What Exactly Does a Property Manager Do and How Can They Help Me?
Anyone that has owned investment property for any length of time, you know that it can be financial rewarding. Most likely, you have also discovered that property management requires a large time commitment for the month to month operation, marketing, showings and maintenance. Hiring a reliable professional property manager can take the burden of management away.
When you decide to entrust the management of your rental property to a professional property manager, you become free from handling all of the time consuming and frustrating details. Whether you own one rental property or many, having the peace of mind and knowing that everything is being done to maximize your properties value and income is just one of the reasons you may choose to hire a professional property manager.
A professional property manager is in constant communication with the property owner to let them know about rent collection, repairs and maintenance, leasing, and any other information that would be important for the property owner to be aware of.
So what exactly does a property manager do?
1. Sets the right rental rate: A professional property management company will conduct a thorough market study and propose a rental price that is best suited for the property. A rental property priced too high will sit vacant, while a rental property priced too low may rent quickly, however it is not in the best interest of the property or the owner. A good property manager can help you set the right rental rate that helps balance maximum monthly income while maintaining a low vacancy rate.
2. Marketing your property: An experienced property management company has written hundreds of ads and understands what to say and where to advertise in order to get more qualified candidates in a shorter period of time. Typically, they can have your ad up within hours to hundreds of outlets for maximum exposure.
3. Finding high quality tenants:Professional property managers are experts at finding good tenants. The property manager can take care of all the details, including all criminal background and credit checks, verifying employment, and calling references. An experienced property management company has seen thousands of applications and knows how to quickly dig for the pertinent facts about candidates and analyze that information for warning signs. By allowing a management company to handle the screening, you can also protect yourself from discrimination lawsuits resulting from varying screening processes. Screening is an invaluable benefit a property management company will provide.
4. Collects rent payments on time: Collecting rent on time every month is the only way to maintain steady cash-flow, and tenants need to understand this is not negotiable. By hiring a property manager, you put a cushion between yourself and the tenant. The property manager can be the bad guy who has to listen to excuses, chase down rent, and when necessary perform evictions.
5.Coordinates maintenance and repairs: Regular maintenance, 24/7 emergency service and routine repairs keep tenants happy and safeguards your investment. Property managers have relationships with contractors, suppliers, and other vendors that is almost impossible for any homeowner to have. Since they handle situations daily and have the benefit of steady work, property management companies get the best contractors. This way, property managers get the repair completed, ensure the job is done right and can get you the best price. All this means less stress for you, and no “middle of the night” phone calls.
6. Knowing the housing and tenant laws: A good property manager knows the latest landlord-tenant laws and ensures that you are not leaving yourself vulnerable to a lawsuit. Avoiding a single lawsuit can more than pay for the property management fee. Each state has their own tenant-landlord laws, these plus federal law cover a number of areas including:
- Tenant screening
- Safety and property conditions of the property
- Terminating leases
- Security deposits
- Rent collection
7. Best tenant retention: While it’s easy to see the effects of lost rent, there are other equally serious expenses associated with a high tenant turnover rate. The turnover process includes deep cleaning, changing locks, painting walls and small repairs. In addition, all the effort associated with marketing, showing, screening, and moving in a new tenant. This is a time-consuming and expensive process that can often be avoided by keeping tenants happy. A good property management company will have proven tenant retention policies that ensure satisfied tenants that will stay longer.
8. Maximizes your time and money: Time is money, and for many investors, their time can be more profitably spent in areas other than managing their properties. Most property managers charge a percentage of the property’s monthly rental rate in exchange for their services. The rate typically runs anywhere from 7-10%, which in the long run usually pays for itself.
9. Communication: The whole point of hiring a professional property management company is so they can handle the hard stuff, but you as the property owner still want to be kept informed of what is going on with your rental property. A good property management company will not only communicate any issues or needed with you, they make it easy for you to find the information you are looking for.
The first step is to find a local property manager and set up a free property consultation and review. Then you can decide if a professional property manager is right for you.
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