Even though you own a rental or second property, you might not be familiar with the responsibilities of a management company. But hiring a property manager can be beneficial to you, and make your life as an owner and a landlord so much simpler — and stress-free.
Of course, you’ll have to choose the right person to lead the way and take care of your home(s). Here’s what to expect from your property manager, from start to finish:
First, Understand Their Responsibilities
A property manager’s job will vary from company to company, so always get a rundown of what a candidate offers before hiring them for the position. In general, though, every property manager’s responsibilities tend to cover any issues that may arise on your end, as well as problems your tenants report, too.
As such, they’ll likely be in charge of bringing in maintenance professionals to keep the house in working order. They will advertise, screen and create the legal paperwork should you need new people to move into it. Property managers will collect rent and provide to you a monthly statement and your funds. If anything goes wrong, they’ll report to you in a timely fashion.
You can choose optional, additional services, too. For example, some property managers offer help with remodeling, evictions services, or extra property walk throughs for peace of mind.
Then, Make Their Communication Style Mesh With Yours
Although most property managers perform the same duties, they won’t all come with the same personality. Make a point to discuss your communication style with candidates, so they can tell you if their style of business mesh with yours.
Perhaps you prefer to keep contact at a minimum — no news is good news, after all. In that case, tell your property manager that they don’t have to reach out until they need your input or your funds. On the other hand, this style might not suit some property owners out there. If so, make sure you’re open with your expectations, and find a property manager that you feel you can work with.
Don’t forget to make your chosen methods of communication clear, too. Again, the way you do it is up to you — figure out if you want a check-in text, phone call or email, and make sure your property manager is in agreement.
Keep in mind your property manager is interviewing you as much as you’re are interviewing them. They have to follow very strict Fair Housing Laws and you want a property manager willing to educate you on how best to manage your rental.
Come Up With a Financial System Next
Your property manager will be in charge of collecting your rent money, and this cash flow will be vital to your bottomline. You can use profits to renovate your properties and bring in even more money, after all. So, consider this step crucial for the success of your life as a landlord.
Some management companies will want their payment based on the amount of work they do. That’s why many property managers are paid a percentage of the fees they collect. That percentage could be higher or lower depending on the type of property, the age of the property, the number of tenants, etc.
Understand Their Responsibilities
This step is crucial to the health of your property business, as a manager’s misstep can lead to legal action against both of you. As the property owner, you’re responsible for your property manager’s actions.
A property management contract outlines clearly what the property manager will do and what the property owner is responsible for as well. In many states property managers don’t have to be licensed real estate professionals. If this is the case in your state make sure you understand the contract. In states where the property manager must be licensed they have a fiduciary responsibility to care for your property and make decisions in your best interest.
Let Them Start
Once all of the paperwork is out of the way, you can give your property manager the keys to your kingdom. They’ll probably start the job by performing a detailed walk-through. They’ll take pictures of the property and report any damage and potential costs to repair. The property manager’s records will ensure tenants pay for any damage they cause during their lease.
Your property manager should have an on-boarding processes for when tenants are already in place so as to get the relationship off to a good start. This might just be the most critical step of all, since a good relationship between your manager and your tenants will save you so much grief as a landlord. Your property manager’s professionalism and systems will make the property’s processes go smoothly, meaning you get your payments on time. In other words, everyone will be happy, and you’ll have little to worry about with the property manager at the helm.
And that’s precisely why you’re hiring this person in the first place — to make your life easier and your property even more profitable. So, seek out the right candidate for the role knowing what to expect from each other and keep communication open. Together, you can make your rental homes or businesses even better.
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Ruffled, and more!