Any owner of rental property, whether seasonal cabins, waterfront suites and other vacation rentals, or potentially long-term accommodation, such as single-family residences, apartments and condos, is immediately confronted with the self-same perplexing issues. “How do I find reliable renters? How do I make sure my property stays in good condition? Can I really manage and control my property, especially when I am not living on or near it?” And the ever important question: “How do I manage it so that it doesn’t take over my life?”
A Property Manager Screens Applicants
The danger of trying to manage something as complex as a real estate asset while also navigating the uncertainties of judging and handling the personalities involved can not only be overwhelming, it can also be a make-break point as far as overall financial success. Here are just a few reasons why a skilled property manager is in a far better position to handle such matters on your behalf.
- They know the fundamental requirements of creating security, such as having a properly written and executed lease or contract. Such a contract also serves as a beneficial reference for the renter, as it will clearly lay out his rights and responsibilities.
- A capable property manager will have experience dealing with irresponsible and even criminal rental applicants.
- A good property management company has the knowledge and necessary policies in place to cover an exit strategy, should a renter prove to be unable or reluctant to meet his obligations in paying rent or caring for the property.
- Familiarity with legal intricacies and a working relationship with a good lawyer, something that can be difficult for an absent owner trying to handle legal issues on his own. Delays in this area due to unfamiliarity of the law can be a decisively catastrophic failing point and lead to significant loss of revenue.
A Property Manager Handles the Material Aspects of Your Asset
Placing a viable renter is only part of the battle. Attending to the ongoing material needs of the property is also an extremely important part of successful property management. Here are just a few examples:
- A property manager’s contract with the owner should clearly delineate the owner’s financial obligations, including the costs and responsibilities of property upkeep, repairs and upgrading. The owner can then be secure in knowing there are no hidden or unexpected requirements.
- A good property management company will have on hand a list of reliable and trusted local trade services to cover all the bases in repair, maintenance and upgrades.
- Comprehensive property management services will also include transitional care and cleaning when one renter leaves and another enters.
Best Property Management Includes Supervisory and Renter Liaison
You now have a good renter with a clean and well-maintained rental. How are you to know this is not going to change?
- Part of a residential property manager’s services should include appropriate intermittent inspections of both property and renter activities. This should also be covered in the rental lease or contract.
- A competent rental property manager will maintain an open line of communication with all renters. This will include serving as a hotline for emergency repairs and other important issues that may affect the rental property and thus the owner.
Your Property Manager Handles Financial Matters
- The agency will do all collections activities, including late collections and imposing late fees where necessary.
- They will also handle all banking, disposition of funds for maintenance, repairs and upgrades.
- A reliable management company will also submit regular statements and reports to the property owner.
Property Manager Can Be a Useful Resource
Caught in a messy situation you don’t have the answers to? Some property management companies are willing to act as advisory consultants to those not under regular contract with them. Don’t make a move to rent out your property before exploring the many great services that a reputable property manager offers. It may be just the security and peace of mind you are looking for.
Jennifer Fehr is the co-owner of Suncoast4Rent with her husband Tom Fehr. Jennifer is a Florida State Real Estate Sales person and works through Stonebridge Real Estate Co Inc in Clearwater, Fl (Pinellas County) to bring the personal touch to all your Real Estate needs, be it professional residential property management, consultation or sales.
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