Many people confuse landlords with property managers. Though each might perform similar day-to-day tasks in order to upkeep a rental property, there are distinctive differences between the two roles. This article discusses how to hire a property manager, what to look for, and what to discuss before handing over the keys.
Landlords are the owners of the rental property. Their name is on the deed, and they have the final say on how much the property costs per month in rent, which tenants are allowed to move in, how long the lease agreements last, and other significant details of property rental practices.
Property managers do not own the properties they oversee. These individuals are hired by the landlord to perform certain upkeep tasks, which can vary depending on the landlord and their needs and preferences. Let’s dive into what property managers are responsible for and how they can transform the daily operations of your rental property.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Property Manager?
Essentially, property managers handle the tasks that the landlord wants them to be responsible for. Most professional property managers oversee more than one rental property or shared building.
Some of the most common property manager responsibilities include:
- Giving tours to potential tenants
- Screening and interviewing applicants
- Executing the lease agreement with confirmed tenants
- Collecting rent
- Managing repairs and property maintenance
To put it simply, property managers usually interface with tenants, respond to their needs, and ensure that the property is kept in its best shape for the sake of current as well as future tenants.
Employing a property manager allows the landlord to make passive income on their property without having to spend time and energy managing tenants or organizing repairs and upkeep.
When Should You Consider Hiring a Property Manager?
There are many landlords who take care of all of their responsibilities themselves. They are able to keep all of their rental property income without having to allocate some for a property manager. If you feel prepared to handle these responsibilities yourself, this can be a desirable option, especially if you only have one property to look after.
However, there are some landlords who should look into how to hire a property manager based on their circumstances. If you own multiple properties and also have a full-time job of your own and other personal responsibilities, hiring a property manager will make your life much easier. Additionally, you may not physically be able to manage your own properties if your rentals are located out of state.
Managing a rental property is a very front-facing position. If communicating with tenants and rental property vendors face-to-face isn’t in your skillset, you’d be better off hiring a property manager who is great with people and knows how to handle all possible situations.
How to Hire a Property Manager You Can Trust
So you’re looking into how to hire a property manager. How do you find one that you can rely on? Here’s how to get started.
Ask for Referrals
The best people to ask about how to hire a property manager are those who have already hired one they like. If you have friends or acquaintances who also own rental properties, ask for their referrals and for any pros and cons they might have with that individual or the company that employs them.
Make Your Expectations Clear
Communication is key in any relationship, but in a business relationship, it can be a deciding factor in whether the partnership can or can’t work. As the landlord hiring a property manager, it’s your responsibility to lay out your expectations to the individual as clearly as possible to avoid any confusion or overstepping of boundaries.
Ask the Right Questions
You should screen your potential property manager just like you would screen a tenant applicant. If finding new tenants will be part of their job description, ask them about their process for advertising a vacancy and finding quality tenants. Ask them how long it’s taken them to fill vacancies in the past.
Then, consider a hypothetical situation in which they’ve secured a tenant and a lease has been signed. Ask them about their process for accepting requests for maintenance from tenants and how they would handle a tenant who is late on rent. These questions will give you a better picture of whether their management style is a good fit for your property.