Property management is no easy feat, which is why many turn to professionals. But, what exactly are property managers responsible for? Keep on reading to understand the property manager job description.
Property Manager Job Description: What Is a Property Manager?
A property manager is a person or company responsible for the day-to-day operations of a real estate property. Real estate property can take many forms, including but not limited to apartment units or buildings, condo units or buildings, single-family rental homes, and commercial properties. Property owners typically hire property managers when they are unable to or uninterested in tending to their own property.
What Do Property Managers Do?
Property managers cover a lot of ground. They essentially take the place of the landlord, acting and communicating on their behalf. Of course, not all property managers or management companies offer the same services. As such, property owners must determine their needs and seek a property manager that can meet them.
What does a property manager do? In general, the following fall under the scope of property manager duties:
- Setting rental rates
- Collecting rent and other fees from tenants
- Preparing and managing budgets
- Preparing financial reports and presenting them to the property owner
- Marketing vacant units
- Showing the property to potential tenants
- Overseeing the application process
- Screening and interviewing tenants
- Preparing lease agreements and ensuring they are in compliance with Fair Housing laws
- Enforcing lease agreements
- Maintaining the property
- Inspecting the property on a routine basis as well as at move-in and move-out
- Hiring vendors to perform maintenance, repairs, and other services
- Paying property expenses, including property taxes, insurance premiums, and mortgages
- Communicating with tenants and tending to their complaints or concerns
- Resolving disputes among tenants
- Reporting on occupancy and vacancy rates
- Staying on top of leases and reporting which ones are due to expire
- Terminating or renewing leases
- Processing evictions
How Much Does a Property Manager Cost?
Property managers and management companies offer their services in exchange for a fee. This fee can vary from one manager or company to another. There are also multiple factors that can affect property management fees, such as:
- Size of the Rental Property. Larger properties tend to command a higher fee because there is more work involved.
- Location of the Rental Property. Properties located in more affluent neighborhoods typically charge a higher rent, which equates to a higher property management fee.
- Type of Rental Property. The type of property — be it residential, commercial, or industrial — can impact the price of the fee as well.
- Age of the Rental Property. Older properties usually require more maintenance and repairs. Thus, they might fetch a higher price in terms of property management.
- Nature of Services Needed. Property owners that only outsource a few services, such as rent collection and tenant acquisition, tend to pay a smaller fee compared to those who need full-service property management.
When it comes to the monthly management fee, property managers or companies usually charge in one of two ways: a flat fee or a percentage of rent.
A flat fee is exactly how it sounds. With this setup, property managers charge a flat dollar amount every month. In contrast, some property managers charge a percentage of rent. On average, property managers charge between 8% and 10% of the gross monthly rent. So, for a property with a gross monthly rent of $5,000, the rate would be between $400 and $500.
Additionally, many property managers and companies charge other fees on top of their monthly management fees. This can include but is not limited to an initial setup fee, a tenant placement fee, a vacancy fee, an early termination fee, and an eviction fee.
How to Find a Good Property Manager
A bad property manager can drive your rental into the ground and ruin your finances. Now that you know the property manager job description, it is time to learn how to find a good one.
1. Property Manager Certification and Requirements
Some states require property managers to go through certain certifications and to carry a real estate license. As such, it is always smart to check for their licenses and certifications. Include this in your initial request for proposal or ask about their credentials during the interview process. You should also make sure the property manager or company you hire has enough experience in the field. Don’t be their guinea pig.
2. Reviews and References
Reputation is something you should also consider when hiring a property manager or company. To check this, make sure to look for reviews of the manager or company online. You can also ask the company or manager for references you can contact personally. Ask their references about the quality of services they deliver and how the manager responds to crises. It is also a good idea to inquire about the character and personality of the manager.
3. Intangible Qualities
Experience and expertise can be defined by paper credentials and the number of years they have been working in the industry. But, there are certain intangible qualities you should look for in a manager, too.
A property manager should have good organizational, communication, and time management skills. They should also understand accounting and financial management as well as be proficient in various tools such as Microsoft Office and property management software. Beyond that, a good property manager should be approachable but remain professional at all times.
4. Price Range
For a lot of property owners and landlords, price is a top consideration when it comes to professional property management. A property manager can have all the credentials and qualities you’re looking for. But, if you can’t afford them, the conversation is moot. As such, you should inquire about their property management fees early on.
Property Manager Job Description Explained
Property managers provide valuable services to landlords and property owners. They perform important tasks that are necessary to keep the rental property functioning like a well-oiled machine. As a property owner, if you lack the time or expertise for property management, or if you are just uninterested in hands-on management, you will greatly benefit from hiring a professional property manager.
Finding a good property manager or management company, though, is often easier said than done. Simplify your search by using our online directory. So, what are you waiting for? Start browsing for the best property managers or management companies in your area today!
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