What a Good Property Manager Should Do for You
Renters Warehouse Blog
Most landlords believe that you bring in a property manager when things get tough; when you've reached the end of your rope as a landlord and need to take some much-needed time off.
But what many people don't realize -is that a good property manager has so much more to offer.
In addition to handling all of the stressful situations and day-to-day hassles that are involved with managing a rental, a reputable property manager can also help you to get the most out of your investment. A reputable property manager will have years of experience in rental management -and will be able to apply their expertise to your property to make your Rent Estate(tm) investment as profitable as possible.
Whether you're a landlord who's looking to offload some of the work that's involved with owning a property or an experienced investor who's interested in adding more rental properties to your portfolio, a professional property manager can help.
Here's how a property manager can ease the burden of rental management, and help your investment to perform at its best.
Handle Maintenance and Repairs
Being on-call around the clock comes with the territory for landlords. When things go wrong, landlords are expected to address the problems in a timely manner. For many landlords, their solution to handling maintenance requests is being handy with DIY projects -and having access to a wide variety of service providers that they trust. If you live a considerable distance from your rental, though, or if you'd rather spend your weekends doing things other than repairing leaky faucets, you could enlist the services of a property management company to save yourself from the hassle of routine maintenance and emergency callouts. A good property manager will be able to field phone calls from tenants, arrange for estimates, get your approval on repairs, and oversee the completion of projects in a professional -and timely manner.
Oversee Tenant Sourcing and Screening
Much of your success as a landlord will come down to the tenants that you allow into your rental. But advertising your property -and screening applicants thoroughly can be a time-consuming process. You'll also want to make that your tenant screening process complies with fair housing laws before you start. An experienced property management company, though, will have tenant screening policies and procedures in place. They'll know what to look for and what questions to ask in order to weed out unqualified applicants -in a way that's in compliance with the law. They'll also be able to get your ad in front of a wider audience, helping to reduce vacancy times, and sourcing a larger pool of applicants to choose from. A property manager's ability to find tenants sooner will mean less time that your rental will sit empty -reducing costs and helping to keep your property cash flow positive.
Improve Tenant Retention
An experienced property manager will also be able to assist with tenant retention. In addition to the cost of lost rent while your property sits empty, there are a number of other expenses that are associated with a high tenant turnover rate as well. These include the cost of cleaning the unit, painting, and making minor repairs, as well as marketing, showing the property, and applicant screening. In some cases, there may even be eviction costs involved. All of these expenses can eat into your profits considerably -especially if they happen fairly frequently. But in many cases, a good property manager will be able to improve tenant satisfaction. This is because they'll have solid tenant retention policies in place that will include measures like taking tenants' concerns seriously, handling all maintenance requests promptly, and -for multiunit properties, resolving issues between tenants in a proactive manner -all things that can help to encourage tenants to stay for longer.
Set Good Rental Rates
As an investor, you'll want to ensure that you're getting the best price for your rental. But there's more to pricing than just picking a number that seems right. In order to determine your ideal price, you'll want to see what other, similar properties in the area are renting for -taking into account factors such as neighborhood variables, the condition of your rental, its age, and more. While you'll want to get the best price possible, you'll also want to keep it low enough in order to attract plenty of interest from prospective tenants. While you can set your own prices by doing market research -going through a reputable rental property management company will help to simplify the process and save you from a lot of trial and error -helping your property to command the best price possible, without sacrificing interest from potential tenants.
Be Responsible for Rent Collection
Most landlords know that there's more to the job than sitting back and letting the rent roll in. While online payment tools have made life easier for many landlords, there's always the issue of late-paying tenants -no matter what form of payment you accept. By going through a professional landlord, you can outsource the job of rent collection. A good property manager will be able to take on the role of an enforcer -upholding the terms of the lease and enacting late fees. This will free you up from having to be the bad guy and in many cases, can even help to improve the profitability of your investment.
Help to Keep You in Compliance With the Law
As a landlord, it's important to understand your responsibilities -and obligations to your tenants. For this reason, it's vital to keep up with changing regulations and to ensure you're in compliance with federal, state, as well as municipal laws. Areas that you'll want to pay especially close attention to include proper tenant screening procedures, as well as rules for handling security deposits, rent increases, and lease termination -just to name a few. A rental home management company will be familiar with the law as it pertains to rental property, and will be able to make decisions on your behalf that will be in compliance, helping to keep you on the right side of the law.
Handle Evictions for You
Evictions aren't something that anyone looks forward to, but unfortunately, they're a very real fact of life for most landlords. Even the most carefully screened tenant can end up breaking the lease -or facing life changes that could result in an inability to pay the rent. For landlords, removing late-paying tenants from the property isn't always a straightforward process. There's a lot of red tape surrounding the eviction process, and the required procedure for evictions varies considerably from state to state. It's important for landlords to ensure that they're operating within the bounds of the law -giving the tenant adequate notice, as well as and ensuring that every aspect of the eviction is carried out in compliance with the law. A reputable property manager will be very familiar with landlord-tenant law -and able to take on the eviction process for you -handling it in a way that's in compliance with the law, and saving you a tremendous amount of stress and hassle.
Allow You to Leverage Your Time Better
Finally, for most people, time is money. If you've reached a point where you're spending all of your free time on rental-related tasks, you may want to consider hiring a property manager to help you to claim back your time. While the exact amount of time that landlords spend on rental-related activities varies considerably across the board, it's safe to assume that at least four hours a week will be spent on the rental. This figure will obviously be higher if you have multiple properties or if you're doing most of the maintenance and repairs yourself. The good news, though, is that help is available -and today, you can be a landlord without having to devote every free moment to rental management. Enlisting the services of a property manager will free you up to expend your energy in other directions -allowing you to reclaim some of your time to focus on your investment strategy, or even adding new properties to your portfolio.
As you can see, owning rental property doesn't have to be difficult, stressful, or time-consuming. In the hands of the right property manager, rental property can be an extremely rewarding venture. Set yourself up for rental property success by surrounding yourself with the right team -and free yourself up to focus on other things.
If you're interested in outsourcing some of the work involved with your rental, a residential property management company is something that you'll want to consider. Visit Renters Warehouse today to find a Rent Estate(tm) professional in your area. Or, see how much your property could be renting for with a FREE Rental Price Analysis.
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