When people think of property management what comes to mind most times are maintenance issues and rent collection. However, a successful property management company is built upon strong relationships, both with property owners and residents. The cultivation of these solid relationships will pay big dividends in the future by establishing trust and setting expectations to avoid future conflicts.
We at Real Property Management seek out property investors with goals that align with our own. We get to know a property investor first to determine whether their expectations of a property management company are realistic. This initial conversation may be difficult, but establishes trust and results in a quality long term relationship. Although a property management company does do a significant amount for a property investor, there are still some expectations, including making necessary repairs, responding in a timely fashion to repair requests, complying with local laws and obligations as a landlord. We at Real Property Management sometimes will turn down business, for example, when a property investor is not willing to comply with habitability requirements. Additionally, a property manager must put forth realistic objectives on aspects such as rental rates, maintenance costs, what normal wear and tear is to be expected, rates of return, and numerous other aspects.
Similarly, building positive relationships with residents will also pay big dividends by retaining quality tenants and reducing turnover costs. A similar process occurs in that those difficult conversations must happen at the beginning to set expectations. In particular, many residents leasing a single-family residence have previously only had apartment living experience. They will need to know the many differences between these two types of leasing. For example, a good property manager will inquire as to what experience and knowledge a resident has with single-family residences, and then ensure that the resident is adequately informed of responsibilities, such as yard care, plumbing, lighting, utilities, pest control, and other aspects that may have been taken care of by an apartment management company, but are not covered with a single-family residence.
Property managers act as the middle-man between the property investor and the tenant. By setting proper expectations up-front, conflicts are avoided and everyone involved benefits from the relationship.