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What Does a Property Manager Do? Tips for Hiring a Property Manager

What does a property manager do? Find out what property managers do in the real estate world.
A property manager serves a vital role in the real estate investing world. Find out the main responsibilities of property managers.

Managing a property can be a demanding task that requires expertise, time, and a keen eye for detail. 

From handling tenant relations and property maintenance to ensuring rent is collected on time, property management encompasses a range of responsibilities critical to the success and profitability of real estate investments. 

In this article, we will discuss the roles and responsibilities of property managers, shedding light on the value they bring to property owners. 

Whether you’re a seasoned real estate investor or a first-time property owner, understanding the duties and benefits of hiring a property manager can help you make informed decisions that optimize your investment returns and make managing your rental properties easier than ever.

What Does a Property Manager Do?

Property managers have many responsibilities, which makes them an important asset to any real estate investing operation. Keep reading for the most important day-to-day responsibilities of property managers.

Leasing and Renting

One of the main responsibilities of a property manager is the leasing and renting of units.
Leasing and renting are one of the key aspects of being a property manager today.

A property manager holds significant responsibilities when it comes to leasing and renting properties. Their role encompasses various tasks aimed at facilitating a smooth and successful transaction between property owners and tenants. 

Primarily, property managers handle the marketing and advertising of vacant properties and utilize a variety of strategies to attract potential tenants. 

They conduct thorough screening of prospective tenants, which involves verifying their employment, income, rental history, and performing background and credit checks to find reliable individuals who will fulfill their lease obligations.

Additionally, lease agreements are prepared and executed by property managers, who make sure that all necessary terms and conditions are included, such as rent amount, lease duration, security deposit details, and any specific property rules. 

Collecting rent payments in a timely manner is another critical responsibility, as property managers establish systems for efficient rent collection, enforce late payment penalties when necessary, and maintain accurate records of rental transactions.

Acting as a point of contact for tenants, property managers address inquiries, concerns, and maintenance requests in a professional and timely manner. They also manage tenant relations, resolve conflicts, and address lease violations as needed.

Property Maintenance and Repairs

Maintenance and repairs are a crucial part of being a property manager in today's environment.
Property managers are responsible for coordinating the maintenance and repairs of their rental units. In case of emergencies, property managers may need to be available 24/7.

Property managers play a crucial role in property maintenance and repairs by overseeing the day-to-day operations on behalf of the owner or landlord. 

They are responsible for conducting regular inspections to identify maintenance issues in the property’s exterior, common areas, and individual units. Additionally, property managers develop and implement a maintenance plan, including schedules for routine tasks like landscaping and HVAC system maintenance.

Contracting and vendor management are essential aspects of a property manager’s role as well. They hire and supervise third-party contractors and vendors, negotiate contracts, and review service agreements to ensure quality work. 

In case of emergencies, property managers coordinate immediate repairs to mitigate any damages or safety risks.

Financial Management

Property managers also play a role in managing the finances for property owners. 

Their responsibilities encompass various financial aspects related to the property, including budgeting, rent collection, expense management, financial reporting, and strategic planning. Here’s a breakdown of the key roles a property manager fulfills in financial management:

  • Budgeting and financial planning: Property managers are responsible for creating and maintaining budgets for the property. They analyze income and expenses, forecast future financial needs, and develop strategies to enhance profitability and cost-effectiveness.
  • Rent collection and lease management: Property managers also maintain timely collection of rents from tenants, monitor rent payments, and enforce lease agreements. They handle rent increases, negotiate lease terms, and take necessary actions in case of delinquencies or non-payment.
  • Expense management: Property managers handle the property’s financial obligations, including utility bills, maintenance costs, repairs, insurance premiums, property taxes, and other expenses. They strive to minimize costs while making sure essential services and maintenance are provided to maintain the property’s value.
  • Financial reporting: Property managers prepare and present accurate financial reports to property owners or stakeholders. These reports may include income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, rent rolls, and other financial documents. They provide insights into the property’s financial health, occupancy rates, and return on investment.
  • Accounting and bookkeeping: Property managers must also maintain proper accounting records so financial transactions are accurately recorded and organized. They handle invoices, receipts, reconciling of accounts, tracking expenses, and managing financial records in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

Tenant Relations

Tenant relations can get complicated. You must make sure each tenant is abiding by the rules of management.
Property managers must make sure the relations between tenants is harmonious and civil in times of disputes.

A property manager is active in establishing and maintaining positive tenant relations.

Their primary responsibility is to serve as a liaison between property owners and tenants, ensuring effective communication and addressing any concerns or issues that may arise. 

They also facilitate tenant communication by being the main point of contact, responding to inquiries, providing information, and keeping tenants informed about any relevant changes or updates.

Conflict resolution is another critical aspect of a property manager’s role. When disputes or conflicts arise between tenants or between tenants and the property owner, property managers act as mediators. 

Lastly, property managers strive to enhance tenant satisfaction and retention. They aim to create a positive living experience by addressing tenant concerns, maintaining the property in good condition, and fostering a sense of community. 

Skills and Qualifications of a Property Manager

Now that you know the main responsibilities of a property manager, let’s dive into the skills needed to succeed in this field.

Knowledge of Real Estate Laws and Regulations

Property managers must have a solid understanding of the real estate laws and regulations that govern the industry. 

Security deposits, eviction proceedings, and maintenance and repair regulations may vary state-by-state, which means property managers must know the laws in their jurisdiction.

Additionally, property managers must adhere to Fair Housing Laws to ensure no tenants are being unfairly discriminated against based on protected characteristics, including race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, and disability.

Other real estate laws and regulations property managers must be familiar with include safety codes, emergency response processes, property tax laws, environmental regulations, and insurance requirements.

Communication and Customer Service Skills

It's important to have great communication and customer service skills to be successful in this field.
Effective communication and customer service skills are necessary as a property management professional.

Being a property manager also requires a set of skills to facilitate effective communication and exceptional customer service. 

Clear and responsive communication is crucial for property managers to interact effectively with tenants, property owners, and other stakeholders. They need to convey information clearly through verbal and written communication and be responsive to inquiries, concerns, and requests.

Active listening plays a vital role in understanding the needs, concerns, and expectations of tenants and property owners. Property managers should engage in active listening by asking relevant questions and paying attention to tenants to gain a thorough understanding of the issues at hand.

Conflict resolution skills are also essential for property managers who encounter disputes among tenants or between tenants and property owners. They need to handle these conflicts in a fair and diplomatic manner, remaining calm, empathetic, and seeking mutually acceptable solutions.

Organizational and Time Management Skills

As a property manager, organizational and time management skills are essential for effectively handling the various responsibilities associated with overseeing and managing properties. Here are some key skills in these areas:

  • Planning and prioritization: Property managers need to be skilled at creating and executing plans. They should be able to set goals, establish timelines, and break down tasks into manageable steps. Effective prioritization is crucial to ensure that important tasks are completed on time.
  • Time allocation: Property managers often have multiple properties and tasks to handle simultaneously. They need to allocate their time efficiently, balancing immediate needs and long-term goals. 
  • Scheduling and calendar management: Property managers should maintain well-organized schedules and calendars. They need to track various activities, such as property inspections, maintenance and repair work, lease renewals, rent collection, and meetings with tenants or property owners. 
  • Documentation and record-keeping: Property managers deal with a significant amount of paperwork, including leases, contracts, tenant applications, maintenance requests, and financial records. Strong organizational skills are required to maintain accurate and easily accessible records.

Should You Hire a Property Manager?

If you own multiple properties or have a sizable real estate portfolio, it can become overwhelming to handle the day-to-day operations, maintenance, and tenant interactions for each property on your own.

Additionally, if you find yourself lacking the necessary time or expertise to effectively manage your rental properties, a property manager can provide the expertise and dedicated attention required. 

If you have other personal or professional commitments, hiring a property manager can ensure that your investments are well-maintained and consistently profitable.

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About the author: Ryan hovers around a 10-20 handicap any given day. But the talent is there, no question.