Why Property Management is Important & How To Find a Good One

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Summary: In the following webinar and article you’ll learn why property management is important, how to find a property manager, what questions to ask them, what to expect in terms of working and communicating with them, and more. I’ll also provide insight into how you can avoid losing tenants (and money) by making sure your properties are managed properly…

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Webinar: The Ultimate Guide To Property Management for Real Estate Investors

Article: Why Property Management is Important

Property management, for many, is more critical than the property itself… Especially for real estate investors that own multiple properties in different markets around the country. Property managers make passive real estate investing possible. A good property manager is worth their weight in gold. 

However, a bad property manager can kill the cash flow on your investment. If you’ve ever dealt with an unresponsive or unreliable property manager, you understand the headaches and added costs that can come with it. 

A good property manager will do everything associated with the rentals for you — making it one of the most important aspects of owning real estate.

What Does a Property Manager Do?

A property manager should manage all or most of the following tasks: 

  • Rent Collection – Sets the rental price. Investor Tip: If you are set on holding out for $100 more in rent, your rental may sit vacant for several months, which will cost you.
  • Mortgage & Utility Payments
  • Accounting Services
  • Leasing – Advertises, finds, screens and places a tenant
  • Security Deposits
  • Inspections of Property (at least every six months)
  • Repair & Maintenance Service – Handles all issues with the tenant(s) and the property. (No calls to the owner at 4PM on a Saturday!)

You may also like: 7 Property Management Tips for Landlords

Why It’s Important to Have Good Property Management

When vetting a potential property manager, it’s essential to make sure that they have the same goals as you. Are they more interested in a “churn-and-burn” approach when finding and placing tenants or making repairs? Or do they want a happy and low maintenance tenant that stays long-term?

The goal of property management is to KEEP the occupant there! Tenant turnover kills cash flow. Keeping the property well-maintained is key to retaining tenants. Don’t be cheap, but don’t be taken advantage of…

How to Find a Good Property Manager

Not all property managers are equal. By asking the right questions, you can weed out the good ones from the not-so-good. And asking these questions will show the property manager that you know what you’re looking for and won’t be taken advantage of.

Questions to Ask a Property Manager/Property Management Company:

  • How long have you been in the property management business?
  • How many properties are currently under management?
  • How do you structure who handles what?
  • Is there one point of contact?
  • How does reporting work?
  • Maintenance requests – in-house or third party?
  • Do you make a profit on maintenance and repairs?
  • Can you explain the eviction process?

3 Critical Characteristics of a Good Property Manager

There are good property managers and there are bad property managers. A glorified rent collector would be considered a bad PM. A proactive and communicative property manager would be a good PM.

3 key characteristics to look for in a good property manager or property management company include: 

  • Local (close proximity to your rental property)
  • Communication
  • Accessibility

Do you know how difficult it is to manage a property from across the country? If you do, I’m sorry. If you don’t, take our word for it, it’s really hard… Make sure your property manager is local to the area. 

It’s usually not a very good sign when a property manager goes radio silent. A good property manager will communicate with the owner frequently. Whether it’s a proactive phone call to let you know of a costly repair or a monthly rent/repair report, there should be an active line of communication between you and your property manager. The property manager should also be in communication with tenants, as necessary. 

Last but not least, a good property manager should be accessible. If there’s a repair that needs to be taken care of ASAP, the property manager must be accessible to make that repair happen. Real estate investors with good property management won’t have to worry about a call from a tenant in the middle-of-the-night about a burst pipe. As a passive investor with multiple rental properties, using a property manager is really the only way to go.

The Advantages & Disadvantages of Using a Property Management Company

There are two major advantages and two major disadvantages of using a property management company.

Advantages of Using a Property Management Company: 

  • Manages the rental property for you (aka you don’t have to be a landlord)
  • Truly passive investment

Disadvantages of Using a Property Management Company:

  • Cost – % of monthly rent goes to property management fee (fees usually range between 5% and 9% of monthly rent)
  • Using a bad property manager could kill your cash flow (cue tenant turnover)

Good property management is one of the most important parts of owning real estate. If a rental isn’t being managed properly, the tenant probably won’t stick around for too long. Every time there’s tenant turnover, it’s costing you, the owner, money. I’m confident that if you find a good property manager, they will be worth every penny.

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