Property Management is the direct supervision of residential, non-residential, or commercial real estate by a qualified third-party property manager. In most cases, property owners retain property managers to oversee the ongoing maintenance, safety, and upkeep of assets. However, there are some instances when an owner may choose to outsource management duties. Whether it’s to free up valuable time for work or leisure or prevent further stress and expense, hiring a professional manager can be an ideal decision.
As a general rule, real estate managers are responsible for the day-to-day upkeep, security, maintenance, and repair of residential properties. They may also oversee the hiring and management of pets and cleaning the property and grounds. For properties that include pools, hot tubs, spas, or similar amenities, residential managers are also responsible for cleaning and repairing these items. They may be employed by the National Apartment Association (NAA), which represents most property owners nationwide. The NAA offers a variety of services to its members, including property maintenance.
If you are considering retaining the services of a property manager for your real estate investments, then it’s important to evaluate your needs before making a final selection. For example, consider whether or not your properties need routine maintenance and repairs, or if they are relatively low-maintenance and require only a little attention on a weekly basis. Nontraditional property owners and inexperienced owners may be better suited by hiring a full-service landlord, who can manage both aspects of the property simultaneously. Keep in mind that successful property management professionals will be able to provide a wide range of services to their clients, and will have expert knowledge about the various aspects of property maintenance and managing individual properties.
One major benefit of hiring a professional property manager is the company’s ability to coordinate all facets of property management. This means that your landlords’ property management duties are divided between them, rather than you taking on the responsibility of overseeing all aspects of them individually. Property managers can keep track of multiple rental properties at one time, while also making sure that all deadlines are met. Additionally, some property managers can provide on-site assistance with tasks that are out of your league (such as preparing daily schedules). Landlords who employ a property manager will be spared from this hassle, saving them time and unnecessary stress.
When comparing different property management companies, ask about their track record. Property owners should always take the time to research the background and history of the firm, as well as their reputation in the industry. There are many reputable real estate management firms, but unfortunately not all of them are as good as they claim to be. Ask tenants if they have ever had any complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau. The fact is, even with one or more incidences of complaint, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the property management firm is at fault, just that they were caught by the agency and it didn’t turn out to be an issue.
When interviewing prospective management companies, ask for written rental agreements. Most contract provisions will outline the responsibilities of each party, such as the amount of notice required, whether or not repairs will be covered (including replacing carpets and other damages), what happens if a tenant decides to break the lease (or a specified number of days is up) and so forth. Be sure that any contracts that the property management business prepares and signs conform to all local ordinances. In addition, you need to ensure that there are no legal penalties associated with breaking the contract, such as fees for late payments.
Property owners can also benefit from having a property manager on their side. Instead of having to hire and train new staff members, which can be costly, the fee-based service of a manager will take care of that issue. Property maintenance and cleaning are another responsibility that a manager will take on. These services are provided on a scheduled basis, which means that you won’t have to worry about when the doors will be open or closed. If you own multiple rental properties, you will save money and time by having your facilities manager to oversee this part of the operations.
If you want to know more about hiring property managers, contact your local real estate agents, architectural firms, architects, construction companies, leasing agents, property management associations, and others. You might also want to research the National Apartment Association website. On the website, you will find information about designations, how to apply for designations, the requirements for designations, and how the designations are reviewed. If you are interested in learning more about your community’s real estate market, you might want to visit the website for the Apartment Owners’ Association of San Diego.