A Beginner’s Guide to Property Managers and What They Do

Do you own multiples homes?

If you buy property you don’t plan on living on, what do you do with it? You may be wondering if a property management company can take some of the weight off of your shoulders. But what do property managers do?

Keep reading to find out. The following article will detail the core responsibilities of property managers, and how they can help you out.

Find Appropriate Renters

Assuming you want to rent out the property you own, a property manager will help you find appropriate renters. This can be a harrowing process that property management companies can take completely off of your plate.

Preparing a property for rent and finding a renter is a multi-step process. The property manager will:

  • Make sure the house is professionally cleaned and presentable
  • Take attractive photos of the unit
  • Occasionally make a virtual tour option for the unit
  • Create advertisements on various platforms to attract tenants
  • Take time out of their day to tour prospective tenants through the home in person
  • Review tenant applications
  • Draw up a contract for the selected tenant
  • Present the tenant with their keys and any other information they will need

This can be a lot to tackle on your own, but an experienced property manager has tools at the ready to streamline this process. They will be able to appropriately vet applicants to make sure they will take care of your investment and pay their rent on time.

Additionally, this is not a one time process. Sometimes you will get lucky and your property manager will find a great tenant who will want to stay in your unit for years to come. This is the ideal scenario for maintaining your investment.

But more likely, every year or so a tenant will move out, and the applicant screening process will have to begin all over again. A property manager will stay on top of this to ensure that you don’t have to find appropriate renters year after year.

Manage Rent

One of the key property manager duties is to collect rent from your tenants. These days, there are a lot of different ways that this task can be completed.

If you are managing your property on your own, it is likely that you will need your tenant to mail or deliver you a check in person. While this has been a popular mode of paying rent for a long time, it is certainly not a fail-safe method.

It’s easy for a tenant to pay late or forget to mail their check. And if you have multiple properties that you are renting out, you may not even notice. This can lead to a significant loss of revenue for you and your investments.

But many property management companies have websites with online tenant portals. These portals allow tenants to pay their bill, remind them when it is due, and alert the manager if someone’s payment is late. The advantage of this kind of automation is that nothing slips through the cracks.

And if a tenant does stop making payments, the property manager will take on the unsavory task of holding the tenant accountable for those payments, and pursuing eviction if necessary.

A property management company can help make sure that you collect your share of the monthly revenue. And that brings us to the next property manager responsibility: balancing the budget.

Property Managers Balance the Budget

In short, property managers keep track of all of the money going in and out of your rental. They collect rent each month, but they also have to record any expenses that you may need to pay for.

For example, if a window breaks in the unit, the manager will be the one to determine if the incident was the renter’s fault or not. If the renter was throwing a football indoors, then the property manager will add the window repair expense onto their monthly rent bill.

If not, the property manager will cover the expense of the window repair. It will ultimately be your responsibility to pay for it, and will likely come out of that month’s rent check.

But all of that back and forth will be handled for you by the property manager. All you have to worry about is the bottom line.

Similarly, if you decide it’s a priority for you to always keep your rental yard looking nice, you may want the property manager to hire a gardener. The property manager will keep track of that monthly expense for you.

What other expenses does the property manager take care of? Let’s explore the answer to that in the following section.

Routine (And Not So Routine) Maintenance

As was implied in the last section, there are a lot of things that come up as a surprise when managing a rental. Here are just a few of the many things that you can expect to get calls about if you are the point person for your rental unit:

  • Garbage pick up
  • Snow removal
  • Yard maintenance
  • Plumbing issues
  • Broken appliances (light switches, locks, windows)
  • General complaints
  • Pet adoption

And there are so many more. These things fall under the bracket of “maintenance.” This is something your property management company will handle for you entirely.

As was mentioned above, sometimes things break at the fault of the renter. Other times, the property manager simply has to be the one to call the plumber or the locksmith and fix the problem.

Often, property management companies will contract with a general repairman that will handle these things on call. This means that you’ll never even have to hear about them.

Other times, the property manager will be the one in charge of contracting additional services for their renters. In cold regions, this can include routine snow removal from all steps and sidewalks. This can help you avoid a costly lawsuit if a tenant slips and falls.

As the owner, you want these maintenance issues to be resolved quickly for the tenant. This will help you retain high-quality renters. This property management company even lets renters submit maintenance requests online, ensuring that the process is easy and quick.

The property manager also offers one final, very valuable role. They are often the sounding board for tenant complaints. That brings us to our final section: communication.

Communication with Tenants

One of the simplest but most important tasks of a property manager is to act as the go-between for you and your tenants. Many property owners never meet their tenants, and it is because there is no need to. The property manager handles all communication.

What does this mean for you? It means that you never get plagued with emails or phone calls about issues on your property that you don’t know anything about. Your property manager will address all tenant issues as they come in, and will only notify you if it is absolutely necessary.

This also means that if you own multiple properties, you can depend on a person or company for all of your rental information. The trust you build with this person is great for your investment. You know that they will take good care of your properties for you.

If you wish, you can also ask that your property manager draft you a summary of action each month for every property you own. That way, you can be aware of the things that are happening on your properties without being notified each time.

But property managers do more than just direct communication. Property management companies also communicate a brand to the tenant world. A good property manager will convey professionalism and efficiency to your tenants.

This means that responsible tenants will want to stay in your rental for as long as possible. Or if they have to move to be closer to a job or something like that, they may inquire about what other properties you own in the area.

This is the kind of invaluable benefit you can receive from a property manager. When both you and the tenants trust them, they can protect your investment for years to come.

What Do Property Managers Do

What do property managers do? In short, everything. They streamline the rental process for both you and prospective tenants.

If you own at least one property, you should consider a property management company. Want to keep reading about how to take care of your property investment? Check out our Real Estate section for more information.