What does a property manager do?
We often observe hiring ads for property managers, either online or in the local newspaper, but what is a property manager and what function do they serve?
A property manager is a person or an organization responsible for managing the daily affairs of a real estate or one or more of its units. Such managers are typically hired when, for some reason, property owners or investors cannot manage their own property. Moreover, hiring a property manager is also tax deductible against the property income generated, and this is another benefit of hiring a manager to operate your property. Some examples of properties that might be handled by professional managers include malls, offices, or apartment buildings.
In this article, we look at different property manager duties and property manager responsibilities in more detail. Let’s get into it.
Duties of a property manager
Let’s take a look at five of the main property manager’s duties:
First and foremost, it is the property manager’s duty to ensure that the property remains in a usable and secure state. This involves regular maintenance so that the building keeps functioning optimally. For instance, a property manager needs to hire experts to examine for leaks or landscapes and eliminate snow or trash. The main objective of such maintenance is to ensure that the current tenants are satisfied, while also making the place attractive to potential tenants.
Besides preventative maintenance, the property manager must also get timely repairs done in case of any problem. Therefore, a competent property manager must have a broad network of trustworthy professionals like carpenters, plumbers, electricians, alongside other contractors.
A property would often consist of other employees, such as security workers or a concierge. Commercial property management also involves making sure that these employees are performing their duties effectively. The property manager’s responsibility will probably extend to setting their salaries and even sacking them.
Another one of a property manager’s jobs involves searching for new tenants and entering into lease contracts.
Before entering into a leasing contract with a potential tenant, the property manager needs to make sure that he has run a thorough screening process, including multiple background checks for a criminal record and credit history. Experienced property managers, having assessed hundreds of tenants, and therefore have developed a keen eye for the right kind of tenants – those who create little to no problems, and are always punctual with rent.
A property manager is also required to handle leases, which would include setting the terms and adding clauses that would secure the owner against any kind of future liability (determining the security deposit amount, for example).
Other than that, other property manager responsibilities include managing any complaints or emergencies (examining for any damages and calculating the portion of the security deposit, which is to be returned, for example), move-outs, and convictions in case of a breach of terms by the tenant.
This is one of the most basic property manager duties, and will almost always be delegated by the owner or real estate investor. The manager would be required to:
Set the right level of rent: The rent should be attractive to potential tenants, while not being too low. In order to determine the right rent level, the property manager will need to compare the property to other similar properties situated in the same region.
Rent collection: A proper system for rent collection should be set up and implemented. To ensure an efficient flow of cash, a date should be set by which all the tenants should have paid their rent. Consequences should be in place to deter delays in payments.
Rent adjustment: In line with the law, the property manager is allowed to increase the rent annually. If the manager feels that the reduction of rent is needed for a particular year, he is also authorized to do that.
The property manager is supposed to keep meticulous records pertinent to the property. These records include a list of all sources of income and expenses incurred; all inspections performed; leases signed; requests made for maintenance; complaints; repairs undertaken; rent collection records; and cost of insurance.
In conclusion, property manager duties involve very delicate and crucial tasks pertinent to your property. For this reason, your manager should be a reliable, efficient, and responsible person or entity.