Being a landlord is more than just owning rental properties; you must also find a way to manage them.
Every landlord’s situation is different. Some want to be actively involved in their properties, while others may want to stay out of property management entirely.
In this article, we cover three options for managing rental properties.
A resident manager can be someone who lives in one of your units or an outsider you hire to take on the property manager duties of your business.
The nice thing about hiring a resident manager is that you have a single person dedicated to your properties. They’re responsible for screening tenants, collecting rent, and handling maintenance, and they’ll be in touch with your tenants’ and properties’ needs. Furthermore, they usually live on-site or close by, so they’re readily available in emergencies.
The downside of a resident manager is that they represent you and your business, and you’re liable for their actions. If they make mistakes or act unprofessionally, it’s ultimately you who suffers the consequences. You’re also responsible for paying them a salary.
Property Management Company
As opposed to hiring a resident manager on your payroll, you can contract with a property management company at a monthly or annual rate to take on your management responsibilities.
A perk of property management companies is that they consist of large teams with experts who specialize in certain tasks. For example, a property management company will have maintenance personnel contracted or on staff to make repairs and landscape, agents who advertise and show your property, etc.
While property management companies are reliable, one of their downsides is their price. Property management companies cost a lot of money, an estimated 8 to 12 percent of your monthly revenue, according to Apartments.com.
If you manage a large number of properties, especially if you don’t live near them, then a property management company may be worth it, as long as you aren’t particularly concerned about feeling detached from the properties.
Property Management Software
Your final property management option is to use software for managing rental properties. With property management software, you can manage all of your properties and tenants yourself without having to spend time and energy handling the tedious legwork. This allows you to remain involved in your business without spending outrageous amounts of time on your management tasks.
Here are some of the features that property management software offers:
- Tenant Screening – You’ll have direct access to all the tools you’ll need to thoroughly screen tenants, such as credit reports, eviction history records, criminal records, and online rental applications.
- Online Rent Collection – Your tenants can easily and conveniently pay rent remotely using debit cards, credit cards, or their bank accounts. Furthermore, features like autopay and automated late fees alleviate responsibility from your shoulders.
- Digital Lease Management – With easy-to-duplicate templates, you can draft lease agreements faster than ever and send them to your tenants via the platform. Within minutes, tenants can sign the documents electronically, and you can move forward with filling your vacancy. All documents are safely and accessibly stored online.
- Maintenance Management – If your tenants run into maintenance issues, they can send you a maintenance ticket on the platform with pictures and descriptions. Once you’re notified, you to contact the vendor and begin fixing the problem.
- Tenant Communication – You can send out automated reminders whenever rent is due, late fees are piling up, maintenance tickets are satisfied, and lease agreements are ending. With in-platform messaging, you can also maintain regular communication with your tenants without exchanging phone numbers.
- Renters Insurance – Tenants can sign up for renters insurance packages right from the platform.
Compared to the other two property management options, software for landlords is quite affordable. Every software platform handles pricing differently. Some platforms have a unit-based pricing model, others have a feature-based pricing model, and some give you free access to some or all of the features.
When it comes to managing your rental properties, you have multiple options. Depending on your circumstances, hiring a resident manager or a property management company may be your most convenient option.
Property management software has become very popular among landlords recently, and for good reason. Its affordability and abundance of helpful features allow you to manage your properties yourself while saving tons of time and money.