Property managers are very important to passive investment property owners, to out of town property owners, and property owners with multiple real estate investments.
Passive owners, as opposed to active owners, generally don’t want to deal with the three “T”s of real estate investment ownership; toilets, tenants, and trash. Passive real estate owners are not the “hands on” investor. They allow others to manage the day to day activities while there investment produces income for them.
What do property managers do?
A property manager, manages property. They provide oversight and administration so that a property meets the investment objectives of the owner.
A good manager will find and screen tenants, maintain an investment property, collect rents, evict non-paying tenants, and pay bills related to the real estate under management. They perform almost all of the tasks that an owner would normally handle.
How are property managers paid?
Most property managers receive a percentage of the gross income from a rental property. This can range from 2% to 10% of gross operating income depending on the standards for a geographic area. In some cases a property management company may charge a flat fee for individual rental homes.
How does a property manager help a real estate investor?
Daily Management Issues
Property managers can add value to owners that are unable or unwilling to handle the day-to-day activities of a property personally.
Thanks to the Second Law of Thermodynamics we know that things break down. Pipes and water heaters break, toilets and drains clog, and roofs can leak. A property management company takes these calls rather than the landlord. This leaves the landlord free to pursue other interests and invest in other projects.
An owner with real estate in a another city or state will find it valuable to have a local management company collect the rents, screen tenants, and perform routine property maintenance. A real estate manager can help establish competitive lease rates from their local market knowledge.
Investment property owners with multiple properties may benefit from the efficiency a real estate manager can offer. An investor could continue working a 9-5 job while still reaping the benefits of owning multiple real estate investments, without having to deal with management responsibilities.
The legalities of being a landlord vary from city to city. Rent control and tenant rights, if mishandled, can open a property owner to risk of a lawsuit. A knowledgeable property manger will keep a property in compliance with local, state, and federal laws.
Caveat Emptor: Buyer Beware!
Not all property managers are equal.
Unfortunately, property managers are tempted by greed like the rest of us. Some real estate managers may have unscrupulous arrangements with outside contractors that charge property owners above market rates for repairs, then pay a kickback to the real estate manager for using their service. Investors should “trust their gut” and go with managers that they feel are honest and trustworthy.
An investor should make sure that a property management company adequately maintains properties. Checking a few of their properties to see how well they maintain properties is a good idea.
When selecting a property management company ask for references or client testimonials.