What Do Property Management Companies Do? (And How to Vet Them)
Owning commercial property is a huge responsibility. Most building owners and multi-family real estate investors don’t realize that property management companies can completely relieve them of the day-to-day administration of property, prospects, and tenants. The ability to outsource oversight and stewardship of commercial property removes a considerable burden of responsibility, allowing CRE owners more time to focus on generating ROI on current and future investments.
Property management saves time, money, and hassle. And, since you’ve landed on this blog post, you’re likely entertaining the idea of hiring a property manager. Below you’ll gain insight into what property managers do, determine whether you need one, and learn vetting tips.
What do property management companies do, specifically?
Property managers have many responsibilities in managing properties. The most common duties include collecting rent from tenants, managing maintenance requests, showing and leasing vacant units, and handling bookkeeping and taxes.
Generally speaking, hiring a property management company means you’ll be able to focus on running your overall business and not worry about the minute details related to your property. Collect the revenue without the tedious day-to-day work! While the services offered by property managers range from company to company, below are some of the typical tasks of a property manager:
- Ensure that your property remains rented or leased at all times; this can be accomplished by providing advertising, interviewing/screening, and tenants’ placement.
- Set and adjust the correct rental or lease rates based on property value; they stay on top of the property’s current value and negotiate with prospective renters.
- Manage your current tenants; whether it’s maintenance, finances, or legal issues, your property manager will take care of your tenants.
- Identify and advise you on the ideal prospective tenants; property managers will manage the interviewing process and handle all paperwork.
- Collect and deposit the rent; your property management team can set the due date for rent payments, collect the checks, and deposit them into the appropriate accounts.
- Handle compliance issues; housing regulations, tax regulations, and insurance are just a few compliance matters that a property management company can handle.
Now that you understand the role of property management companies, let’s see if you would benefit from property management services.
Do you need a property management company?
While property manager companies can help you immensely, not every property owner needs one. However, you will make the most of your investment without becoming inundated with your property’s micromanagement. Ask yourself these questions as you consider your needs:
- How far is the commute to my rental property?
- Does my schedule allow me to handle issues that require immediate attention?
- Can I take care of the day-to-day management tasks by myself?
- Do I understand the regulations concerning building codes and housing programs?
If you’ve answered “no” to any of the above questions, a property manager may be appropriate for you. Ultimately, they fill in where you can’t be present and handle every issue.
Considerations when vetting property management companies:
Owning commercial property generally means that you will eventually require a trusted property management company. Many companies may be willing to help you manage your property, but each comes with expenses and effort. How do you qualify these options to ensure that everything is taken care of, and your property is running smoothly and worry-free? Proper vetting can help you minimize risks and maximize ROI from your commercial property.
What is their reputation?
First and foremost, ensure that the company you’re considering hiring has a good reputation for property management. Many companies and independent contractors claim to handle any property, whether a suite of offices or an industrial park. Still, find the proof by researching or asking for testimonials. Can their references substantiate their claims? Can you find other people who have worked with them? This approach excludes many startup companies, but your investment comes first, and experience is critical.
What was your first impression?
The individual or team of property managers you end up hiring will represent you and your company/brand. Therefore, it’s essential that you are satisfied with their representation and meet your candidates face-to-face.
Do they have experience with your type of property?
Look at the type of properties in which the property management companies are comfortable handling. There is a big difference between managing a strip mall and managing a manufacturing plant. Finding the right individuals or companies familiar with your property type and its tenants would be best. Property management is a specialist game, and professionals who don’t recognize the differences between the many types of properties — and the unique challenges that come with each — may not be able to be effective in managing yours.
What are the specific property management services they offer?
Understand what type of services each property manager offers. Many property management companies seek tenants, arrange showings, and handle evictions. Typically, a property manager will oversee maintenance, too. They can even take care of most of the paperwork for you, and so much more. A property manager can involve you as much or as little as you’d prefer. A good property manager knows whether to bring something to your attention or handle the issue themselves.
A minimum requirement is to ensure your property manager’s services include sales and showings. A tenant may choose to move unexpectedly or at the end of their lease, leaving you on the hook to find a new tenant.
Do the property management companies have a thorough understanding of your local area?
When vetting property management companies, they must understand your local area. Familiarity with your region will help them to be better prepared. Is this a location where graffiti is common, requiring regular cleanup? Does the parking make it difficult for renters to access their units? Do they have established relationships with local companies who can assist with maintenance and/or renovations? These are all crucial factors that your property management company.
Can the property management company handle the financial aspects of your investment?
Find out whether the property management company has the corporate infrastructure to handle the financial aspects of management. Usually, property managers are required to oversee the collection of rent, the purchase of incidental or ordinary expenditures, and any emergency payments that may crop up. Thorough and clear documentation is key to informing you of their decisions. Similarly, you must trust that they will make financial choices you can both accept.
An investment property should make you a profit without your need to continually work on it. That’s why you must find a team to manage the day-to-day tasks without adding more to your plate.
Looking for a property management company in Columbus, Ohio or throughout Central Ohio?
In Columbus, property management companies may make many promises, but none can anticipate your needs quite like The Robert Weiler Company. Since 1938, our experienced professionals have provided top-notch commercial real estate services – from appraisal and brokerage to property management services. In addition to servicing Columbus, Ohio, we also manage properties throughout Central Ohio. Our current portfolio comprises commercial and residential properties and totals over one million square feet. Whether you need legal assistance, help with tenant management, or building management, we are your go-to team.
One of the most important goals of an investment property is to maximize your income while keeping costs down. Using the most advanced platform in the market, we can provide detailed reports to help you and your tenants access all critical account data and timely information. We can also help market your property, attract potential tenants, then qualify them with credit checks and references. Hiring The Robert Weiler Company to manage and maintain your property will help you receive the highest rent possible while reducing expenses.
We maintain a high level of integrity, credibility, and unsurpassed local market knowledge. As a full-service commercial real estate and appraisal firm, we believe in building relationships, not just completing transactions. You will have a close relationship with your property manager, whom you can count on to complete the job correctly, efficiently, and effectively. Your property manager can easily be reached for detailed, custom-built owner statements, answer your questions, and address any concerns. As one of the most sought-after property management companies Columbus, Ohio offers, there’s only one choice as to who should manage your property: The Robert Weiler Company.
Still asking yourself, “What do property management companies do?” Want to know how we can help your specific needs? Call 614-221-4286 to speak with one of our property management advisors today.