(Originally Posted September 14, 2015, by Chanda Gunter)
If you have owned investment property for any length of time, you know that owning a rental can be financially rewarding. You have also discovered that property management requires a large commitment and the care and maintenance is time-consuming. Hiring a dependable property manager can help 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 the day-to-day hassles and headaches of dealing with tenants, keeping up on regulations, and handling all of the details. Whether you own one rental property or twenty properties, having the peace of mind and knowing that everything is taken care of is just one reason why you chose to hire a professional property manager—but you still want to keep informed about what is going on, right?A good property manager communicates with the property owner to let them know about rent collection, repairs and maintenance, update them during the leasing process, and anything else that would be important for the property owner to know about.So you may be asking yourself, what does a property manager do for you?
1. Sets the Right Rental Rates
While browsing online to see what other landlords are charging for similar properties is an okay way to ballpark your rent, a good property management company will conduct a thorough market study. A rental property priced too high may sit vacant, while a rental property priced too low may result in tenants that are not flexible to rental market increases. 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. Markets 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 candidates in a shorter period of time. Due to their volume, they can negotiate cheaper advertising rates both online and offline, and typically can have your ad up within hours to hundreds of outlets.
3. Finds High-Quality Tenants
Professional property managers are experts at finding good tenants. The property manager can take care of all the details, including running all criminal background and credit checks, verifying employment, and collecting 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 perhaps the most significant benefit a property management company will provide.
4. Collects and Deposits Monthly 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, evict the person living in your property.
5. Manages Maintenance and Repairs
Good maintenance and repairs keep tenants happy and safeguard your investment. Property managers have relationships with maintenance staff, contractors, suppliers, and vendors that is almost impossible for any homeowner to have. They handle situations daily and have the benefit of all that volume to get the best contractors and be first in line. 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 by not having to deal with middle of the night emergencies.
6. Knows 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 laws cover a number of areas including:
- Tenant screening
- Safety and property conditions of the property
- Terminating leases
- Handling security deposits
- Rent collection
7. Best Tenant Retention Practices
While it’s easy to see the effects of lost rent, there are other equally serious problems with a high tenant turnover rate. The turnover process involves deep cleaning, changing locks, painting walls and small repairs. In addition, all the effort associated with marketing, showing, screening, and settling 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 at your property.
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 your property’s monthly rental rate in exchange for their services. The rate typically runs anywhere from 7-10%, which is generally less than the money you save by hiring a professional to take care of your property.
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 updates with you, they make it easy for you to find the information you are looking for.
Because communication with your property management company is so crucial to the property owner-property manager relationship, our Real Property Management offices have made it a priority with our clients for almost 30 years to keep the lines of communication open with three simple steps:
First, our online portal. The online owner portal, located on the Real Property Management website, is where our clients can review every detail about what is happening with their property, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from anywhere in the world. Clients can view their financial statements, see when rents are collected and disbursements are made, check tenant rental payment history, review work orders, and even see property photos from the last inspection. Our clients love their online owner portal because it makes life as a landlord so much easier.
With all that information at their fingertips, Real Property Management clients still know that they can count on a friendly answer to their call, day or night. Our 24-hour hotline ensures that not only tenant emergencies are addressed—but urgent owner concerns as well. Even after hours, your friendly and highly trained team is always ready to serve.
When a client’s property is in the leasing process, they can expect weekly updates from their leasing agent on showings and applications. We also are available to discuss preparation of the property, offer recommendations on rent rates and review leasing strategies.
And remember, communication goes both ways: Immediate attention to some maintenance items is required by law, so it’s critical that your property manager has the best phone number and email to reach you in an emergency.
Constant communication, professionalism, knowledge, and experience—it’s what you can expect from Real Property Management. Put our experienced team and proven process to work for you. For more information contact us online or call us at 352-854-2221.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.