Seven Basic Services Your Property Management Should Be Providing. Are They?
A real estate investment can seem like a scary place to put your money. You’re not sure which way things will go. So many factors can affect whether you come out on top that you really need to do your homework.
Hiring a property management company is one way to reduce the variables. The range of responsibilities you’ll pay them for are – each and every one of the – going to reduce the level of risk. Let’s go quickly through the most basic things you should be getting from your property manager.
1) Set the Rent!
You might want to do that yourself, but think about it. You know what you’d like to get each month. They probably know better what you can get and in most cases, a property management firm will actually set the rent higher. They’ll inspect the place. They already know the market. Now, let’s see how much it will bear.
2) Do the Marketing
Again, who’s the expert? You running one ad on Craigslist once every two years? Or a company managing a dozen or so listings all the time. In addition to getting your place in shape to rent it out, your property management team has accounts with the best media and expertise in getting tenants from the right places, and not just CraigsList. Your fee is also paying someone to be there to show the property, and that in itself should be well worth the expense.
3) Tenant Screening
This is another one of those things you don’t want to do once every two or three years. Your property manager is running background checks every month. So why trust an amateur? They know what to watch for and who to accept, so let them have at it, and they’ll do the explaining to any rejects.
4) Move-Ins, Move-Outs & Inspections
This is the real leg-work of renting out real estate. Signing valid and infallible leases, getting the dates right, reviewing all the policies; all of these things can be time consuming, and that’s especially true if you’re not doing it full-time. What about getting a report in the mail on the conditions of the property and the accounts? What about cleaning between tenants? All these things need to get done, and for a weekend landlord, they can really add up.
5) Collecting the Rent
It sounds easy enough, but is it something you’ve got time for? Every month? Month after month? Leave this one to the pros and make sure they are good at collecting late fees and occasionally even hunting down missed payments.
6) Accounting & Legal
Property managers of any size already have lawyers and accountants. You may have them, already too. But keeping things in order and professional monthly statements reports can make all the difference between being submerged and re-surfacing. Do you know all the local and state regulations already? Your property manager does. What about making payments with regard to the property? Itemized expense reports? What annual reports for taxes? All of this comes down to working with the right property manager.
7) Maintenance & Repairs
Can you remember when your furnace should get serviced? How many furnaces are there now? A good property manager will stay on top of routine inspections, maintenance and repairs, almost certainly better than an individual owner could. They can also advise on bigger projects that will help to up the rent and keep you in the black. In fact, they probably already know and have a history with any contractor you might need.
There are property managers who will offer more. So, this list is hardly extensive. But in the end, these seven things are the most essential you should be expecting, and there the things that Best Property Management is providing across Contra Costa county.