association, in that both organizations have the same basic goals. A national association also allows property managers to work across state lines, if applicable. Keep in mind, however, that real estate investment laws vary from state to state, and you’ll need to follow them closely if you want to run your business fully autonomously.
Work with says you should. Property managers who belong to business networks, trade associations, and other networking groups have more access to potential renters and clients. You may also be able to negotiate a better renter’s bond, reduce deposits, and get better terms. Property owners who belong to professional real estate associations may also benefit from reduced insurance premiums.
Work with your tenants. In order to make your rental business work, you must always be willing to work with your tenants. If you’re not willing to keep an open line of communication with your tenants, you won’t be able to maintain positive relationships and you may have problems with non-paying tenants. Be prepared to communicate with your tenants and show them respect by asking them when they have a problem that needs to be addressed, otherwise you can help them feel like they’re bothering you when they don’t pay rent.