A property manager is someone who is hired to handle the day to day operations of a real estate investment. They can be involved in managing all types of properties from shopping centers to apartment complexes. Their responsibilities will differ based on property size, but will include:
A property manager must track all cash activity for a property, as well as accurately account for tenant payments. They are also relied upon to properly track all refunds due to tenants, such as security deposits that may be due after a tenant vacates the property. Every day, they must review and keep records of a property’s cash position, as well as all banking activity for an assigned property. Other duties may include keeping detailed records for all maintenance costs and invoices, preparing monthly accounting and budgeting reports, and preparing audit packages.
- Collecting Rent
They must be diligent, and collect rent on time, to ensure that the owner’s cash flow remains positive.
- Adjusting Rent
Managers will use current trends or fixed percentages to determine when it’s appropriate to raise or lower rent.
- Determining Rent Amount
Property managers are responsible for knowing current lease rates, and advising rent amounts that will appeal to, and attract tenants.
Unparalleled customer service is the key to having happy residents who stay put and refer others. The property manager often finds himself solving disputes and smoothing over an upset tenant. The property manager must excel in customer service. They must address complaints quickly, and document everything. Tenants also like to feel that their voice matters, so a good property manager should take suggestions for improvement, and apply them if possible, all while maintaining a professional work attitude.
- Locating Tenants
Managers will market the property effectively to keep vacancy low.
- Screening Tenants
They will sort through all tenant applications to determine the best fit for the property. This will involve credit and background checks as well as interviews.
- Lease Agreements
They will agree on the length and legal aspects of the lease, and negotiate security deposits.
- Complaints and Emergencies
They need to respond to emergencies and handle any maintenance and/or disruptive tenant complaints.
Managers need to inspect the unit for damages to negotiate security deposits. They also need to clean and repair the unit to prepare for the next tenant.
The manager needs to know the laws and proper procedure to protect the property owner in the event that eviction is necessary.
MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR
Property renovations ultimately provide the potential for rental or selling price increases. However, deciding which renovations make the most sense, that will ultimately reap the most benefits can be complex. The property manager must know which renovations are most worthwhile, and what improvements renters really want. They must also know how to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to making wise property renovations, understanding the correlation between curb appeal and rental rates, and how to choose remodeling projects that preserve equity and the integrity of the property.
Managers are in charge of all aspects of maintenance, from daily cleaning and landscaping to preventative measures such as pest control and code compliance.
Property managers must be able to react quickly for repairs like plumbing leaks, and must be knowledgeable enough in construction to be able to spot possible issues before they arise.
- Safety and Security
Fire protection systems must work properly and be up to date. Proper lighting and signage, as well as parking lot markings are all required by law.
BUDGET AND RECORDS
The property manager must control the expenses required to operate and run the daily business activities necessary to keep the property clean and rent-able. They are expected to keep any project within pre-planned budget requirements. The cost containment process is an important management function that helps keep costs down to only necessary and intended expenses.
- Maintaining Records
Managers need to keep very detailed records of the property including: signed leases, maintenance records, inspections, complaints, expenses and income to name just a few.
- Managing Budget
Managers will have a set budget, and they must be organized and efficient enough to operate within its parameters, unless emergency or dangerous situations dictate otherwise.
SUPERVISION OF PROPERTY VENDORS
The Property Manager must hire and manage workers, and implement policies, procedures and programs that will assure well-managed, well-maintained buildings, placing maximum emphasis on positive response to the concerns and needs of the tenants, environmental health and safety, and quality of work that the vendors perform.
Managers will almost never actually prepare taxes, but they must keep very detailed records for the tax professionals that handle these documents every year.
As you can see, the job of property manager is not an easy one. These professionals need to be ethical organized individuals who like to deal with people. Sometimes people at their worst, so they must be able to keep calm in volatile situations. If you can manage people, property and legal situations effectively enough to keep an investment safe and profitable, property management can be a very rewarding profession.