A property management company helps owners create budgets, advertise properties, screen potential renters, and collect rent. They also handle maintenance, compliance, and repairs.
A good property manager can quickly and efficiently resolve issues or questions from residents. They can also help reduce vacancy rates and optimize profits. They should have great leadership skills and an open-door policy to encourage feedback.
Tenant screening is one of the most important tasks that property managers do. It helps them avoid bad tenants and protect their rental properties from financial losses.
Screening is a process that includes checking an applicant’s credit history, criminal records, employment history, landlord references and public records for unpaid court debt. It also involves evaluating the applicant’s job and income.
Landlords need to be careful when conducting tenant screening because it must be done legally. A landlord must provide applicants with written notice of their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and must obtain consent from the applicant before pulling a credit report. Landlords must also comply with the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability and familial status.
Using a reliable tenant screening service like FirstPoint can help to ensure that landlords are following these rules when performing background checks and credit assessments. This can also reduce the time it takes to rent a unit.
A quality tenant screening will include a face-to-face meeting with the prospective tenant to ask questions and evaluate their attitude, mood and body language. It will also include an interview over the phone to ask qualifying questions, such as why they are moving and how long they intend to stay in the property.
Some of the best tenant screening services will provide an employment and income verification report that can give landlords insight into an applicant’s ability to pay their rent. These reports will show whether an applicant has been evicted in the past and, in many cases, will reveal what caused the eviction. It will also show how much the applicant makes per week or month and whether they have a large amount of personal loans or student debt that could prevent them from affording your property.
2. Rent collection
When it comes to rent collection, the best property managers have an effective system that ensures owners are paid as soon as possible. This is one of the most important factors in keeping the entire process running smoothly. It is also crucial that the owner chooses a method of collection they are comfortable with and can manage, which could include online payments.
In addition to collecting rent, property managers often help the owner establish their budgets, advertise rental properties, qualify tenants, and comply with landlord and real estate board laws. They may also assist with preventive maintenance and cleaning, interior and exterior repairs, and general construction. For these services, property management companies typically charge a fee or a percentage of the monthly rent.
Finding quality tenants is another major responsibility of property managers. They do this by listing properties in the right places and screening applicants carefully to find reliable residents. This involves checking credit history, employment, and rental history to verify a tenant will be able to pay on time.
A good property manager will also collect rent through electronic methods and make it easy for tenants to pay. This can save the owner time and money on stamps, envelopes, and trips to the post office. It can also provide a greater level of security for both parties.
Some tenants will miss payments or become seriously delinquent, and a property manager can step in to negotiate with them, request payment plans, or even take legal action to evict the resident if necessary. This saves the owner a lot of stress and allows them to focus on other aspects of their investment. A property management company can also handle a tenant’s complaints or issues that would normally require the owner to spend time on the phone leaving messages or playing phone tag.
Maintenance is one of the most important aspects of property management. It involves everything from cleaning and fixing appliances to responding to residents’ maintenance requests. An efficient maintenance process results in happy tenants and less headache for owners.
A good property manager has the grit and confidence to deal with residents directly, making maintenance requests as seamless as possible for both parties. This helps prevent costly repairs down the road and makes sure residents feel valued by their landlord.
Some maintenance tasks are best handled by in-house personnel, while others require a professional to complete. For example, electrical or HVAC issues should be completed by licensed specialists to ensure they are done correctly and up to code. An effective property management company will have a network of reliable contractors to help when the need arises.
Residents expect to be able to submit maintenance requests easily, get them resolved quickly, and be kept informed of progress. A property management company that makes this a priority will not only build trust with residents, but will also keep them coming back for more.
Other common maintenance tasks include cleaning exteriors and interiors of buildings, mowing and trimming lawns, shoveling snow, and performing safety inspections. A good property manager will also keep up with the latest landlord and tenant laws, including local and state regulations that pertain to rental properties.
A CMMS software can make maintenance management easier by tracking tools and equipment and creating reports on the status of different tasks. It can also store vendor information, such as licenses, certifications, and qualifications, so that the right technician is assigned to the task at hand. This will not only save time, but it will also prevent expensive errors.
4. Financial reporting
A property manager’s job is to ensure that a commercial or residential property’s financial health stays strong. This includes monitoring cash flow, creating and reviewing financial documents, and ensuring that expenses are balanced with income. A property management company must also provide a comprehensive financial report to investors and clients. This type of report shows a standardized view of the property’s data, ensuring that all parties are on the same page regarding a property’s status and health.
The Profit and Loss Statement, also known as the Income Statement, portrays a property’s financial performance by showing revenue minus expenses. This document lists both residential and commercial rental income, laundry and vending revenue, parking fees, tenant charges (such as cleaning and damages), and other sources of revenue for a property. It also displays the property’s expenses such as property management fees, property taxes, insurance policies, utility bills, and more. A property management software should be able to automate this report, ensuring that all information is current and accurate.
Another important financial reporting document is the Accounts Payable report, which reflects short-term debts and payments to vendors. This helps property managers ensure that all vendor invoices have been paid and enables them to monitor cash flow. This document can be used to spot trends in spending and to compare costs across properties or cost categories.
Regular review of these reports enables property managers to assess the availability of funds and address any potential cash flow issues promptly. It also ensures that the property has adequate cash reserves to cover emergencies and unexpected expenses. Furthermore, regular financial reporting enables property managers to make informed decisions about investment and expansion opportunities that will maximize revenue and ROI.
Marketing is one of the most crucial aspects of property management. It can help you grow your business, attract clients, and make more money. But it’s important to remember that it takes time and energy to develop a good marketing strategy.
One of the best ways to market your property management company is through social media. You can post about your services, properties, and events. This is also a great way to build relationships with potential clients. However, you should be careful not to spam your followers with too many posts.
Another popular method of marketing is search engine optimization. This involves optimizing your website so that it appears higher on search engines results pages. This can be done by adding keywords, improving page structure, and using other techniques. In addition, you should create high-quality content to attract people to your site.
Finally, paid marketing is a great way to promote your property management business. This involves paying for ads on search engines or social media sites. It can be a great way to reach a large audience quickly, but it is important to track the performance of your ad campaign.
As the housing market continues to grow, it is important for property managers to have a well-developed marketing strategy. By incorporating the strategies mentioned above, property managers can improve their brand, increase revenue, and improve customer service. For more information on how to use marketing to your advantage, contact PERQ today. Our multifamily marketing automation software helps you save leasing specialists time and improve lead conversion through intelligent conversational AI, automated nurture technology, and powerful website conversion tools. We also offer 3D virtual tours that help your properties stand out in a competitive market.