The Property Managers’ Handbook For Rookies

Posted on January 10, 2019

Property management is a great way to make a profit. However, it requires a great deal of knowledge and skills acquired from both business management and real estate.

Requiring a great deal of preparation and attention to detail, property managers are often responsible for making sure all rental income is accounted for, dealing with paperwork during a transaction, and property marketing. Taking the time to make sure you have a basic understanding of property management 101 will put you on the right path to successfully managing your rental.

If you are thinking about diving into the world of property management, check out our property managers’ handbook for rookies.

Property Management Responsibilities

Before you jump head-first into managing a property, you need to figure out a management strategy that works for you. In order to do that, there are three key areas of a rental property that need to be managed. They include:

  • Managing the property
  • Managing tenants
  • Managing finance

Managing the Property

Your property needs to be properly maintained in order to keep it safe for tenants. Check with your insurance company to find out if certain parts of your building, such as the roof, needs to meet specific standards. Failing to do so may result in them failing to cover your property.

Anticipate inspections from your insurance company, lender, and local government. While insurance company inspections are to make sure the property is worth the amount it is currently insured for, local government inspections check that your property is following all required health and safety codes.

Another important factor in managing your property includes general maintenance. This can range from fixing anything that needs repairs, cutting the grass, keeping common areas clean, and making sure tenants have access to running water.

Managing Tenants

Tenants can make your life much easier or infinitely harder. Take the time to thoroughly screen tenants before letting them sign a lease.

Once your prospective tenants pass the screening process, you will be responsible for managing the following:

  • Lease: This includes managing the dates of the lease term, making sure the lease covers everything required by the state’s landlord-tenant law, and keeping up-to-date with the most recent version of the law.
  • Move-In: Before a tenant moves into your property, go over all the rules, requirements, and regulations, sign the lease agreements, collect whatever deposit is due upon move-in, and do a walkthrough of the unit.
  • Rent: Clearly define when rent is due each month, if there are any grace periods, the cost of late fees, and where to make rent payments.
  • Repairs: Stay on top of repair requests from tenants. If you cannot do the repair yourself, then have a list ready of professionals you can call to fix it for you.
  • Tenant Complaints: Respond to complaints quickly and establish a game plan for dealing with them.
  • Tenant Evictions: Research the legal steps you to need to take in order to evict a tenant, including what notices you are required to provide, and what evidence is needed when filing an eviction with the court.

Managing Finances

Understanding the finances is one of the most important parts of property management. In order to account for the money going in and out of your rental every month, you need to keep track of:

  • Fees: Fines for maintenance issues at the property, or fees for court costs and property inspections.
  • Insurance: The cost of the insurance premium on the property.
  • Mortgage: How much the monthly mortgage payments are.
  • Rent: The amount of rent you collect each month.
  • Taxes: How much the yearly property taxes are.
  • Utilities: The monthly cost of electric, gas, and water for the property if you are in charge of paying for utilities.

Luckily, Tenant Evaluation’s easy-to-use property management program can simplify your life with features such as comprehensive screening services, an electronic application system, and more. Contact us at 305-692-7900 to find out how we can help you.