Some investors and homeowners are on the lookout for help to manage their properties, and often seek the aid of a property manager. However, when you begin your search, you may be wondering what the Property Manager will actually do for you. This article is meant to clear up any questions, detailing what the typical Property Manager Job Description is, and helps guide you in hiring the best property manager.
What is a Property Manager?
A Property management company specialize in handling all aspects of the day-to-day management of rental properties. A property manager will do all the hard work; handle all of the headaches; keep the property in good condition and send the owner(s) a check every month.
In most states, a property management company and their agents must be licensed by the state. For example, we are licensed in our Oakland property management company, so we are compliant with California state laws. Property managers will typically have a strong background in real estate sales and often hold a real estate salesperson license as well. Rather than an in-house maintenance person, a property manager will handle all aspects of the care and management of your investment property.
Property Manager Job Description
Effective daily management of an investment property involves many different areas and each requires exceptional skill and professionalism. A property manager will handle all of the areas that are known to give investment property owners headaches.
The following Property Manager Job Description gives an overview of what a property manager typical does:
Property Manager Job Roles and Responsibilities
- Leasing the Property: A property manager will locate and screen all potential tenants. They will personally interview and perform background checks on all applicants. They will prepare the lease agreements and make sure they are properly executed. They will collect and hold security deposits in an escrow account. Property managers carefully research rental rates to make sure their clients are receiving as much cash flow as possible. They also annually adjust the rent based on market data, cost of living reports, the current lease agreement, and state and municipal laws.
- Property Inspection: Before leasing out the rental, the property management company will inspect the unit and document and/or repair any pre-existing damage or wear and tear. They will work with the tenant to complete the move-in inspection form which will be compared to the move-out inspection so that any tenant damage can be accounted for.
- Rent Collection: One of the primary duties of a property manager is to collect the rents from each tenant and to assess late payment penalties. The property manager will also process legal evictions when necessary.
- Maintenance and Repairs: A property management company will ensure that your rental properties maintain or increase in value through timely repairs, maintenance, and upgrades. They will promptly assess and handle all tenant repair calls and work with skilled tradesmen to complete the repair while monitoring costs. Any repairs or upgrades that exceed the management contract limit must be approved by the owner. The property manager will also see to the upkeep of the grounds and other common areas.
- Track income and expenses: The property management company will keep track of all income and expenses and prepare monthly and annual reports which are sent to the property owner. They will work hard to stay within the budget that was set by the property owner.
Residential Property Manager Job Description
What does a residential property manager do? They answer the calls about the leaking pipes, the overflowing toilet, and the neighbor’s loud dog. They deal with the late rent excuses and chase after each tenant to collect the rent.
A residential property manager will take responsibility to ensure that you have good quality tenants and any tenant that fails to live up to the terms of the lease agreement will be evicted. They will follow the state eviction requirements even appearing in court on behalf of the owner. They will also pursue collection after receiving a court judgment.
A property management company will make sure that all their rentals and the management of them comply with state and federal regulations. They will ensure that the property is safe – which minimizes the likelihood of tenant lawsuits. They will follow fair housing laws and any local, state or federal landlord laws.
Commercial Property Manager Job Description
What Does a Commercial Real Estate Property Manager Do? A commercial real estate property manager will handle all of the same duties as a residential property manager – including all aspects of leasing, management, and accounting. Their duties, however, demand a higher level of skill. A commercial property manager must have the means and the expertise to study commercial rental data. Commercial properties are leased for a much higher price per square foot and are leased for a much longer term. If the landlord, who self-manages, leases their commercial property for less than market rents, they can stand to lose a considerable amount of cash flow which will have a dramatic impact on the property value.
A skilled and experienced commercial property management company, however, will carefully research market rates within that specific commercial property class. They will also study the market lease terms. Commercial leases are much more complex than residential leases. They will include rent escalations (and/or percentage-based rents), renewal terms, common area maintenance charges, liability insurance terms and even first right of refusal clauses. Your commercial property manager will work with a real estate attorney to develop a lease agreement that will protect your interests.
In addition to leasing the commercial space, a commercial property manager will also ensure that the utilities are paid. Any utilities that can be prorated and passed back to the tenant, according to the lease agreement, will be calculated and billed by the commercial property management company.
Why Should I Hire a Property Manager?
Owning and managing rental properties can be a great source of income. Real estate investments, however, require more time, effort, and hands-on management than other investments such as stocks and bonds. Hiring a property manager is a primary way an investor can step away from the day-to-day management of their investments while still benefiting from the cash flow and value appreciation.
If you are considering whether to transfer your rentals to a property management company, consider these top 10 reasons why you should hire a property manager:
- The rent rates will always be market-based to create a positive cash flow.
- The owner will not have to deal directly with tenants.
- The property owner does not have to handle any repairs or call any repairmen.
- The property manager will pay all expenses on time.
- All of the bookkeeping is handled by the property manager.
- Licensed property management companies make it easier for owners to obtain financing.
- Property managers keep expenses low and income high.
- The property owner will have more time to spend on other projects.
- The property owner will have the peace of mind knowing that their investment is well-cared for.
- And… property managers will happily handle all those pesky phone calls and complaints that you hate so much!
If you are on the lookout for a property management company in Oakland, CA come by anytime to talk to one of our property managers to see how we can help you! We also have our property managers in Sacramento, CA if you are in the northern California area.