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Property Managers: What Do They Do?

Hiring a property management company takes a massive workload off your hands. In a nutshell, a property manager’s accountability spans from managing people and rental listings to paperwork and routine maintenance. But not all companies perform the same responsibilities. Some can do more, while others do less. So, it’s up to you to understand the property manager’s roles, duties, and responsibilities before you finalize one.

Duties and Responsibilities of Property Manager & Owner

Here’s a quick overview of duties and responsibilities that property managers and owners must carry out:

    1. Rental Pricing

Property management companies are primarily responsible for rental price setting, making necessary adjustments, and collecting rent.

    • Setting the rental price: The property manager’s responsibility is to set the optimal price and strategically maximize the profit for your property. They use market data, surrounding area averages, location, and the property’s amenities to decide the rent for your investment property.
    • Rental price adjustments: The real estate market is dynamic and ever-changing. Sometimes, the market sees a sudden rise or fall in demand based on specific developments in the real estate market. An experienced and qualified property manager assesses the market and adjusts the rental price accordingly to keep your property occupied and profitable.
    • Rental collection: Collecting rent is one of the key responsibilities of a property management company, and they have a uniform approach and efficient system that ensures prompt payments. As a property investor, you won’t need to agonize about collecting your monthly rental returns when you have a professional property management company on your side.
  1. Finding Tenants: Market a rental property
    There’s more to marketing a rental property than just posting an address on Craigslist. First, property managers prepare suitable advertisements and strategies to attract quality tenants. Then, they communicate, meet, welcome, and show the property to the potential tenants. This way, they help optimize the property’s earning potential and maximize the ROI.The property manager also helps revamp vacant units to make them look more appealing and rent-worthy, making it easy to fill the vacancies with the perfect tenants.
  2. Screening the tenants
    A good property manager will do a thorough screening to filter out unqualified applicants avoiding discrimination under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and without attracting lawsuits. Effective tenant screening ensures that you’ll have tenants who:

    • Pay rent on time
    • Are responsible
    • Take care of your property
    • Don’t cause problems
    • Are easy to reason with, and
    • Who stays for long

    Besides, the owner should:

    • Provide the manager direction and information as to any restrictions on pets, types of vehicles, etc. Know that the order MUST NOT include any guidance for the tenants you desire, as this is against the Fair Housing Laws.
    • Get out-of-the-way and let the manager contact you with the good news of an approved tenant. Then, trust a professional management company to finalize and approve the final applications.
  3. Managing tenants
    Another responsibility of a property management company is to manage tenants from day one until they move out. There can be multiple situations when managing a rental property like emergencies, complaints, leasing terminations, handling security deposits, and safety compliance. The toughest of all is to deal with the evictions. A well-versed property manager will overcome these challenging times, providing peace of mind to the landlord.
  4. Handling Tenant complaints & issues
    With a forecasted 12% vacancy rate of U.S. office rentals between Q4 2017 to Q2 2019 and roughly 37% of American homes occupied by rental tenants, there is a lot of room for tenant complaints to happen. Generally, tenants complain about maintenance issues, pests and vermins, lousy customer service, unreturned funds, and neighborhood conflicts. Unhappy tenants mean higher tenant turnover. To avoid this, property owners mitigate conflicts and help in building a healthy tenant-landlord relationship.
    Moreover, handling evictions and late rent payments also falls in their kitty. Late payments can lead to high delinquency rates and can potentially put your property in the red; property managers form a penalty system for late or overdue payments so that they do not become reoccurring.
  5. Rental property maintenance and repairs
    A professional property management company is responsible for overseeing your rental property and ensuring it is kept spotless and desirable. This usually entails double-checking essential parts of a property, including inspecting its smoke alarms, drainage/gutters, light bulbs, pest control, and other forms of emergency repairs. It is like owning a vehicle that requires a continual checkup and repair to make sure that it’s running smoothly. Also, a property manager must arrange for any needed repairs. For this, they have an available pool of competent handymen such as plumbers, electricians, and other home repair experts at their disposal.
  6. Supervise the rental property.
    A property management company ensures that the rental property is well-protected. Also, they hire people to avoid squatting and vandalism. For example, suppose the property has on-site employees like cleaners, security personnel, or a concierge. In that case, property managers have to supervise them and ensure that they work efficiently and as expected.
    Ensure the property is legally compliant
    The management company has to ensure that all property-related processes comply with local, state, federal, health, safety, and housing laws.
  7. Taxes, insurance, mortgage payments
    One of the most important responsibilities you have as a property owner is to make the timely mortgage, property tax, and insurance payments. A property manager can file the property taxes for you, but ultimately the responsibility lies in your hand as an owner to avoid the bucks that might stop you.
  8. Keeping efficient records
    A property manager must keep accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive records of your investment to keep track of your property’s growth and finances. This makes it easier to make critical decisions and improve the property’s features to attract more tenants. In addition, keeping a thorough record of repairs, leases, rental payments, and insurance costs is vital as it makes it easy to trace and perform accounting, especially during tax season.

Ready to hire a property manager? Before you sign the dotted line, do read our next guide, “What to Expect Before Signing the Property Management Agreement,” to ensure you’re signing something you truly agree with.

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