What Does A Property Manager Do?
It’s no secret that owning rental property requires you to wear a lot of hats. Some rental property owners don’t mind the responsibility, while others would rather collect passive income every month and not get involved.
That’s where a property manager can make a significant difference. But what does a property manager do?
A professional property manager takes over the responsibility of operating a rental property. It is their job to handle any maintenance or repair issues, screen tenants, rent the property to viable candidates, collect and deposit rent payments, handle any disputes related to the property, and maintain communication with the owner regarding its status.
With a qualified property manager in place and a rental property in the right market, you can have an extremely profitable investment.
The critical point in that last statement is “a qualified property manager.” Why? Because all too often, real estate agents with little to no experience will enter the property management game, and it’s you, the owner, who suffers. If they lack knowledge and don’t have proven systems and protocols in place, that relationship will be a nightmare for you and possibly your tenants as well.
The more experienced a property manager is, the more profitable your investment property will be.
Let’s take a look at the five ways a property manager can help your investment be more successful.
Inspects the Property & Provides Full Documentation
An experienced property manager will inspect the property and offer recommendations on preparing the home for a successful rental. Not only does this help attract good tenants, but it can be invaluable to prevent future problems that can lead to costly expenses or repairs.
Part of the inspection should include a comprehensive move-In report. It will be the second most important document you have behind the lease agreement. When done correctly, it can be a key element of monitoring the home's condition over time. If a repair or security deposit charge is ever disputed, you can avoid hearsay scenarios that almost always favor the tenant.
Instead, you can have documentation that includes pictures and 3D scans of the property that provide crucial details. Whether the inspection is for a move-in, move-out, lease renewal, or routine, you have everything you need to avoid costly setbacks, primarily if a dispute arises.
Finds & Onboards Quality Tenants
A good property manager knows that marketing is key to finding the best tenant for your property. The more people you put in front of the property, the better chances of finding the right fit.
Of course, making the property look good is a given. However, you also want to eliminate any potential questions or concerns to help prospective renters choose your property above all others. That’s where marketing assets play a significant role, which means showcasing as many features of the home as possible through high-quality photos.
Screening tenants is something that is an absolutely critical function for a property manager. Most tenants will be on their best behavior when looking at a home, but it’s the property manager’s job to look past that to avoid a costly nightmare. At the least, the property manager should look at each applicants:
- Credit report
- Criminal record
- Eviction reports
- Employment or proof of income
- Rental verification from their previous residence
Once a tenant has been vetted, a property manager will also be responsible for onboarding the new tenant. That process includes performing a walk-thru of the property, reviewing the move-in report, ensuring the tenant has utilities set up, has obtained renters insurance, and, if applicable, registered their pet(s). The property manager should also provide details on how to pay rent and how to get maintenance and repair issues handled, so the tenant knows exactly what to do if an emergency occurs.
Collects Rental Income & Distribution of Funds
It may seem like rent collection would be a simple task, but much more is required of a good property manager.
Property managers are actually required to have designated accounts for the properties they manage. Not only does this help keep track of monies coming in, but it also reflects any expenses paid on behalf of the property.
The property manager should keep a ledger of every expense so that any invoices for repairs or related costs can be tracked and monitored. Having this level of detail will serve you well when it comes to filing taxes on your property.
Provides Support for Property Maintenance & Repairs
It is crucial for tenants to have access to a system for maintenance requests around the clock. That means a property manager must have something in place, especially for those situations that inevitably occur in the middle of the night.
In fact, a good property manager should have a deep knowledge and understanding of home maintenance along with a proven system to handle those types of issues while minimizing costs properly. Most problems should be easily resolvable to prevent expensive vendor trip calls that can be handled with proper education offered to the tenant over the phone.
They must also have good relationships with vetted vendors so that a trusted party can handle such problems or emergencies. That relationship should include maintenance cost savings that the property manager can pass on to the owner. It’s simply good business not to view damage or an emergency as a revenue generator.
They should also keep the owner in the loop when repairs come up and provide detailed documentation whenever requested.
Fields "Everything" & Handles Disputes
In addition to maintenance being on the list of what a property manager does, a whole variety of items also belong on that list, including dealing with tenants, such as their calls, requests, and disputes.
When a property manager handles “everything,” it can be invaluable to both the tenant and the property owner. The property owner won’t have to address those ongoing requests and can enjoy their investment hassle-free. The tenant has a way of making those requests 24/7, knowing they’ll be promptly cared for.
If the tenant requests something outside of a normal situation, the property manager should have protocols in place to navigate the next steps. There shouldn’t be a need to involve the owner while also ensuring the tenant isn’t making an unacceptable or unnecessary request.
Why Systems & Protocols Make a Difference to the Success of Your Investment
So, when you ask yourself, “what does a property manager do?” you can see that it involves many moving parts.
But how do you know that a property manager can handle everything that comes their way?
The answer is simple - by looking at the systems and protocols that they have in place.
A good property manager should have experience managing properties, and not just as a side hustle. If they’re just starting or don’t have a dedicated, experienced team, they lack the proper knowledge to handle issues promptly and efficiently. And if you’re trying to manage your property on your own, not only will that get overwhelming, but you could miss important factors that may result in significant costs.
At Ashford Realty Group, we pride ourselves on the systems and protocols we’ve developed as a property management firm to help protect the properties we manage. We check all the boxes mentioned above of being a good property management company and take that extra step to be proactive in all situations. Our expertise is at the core of helping to prevent the hassles and headaches that translate into expensive issues that should have been avoided in the first place.
Our systems and protocols give us the edge to be proactive, which helps save our clients time and money. Our extensive inspection process to our 24/7 maintenance reporting system has helped avoid potential issues that would have cost our clients thousands. And, we’ve never lost a court case due to the high level of documentation we prepare.
We know handing over your property to someone else isn’t an easy decision. But if you’d like to learn more about how we go above and beyond what most other property managers do to protect your real estate investment, take a look at the property management services Ashford Realty Group offers.
If you have questions or would like a free consultation you can schedule one there.