When location, location, location is your top priority, then hiring a professional property manager should be the follow-up to that, combined, they are the drive to your investment results. Property managers are specialists who operate commercial multifamily properties. You would have to entrust them with the daily duties that go with managing your asset, such as screening tenants, collecting rent, managing budgets, and overseeing maintenance.
So, how do you pick the right property manager for yourself? Consider asking the basics, such as how many units do you manage overall? How about this market? Do you own properties in the same market? What professional software do you use to manage properties?
Responsibilities of a Property Manager
The property manager is a third party hired by a landlord or property investor. Their duties vary according to what property they manage, the amount they are paid, and other terms of the management contract that outlines their day-to-day operations of a rental property.
Some of the most common tasks that a property manager is responsible for include:
1. Rent Responsibilities
Setting Rent: The right rent level attracts the right kind of tenants to your property. A property manager should understand and plan around the market where the property is located and would be able to do their research and compare properties in the area that might create competition for you.
Collecting Rent: Optimal cash flow usually depends on the right date per month when rent would be collected. This depends not only on the kind of income by the tenant, but also the date when they get paid, and the strict late fees that the property manager must enforce.
Adjusting Rent: Property managers can increase or decrease the rent according to a fixed percentage each year. This depends on the individual state and/or municipal laws of where the property is located.
2. Tenant Responsibilities
Finding Tenants: One of the primary responsibilities of a property manager is to fill in vacancies. This relies mostly on knowing where to advertise and how to market to attract the ideal tenant for the property you own and may include makeover advice that would make the property more appealing to the potential tenants.
Screening Tenants: There must be a consistent screening process that requires running background checks and criminal background checks to ensure that your potential tenants can afford to pay rent and occupy the space available for extended periods.
Handling Leases: Each lease is different and unique according to specific situations and tenants. As such, property managers need to be especially vigilant to ensure that all the necessary clauses are included in the lease to protect the owner and lessen cause for liabilities. The lease also determines the security deposit that would need to be paid.
Handling Complaints/Emergencies: Emergencies and complaints are unforeseeable circumstances, but it’s always best to have a property manager and the staff handle 3:00 AM calls.
Handling Move Outs: Usually when tenants move out, the property manager needs to inspect the unit to ensure that no additional damages were done to determine how much of the security deposit would have to be returned. They are also responsible for cleaning the property and preparing it for future tenants.
Dealing with Evictions: Tenants may, on occasion, break their lease and not pay rent on time. In these situations, it’s best to have the property manager handle the situation and compromise in a proper way to file paperwork and proceed with evictions or extend the rent due date.
3. Maintenance and Repairs
Property Maintenance: To ensure that the property is up to date with the latest licenses and securities, property managers need to keep the property functioning with annual or even monthly inspections and repairs such as checking for leaks, renovations, removing trash, or maintaining the landscape to ensure the aesthetic appeal.
Repairs: Much like complaints and emergencies, repairs would usually be required in spaces that are occupied for extended periods. A faulty electric cord or a clogged toilet are just some of the most common issues that require a reliable network of various contractors.
4. Knowledge of Landlord-Tenant Law
Landlord-tenant laws change with the times, states, and individual property locations. In-depth knowledge or statewide and national laws are crucial to ensuring that all parties involved with the property are treated fairly and abide by legal regulations, such as:
- Terminating leases
- Evicting tenants
- Handling security deposits
- Methods on how to screen tenants
- Complying with property safety standards
5. Supervising Responsibilities
Other Employees: Depending on how large the property is, there may be other employees involved who are hired by the property manager to ensure that the rent that tenants pay befit the environment they live in, such as security personnel. Property managers are also responsible for how much these additional employees make and when they work.
Vacant Properties: In some cases, a property you own may be vacant. Property managers can look after those properties by performing routine maintenance or ensuring that they are not vandalized.
6. Responsible for Managing the Budget and Maintaining Records
Managing Budget: There is a set budget that property managers need to operate with. As such, it is essential to use the budget accordingly to apply it to specific tasks such as repairs or preventative maintenance or emergencies.
Maintaining Records: Rent, complaints, leases, inspections, and the cost of repairs must be recorded by the property manager for tax filings and future references. These records act as a guide to compare rates, networks, and pricing to maintain the value of the property.
7. Responsible for Taxes
Since the property manager handles all issues surrounding the owner’s asset, the property manager is responsible for assisting the owner with filing taxes for the investment property. Hence, the record-keeping from earlier.
This article’s intention is not meant to stand as an all-inclusive list of property management services, but it does provide a fair idea of a property manager’s activities for you to be aware of when choosing the right one. Your choice of location and property manager make all the difference, so choose wisely on who might make or break your business.