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Property Management Blog

Published on Sunday, July 4, 2010

Secrets Of Property Management Experts

Here are a few steps to help you become one of the best property management experts that landlords all across the US are clamoring for.

  • While experience is important, even if you do not have it you need to start somewhere.  You can make up for this to some extent by getting yourself a good education and training in the skills you will need to be a good manager. This will help you get an edge over the others in your field and quickly move to the front of the pack. Any kind of training in management, accounts, electronics and other fields related to administration and maintenance will be helpful.  There are a number of certified management courses that you can take up which will give you the knowledge that would have otherwise taken ages to acquire on the job.

 

  • Study the local, the state and the federal laws related to realty for the target area where you want to open up your practice. This will again help make you stand out from other property management experts that are your competition.  It will also come in handy when you are faced with situations that require you to know the legal implications of a course of action you are taking. This could refer to structural changes being made on the premises, or rules regarding non-payment of the rent.  At such times knowing the law will help you move quickly and decisively which will earn you respect and propel you into the rarified atmosphere of property management experts .

 

  • Since you will need to have good relationships with not only the tenants but also with the landlord and other maintenance staff, working on your people skills will help you quite a bit. These will go far in enhancing your ability to communicate with these groups while also maintaining peace and harmony when disputes arise. Getting good deals and contracts that help your clients save money will also be a by-product of this skill. It is, therefore, one of the best ones to have when you are playing a managerial role.

 

  • Joining one of the local associations dedicated to property management experts will also be useful. Here, you will be introduced to the best in your field, which will not only be inspirational but also help you build your network of contacts. These in turn will lead you to invaluable exposure to new opportunities and clients.  While generating your business is not your prime responsibility, it is beneficial if you attract well-positioned clients to the facility you manage. This will improve the status of the apartment or properties, and also improve your dealings with the landlord and the maintenance staff.
     

Thus though property management experts do not always have it easy, you can be sure that once you get to that level, you will be experienced and skilled enough to retain that position for a long time to come. After all, with the hard work you have put into achieving that position, it is no small wonder that you wear that tag so easy.

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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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