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Property Management Blog

Published on Monday, December 21, 2009

Effective Tenant Management

One of the main functions of property management agents is to ensure proper management of tenants. You have invested in property to make profits. In order to do so, your tenants need to be managed properly and the occupancy needs to be maintained at a high level.

One of the primary tasks of property management agents is to keep the tenants satisfied. When tenants are not happy they would vacate the property even before their lease runs out. This reduces rent collection and increases marketing costs. You would need to again spend on marketing to get new tenants.
 
Effective Tenant Management

Good management property agents understand that effective tenant management involves good rent collection practices, consistent and fair enforcement of rules and regulations, regular communication with the tenants and responsive and timely handling of repairs and maintenance.

A management property agent needs to consistently perform in these areas to ensure that there are less dissatisfied tenants, high occupancy rates, low marketing costs, and high return on investment.

Rent Collection Practices

So let us see what rent collection practices are all about. A good real estate property manager understands that collecting rents does not begin on the date that they are due, but on the day that the tenant filed out his or her rental application.

Property management agents are required to check on past rental references, perform credit checks, and interview the prospective tenants. This is done to ensure timely collection of rents. If all the checks are positive in results, then the property manager goes on to sign the lease agreement.

The lease agreement prepared by the property manager has to be very clear about on what date and time the rents are due. This helps avoid any misunderstandings later on. The lease agreement also has to clearly specify where the rents would be due. Another thing that it should specify is what happens in the event that the rent is not paid as per the requirements. Good management property agents take care of these details to establish a good relationship with tenants.

Good property managers also understand that a good tenant might fall on bad times. So he establishes a clear understanding with the owner beforehand as to how to deal with such a situation. He or she knows how much room to give to a tenant.

Responsive Handling Of All Repair And Maintenance Work

In order to maintain good relationship with the tenants and to keep them satisfied, property managers need to ensure timely and responsive handling of all the repairs and maintenance. In order to do this job in a proper manner, management property agents should have a thorough knowledge of the property under their care. Furthermore, they need to maintain a balance between the cost of maintenance and the desired results.

Maintenance Tasks 

Maintenance tasks of property managers include

Maintaining landscape

Cleaning of common areas in the property

Heating and air conditioning systems need to be serviced regularly

Regular inspection of plumbing and electrical items to ensure proper functioning

Maintenance of wood, roofing and other building components

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Property agents have to ensure that repairs that are of emergency nature are taken care of immediately. For example, cooling malfunction in the summer needs to be taken care of right away. Timely and responsible response to all repair and maintenance needs by management property agents ensure good relationship with tenants.

So overall, good property managers understand how important tenants are and do everything they can to maintain a good relationship with them.

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Author: Web Master

Categories: Property Management

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Landlord Knowledge Base

If you’ve ever considered investing in a few rental properties in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA now might be a good time. Prices are still low in Philadelphia, but have been on the upswing. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing home in a US metropolitan area grew 13.7% between July 2012 and July 2013, the latest in a 17-month streak of year-over-year price increases. 

New landlords can choose from properties that are likely to appreciate and a large pool of potential renters.Licensed realtor Pat Mueller cites a few reasons for this trend: “Many families have lost their homes to foreclosure and are entering the rentals market for the first time in years. Mortgages are also harder to get now, so fewer people are qualifying for a new one.”The more skills you bring to the table to get into Houses for Rent in Philadelphia Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA and the more time you have to devote to your properties, the faster you can make a return on your investment. 

But investing in rentals can also be disastrous (or too stressful to be worthwhile) without expertise. Here are three professionals you may consult about your new rental properties, and what you can do to mitigate how much they cost you:Handyman:  You may need to hire a specialist for some work on your rental. If you need new outlets or new pipes, for example, hire an electrician, plumber or licensed contractor. Handymen usually tackle smaller, more manageable tasks, like:

  • Painting and paint removal
  • Drywall repair
  • Minor appliance repairs (fixing a leaky toilet or faucet, among others)
  • Installing tiling or flooring, moldings, windows, doors
  • Refinishing decks, cabinets and other wood items

When You Could Skip It: You could do any (or all) of these projects yourself if you have the time and interest in learning. Of course, this only works if you live relatively close to your rentals and are flexible enough to service them on short notice. And if you’re willing to respond to the occasional 5 AM basement flooding.

Average Savings: Any base rates or costs-per-hour vary from location to location in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA , but nationally, you can expect to spend an average of $60 to $85 per hour for repair costs. It general costs less to hire an individual handyman than a handyman employed by a company. Expect an additional charge if your job requires a trip to the store for materials.

Resident Property Manager As the owner of a handful of rental properties, you may be able to manage them yourself, but if you want help, a single resident manager would probably be more cost efficient than a property management company. Resident managers may:

  • Serve as a handyman
  • Advertise vacancies in your units
  • Show apartments to prospective tenants
  • Review rental applications
  • Collect rents

When You Could Skip It: Again, the closer you live to your properties and the more spare time you have, the less likely you are to need a manager. The obligations of being a boss will also cut into the time you save on maintenance.

Average Savings: The national median wage for residential managers is just over $25 per hour. Research the wages in your community and adjust according to how much responsibility your manager will take on. 

Real Estate Agent: Once you’ve gotten your financials in order and done your own research on the neighborhood(s) you’re considering, you might contact a realtor to show you potential properties. You can also arrange for a realtor in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA to show rentals once they’re ready to rent.

When You Could Skip It: It depends. Even if you’re a local, or have thoroughly researched the neighborhood(s) you’re considering, a realtor is a great resource for a first-time rental buyer. Realtors have access to data and statistics not necessarily available to the general public and first-time buyers may not know all the right questions to ask. Using a realtor to fill your Houses for Rent vacancies is less of a no-brainer, depending on your other time commitments or whether you plan to hire a resident manager who could do the same thing.

Average Savings: As a buyer of rental properties, as when buying your own home, sellers typically pay most, if not all, of the buyer’s realtor fees. In this case, Mueller points out there’s little reason not to work with a realtor. For help in filling your units in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA, the services of a realtor would set you back between 10-20% of the unit’s rent per month.  Mueller recommends interviewing with several brokers before making your final decision to invest into Houses for Rent .

The Bottom Line: As a new landlord, you can’t necessarily control the flexibility of your schedule or the amount (and cost) of unexpected repairs to your properties. Rentals are a long-term investment. However, to maximize profits from your Houses for Rent, new rentals, you can buy close to home and start small. It is best to begin with just one or two properties. This will allow you to maximize the time you spend on your properties’ needs, and minimize the amount you’ll have to pay anyone else.

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