No property manager can execute perfectly but the "right" property manager knows how to keep properties functioning and making money 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
What sets these property managers apart?
The most important thing the "right" property manager can do for you is to keep your property rented.
Property managers need to make it easy for a potential tenant to rent a property:
- Clear and easy web access is critical
- Online applications make it easy to apply
- Ease of access to a rental unit and meeting with an on-site manager who wants you as a tenant and welcomes you to the property
- Signage at the property that makes it easy to find the onsite manager
- Onsite flyer boxes with current rental information
Does the property look good?
- Tenants and owners both judge a book by its cover. The potential tenant will drive on by if:
- The property does not look clean and picked up
- The property looks work out and needs touch up paint
- The asphalt looks old and the parking lot is not seal coated
- The landscaping is tired, overgrown or packed with litter
- The decks are cluttered
- The rental units are not cleaned, smell great and are not rent ready
- The manager is not available
Great property managers recognize this and encourage their owners to spend money to keep a property looking as new as possible so that it attracts a better grade of tenant.
Behind the scenes
Like a movie director, a property manager has to direct many pieces of the puzzle to get a property to operate properly.
- Rent Roll
- Balance sheet
- Profit and loss reporting
- Aged receivable reporting
- Clear monthly property summaries
This helps them track the progress of their property.
Property managers should:
- Have excellent, reliable vendors who are licensed and bonded
- Make sure invoices are clearly marked by unit
- Spot check property inspections to prove that the work has been completed as invoiced
- Vendor policies in place that protect clients, properties and the property manager
- Make sure vendors get paid on time. Vendors that are not paid on time don’t have the financial resources to do the job right the next time.
Excellent property managers:
- Customer service
- Landlord-Tenant laws
- Federal laws
- Maintenance terminology
- Emergency response
The "right" property manager focuses on:
- Using an annual management plan
- Developing an annual budget and managing to that budget
- Using experience to help set a property into the marketplace so it can compete for new tenants, increase value through careful expenditures, thoughtful and well-planned property upgrades and rental increases.
- Use of computer
All of these items build the basis for consistency and thoughtfulness of the property management process. But all this cannot be done by one person. It takes the right property management company, with the right infrastructure, vision and the right team.
Coordinating these items, with the client’s priorities in mind is what makes for an exemplary property manager and property management company. As property owners search through the market place to establish which property manager they want to hire, they can use this summary as a check list to establish a short list of companies that meet their needs. Good research should lead to good results.
Does that mean you will be hiring the least expensive property manager in the market place? Probably not.
To maintain all of the above policies and procedures takes time, staff, experience and money. A low cost provider will have a hard time delivering these items on a consistent basis. Rest assured though that the market place will deliver competitively priced property managers to you, who do a consistently excellent job. It is these property managers who will be consistently focused on increasing the value of your property.