November 20, 2018
What is a Property Management Company Responsible For?
Renting a property can be a time-consuming, hands-on business. And, as your business expands from one or two properties to ten or more, the amount of work involved can be overwhelming. That’s when landlords often consider getting help from a property management company.
if you’re considering making the switch to a property management company, you might be wondering about the role they play in overseeing your investments. Here’s what a property firm is responsible for…
Marketing & Advertising Your Properties
Filling empty units with quality tenants is Job #1. Property management companies know where and how to market your units to attract the ideal tenant. They have expertise in creating compelling advertising messages that help pre-screen prospective renters. And, they know the market comparable rent rates, and how to best price your unit. In general, a property management firm will have a variety of advertising channels, from social media to ILS to online classifieds.
Once the prospective renter has filled out an application, it is the property management company’s responsibility to properly screen the applicant. A good property management firm will have a best-practices, uniform approach to screening which includes a credit check, background check, following up on references and an in-person interview.
Move Outs/Move Ins
When your renter moves out, the property manager is responsible for inspecting the unit. They will walk through it looking for any damage that exceeds the normal wear and tear of tenant-life. They will then figure out if the whole or a portion of the security deposit will be returned to the former resident. The property management company has the unit cleaned up and ready to go for a new tenant. (Read Landlord’s Guide: Tenant Move Out Check List)
When your new tenant moves in, a representative from the property management firm will be there to welcome the tenant and get everything set up. The property manager will be there to greet the new tenant, and provide them with the key and a welcome package. Together, they will review the responsibilities of each party and do a visual inspection of the property.
A property management company will help improve your cash flow by ensuring on-time rent payment. Many firms do this through collecting rent online rather than chasing paper cheques around. (Our data shows that within the first three months, companies experience an average increase of 70% online payments.) This eliminates unpleasant surprises like bounced cheques.
In the unfortunate case of delinquent payments, the property manager will handle collections and any subsequent legal actions, like evictions.
Repairs & Issue Resolution
From requests for repairs to complaints about noisy neighbours, the property manager is tasked with ensuring that your tenants are happy, and their issues have been heard and are being acted upon. Poor response to maintenance issues is one of the biggest reasons that renters choose to move out. Professional property management companies will have a tenant portal that streamlines communication and maintenance workflow. This type of online software can also automate responses, so that a tenant knows their complaint or request has been received.
Upkeep & Regular Inspections
A good property management firm understands that a property is an asset, and will plan and budget for ongoing maintenance. They will regularly inspect key systems like heating and ventilation.
Budgeting & Reporting
The property manager will have a set budget for the building. They will need to estimate the cost of repairing and improving their clients’ properties. Property owners can expect that the firm handling their business will deliver monthly reports. The property management firm will also keep thorough records of all property expenses. (And, of course, of all types of communication and interaction with the tenant.)
One Last Note
Property managers make critical decisions on you behalf, and act as a steward for your investment. For landlords thinking of hiring a property management company, look for a company that has automated and streamlined their processes. They should use a cloud-based solution that allows you to access reports and vital information on your building or property. In addition to fees, look at how they run their business, the types of properties they represent and how long the firm has been in business. Be sure to ask about their average length of client relationship and their own internal staff turnover rate.
If you’re looking to improve your own operations, be sure to check out our pricing and package for landlords.