1. What do you mean by property management?
Property management is nothing but the managing and maintenance of any kind of property, be it a constructed one (a flat or a house) or an empty plot. Property management not only involves maintaining the property and the upkeep of the grounds but may also involve finding tenants, collecting monthly rental payments, etc. Some property management companies also handle entire apartment complexes.
2. What are the services that come under property management?
The plethora of services offered by property management agencies can be split up into four categories:
a. Marketing and Budgeting – Real estate property management involves the understanding of operating expenses and budgeting. The property management firm may recommend marketing programs, special promotions and other advertising strategies in order to maximize occupancy and rental income, and give regular financial reports to the owner. Certain property management firms may even undertake specialized tasks such as understanding financial statements, profit and loss, income taxes and budgeting.
b. Property Monitoring – As is common, especially in big cities, an empty home attracts miscreants who squat on property that is unwatched. Even well protected properties are under threat. While it may not be easy to constantly visit your property (especially if the owner resides outside the city), property monitoring services can help you deal with such scenarios. These services include, but are not limited to:
i. Periodic visits, inspections, geo-tagging, ad hoc visits etc. to the property. This ensures that the property’s maintenance is taken care of and miscreants are kept at bay. In addition, these services also ensure that specific valuables within the property are monitored.
ii. In the eventuality that miscreants do enter, it becomes the responsibility of the property management service to ensure that they’re evicted via legal means.
iii. Finally, warning signs are placed; which ensure that in case misdeeds happen, they can be implicated in a court of law.
c. Tenant Management – Every landlord dreams of getting a good tenant. Property management firms work hard towards getting the right tenant and are the mediators between the landlord and the tenant. The tenant’s activities are monitored as per the lease requirements and the rent is collected in a timely manner by the Property Manager. The unpleasant task of eviction for violations or non-payment of rent is also a part of this function.
d. Facility Management – Property management is also physical management of the structure and outdoor areas such as landscaping, electrical, plumbing, roof, walls, appliances, etc. The property manager must maintain relationships with contractors and repair companies, budget these expenditures, and monitor the quality of all repairs and maintenance. It is important for tenant retention to have well-maintained properties.
3. What to look for in a property management company?
Your property is a very important investment and it is advisable to do some research before hiring a property management company.
Checklist- Consider how professional the company is? Do they appear honest and trustworthy? How will they handle situations where tenants don?t pay? Do they truly seem concerned and willing to take care of the property and look after it? When communicating with a property management company, be sure to note the quality of their customer service. This is an important aspect since the owner/landlord, as well as the tenants, will be dealing with the company regularly. Ask about the company’s prior experience and expertise.
Having a good property management company on your side goes a long way in ensuring easy, profitable and stress-free investing. It can bring you hassle-free rentals and maintenance, while optimizing your cash flow and return on investment.