Apartment Property Management

Apartment property management is considered the managing of a multi-unit rental property and the residents or tenants that occupy it. These properties can range from small multi-unit buildings to very large complexes housing hundred of residents. Residential property management is a more industry used term and could include the managing of single-family homes as well as apartment complexes.

As you can imagine the managing of these types of properties can become quite complex and time consuming in comparison to managing a single-family house. Many owners of apartment buildings do not have the time, expertise or the desire to manage such on their own. In these cases, it is recommended to hire a qualified property management company that specializes in apartment property management.

Responsibilities of an Apartment Property Manager

Here are just a few apartment property management responsibilities that could be required of anyone managing an apartment building:

  • Rent collection

  • Showing available units to prospective tenants

  • Credit and background checks

  • Initiating lease contracts

  • Monitoring and processing lease renewals

  • Enforcing the rules of a lease contract

  • Dealing with violators of a lease contract

  • Handling an eviction from start to finish

  • Mediator when feuds between tenants occur

  • Utilities

  • Grounds keeping

  • Security and safety of premise

  • All types of maintenance issues or repairs you could think of

  • Knowledge of landlord/tenant law

  • Knowledge of fair housing laws

Not ready to manage your Apartment Buildings YourselfThe good news is you can enjoy all the financial benefits of owning these types of properties but not have to deal with the managerial responsibilities of managing them. Some apartment building investors though may decide to take on certain responsibilities themselves. This is a great way to educate yourself, learn from real life experience the in's and out's of the real estate investing business and of course save some money. That being said, we highly recommend acquiring legal advice or counsel if you are unfamiliar with landlord/tenant and fair housing laws in your state and at the federal level.

Hiring an Apartment Property Management company

There are many apartment property management companies in your area who are well-qualified, licensed, and well versed in city, state and federal laws regarding the responsibilities between landlord and tenant. If you're ready to delegate the management of your apartment building today, we recommend interviewing several apartment property management companies. Having an apartment property manager on site at your apartment complexes is a good idea, especially when you cannot oversee the maintenance and renting business that comes with owning larger properties. Often, on-site apartment property managers that maintain apartments will be given their own apartment as part of their compensation.

Things to ask before hiring an apartment property management company

Experience - How long in business. Does the Apartment Property Management team have a proven system in place to streamline operations such as maintenance repair, timely statements, rental deposits, and communication channels? More companies are giving owners access to their property account information via a web site portal. Here you can view your statements, any repair items or rent deposits..etc.

Credentials - Does the Apartment Property Management team possess all licenses or certification required by state law? Unfortunately every state licensing requirement is different. We always recommend using a licensed Property Manager for all your rental property needs whether state required or not.

What percentage of their management portfolio are apartment complexes. If 90% of their portfolio is managing single-family homes, you may want to consider hiring one with more experience in managing larger multi-units.

Get references - Always ask for a current list of properties they manage (do some drive-by's) and talk to other property owners who are their clients.

We suggest hiring a local real estate lawyer to review the Manager/Owner contract and the Landlord/Tenant contract. And don't be afraid to request changes be made if necessary.

And go over all the fees involved in the management of your property. Set up fees, lease renewal fees, do they impose a mark up fee for service/repair calls etc. Find out what their cancellation policy is too. Once you think you've got all your questions answer, then ask this one "Are there any other fees I should know about that we have not discuss that may affect me?"

Investing in apartments for cash flow

Investing in apartment buildings is a great way to build your real estate wealth. Typically these types of properties do well for cash flow to the investor versus single-family houses where you may see appreciation in value more common. When qualifying these types of properties for your portfolio you will want to take into account the passive income that will be generated along with the expense ratio. It's all about the numbers. A good apartment property management company should be able to help you in your decision-making.

Is The Property Management Business For You? Mini Guide For Real EstateInvestors - Part 1

This mini guide for real estate investors is written to help entrepreneurs like you with the mystery of property management career. The investment risks are higher when decisions are made without enough information. By now you know that you want to invest profitably in real estate or already started the process. All the motivation is coming from your desire for financial independence. I know that, because I am with you right on the very same goal.

Assume you have just purchased your investment property. It does not matter whether it is a 10--unit apartment building, a small office building or a single--family home. It is an attractive rental property and you are asking a fair market value rent.

You should have no problem attracting tenants and maintaining a high level of occupancy. What happens with the tenants once they move in is going to depend on you.

The problems with property management are not caused by the business itself, as much as by a lack of education. The property management is the most misunderstood parts of real estate investing. If you do not have good property management, then you will have high management costs, bad tenant relationships, high vacancies and that will be the end of your business.

You would consider these ideas in making your managing investment decision; I did it when I started:

  1. The money you save, by doing property management, may mean the difference between a positive or a negative cash flow for your rental business.

  2. Managing your own properties, at least in the beginning and learning the management business is something to consider. After you become familiar with the manager responsibilities and acquire more properties, you will be able to do a better job of managing professional managers.

  3. More management and investment resources are available at my website.

How I start my property management? I went to school to gain my knowledge before facing the real life competition. I start my property management from the bottom up. My previous experience with real estate renting was being a good tenant for about five years in two different places.

Eight years ago I passed the real estate agent state examination and I worked for two brokers and managed properties on the side to build experience. I got my associate broker license in real estate about four years ago.

We resettled in the U. S. A. coming from communist collapsing East Europe, in 1990. Our assets at that time were intangible, mechanical engineering education and big hopes.

We did not have this game of "getting rich with properties" in the socialist economies. Actually, it was forbidden to even think about owning properties. It took me five years to comprehend there is a less risky way of investing by using real estate properties and rentals.

For $50 and about one hour conversation with our previous property manager -- a very nice lady -- I was in business. The management forms I received helped me to build my forms and gave me enough confidence before the closing on my first apartment building. I was on my way, investing in real estate and managing my own properties for profit. This is how I started my property management career. Now, I appreciate a property management career or a job in property management a lot more.

I am not preaching here to manage your rentals yourself forever. For us, property management is part of getting the necessary life experience to succeed in this new country.

Dealing with people and their needs gets messy if you do not use a system. Qualifying the potential applicant over the telephone saves time and money. Renting real estate is the toughest part of the property management job. Here is how my qualifying filter system is working:

The local newspaper classified ads bring most of my renting real estate applicants. I call them Potential Applicants (PA) before submitting the rental application. I give to potential applicants enough info in the newspaper, so they may drive by and talk with our tenants. The prospect applicant should come ready, wanting to rent the apartments from us, because we take good care of the tenants and the apartments.

This is what I want with my ads.

"My town, clean 1 bedroom apt. $500 plus deposit, utilities included, A/C, coin laundry available, 123 Main Street, (222) 333-4444"

They have the address for the location, that the utilities are free and my cell phone number. Here are examples of first conversations over the phone with the potential applicants (PA).

PA: Hello, is the apartment available? Me: Yes, when you want to move in? My name is Ernest. PA: Thanks, my name is Mary. It is for my son John; He is planning to move soon. Me: Sorry, is it a strong reason way your son can't call himself?

(My experience tells me I may stop here and deal with the real party later, the relatives or friends have a different agenda sometime. In reality, I continue giving information about renting.)

The son is calling me later.

PA: Where is this apartment located?

Me: At the corner of Main and Grand, next to the gas station, across the Seven Eleven. Look for apartment no.30. You can drive by and get from "Take One" box, an application with info printed the other side. PA: Do you accept pets?

Me: What do you have in mind as pet? (Reptiles, rodents, dangerous dogs, etc are not on my list, I ask because the applicant will talk and I can mind his/her personality).

PA: It was my aunt' cat and she is 10 years old, etc. Me: Yes, we accept a qualified cat with a "Pet agreement". The no refundable fee is $175. Do you have some pay stubs from your job? That will help us to check your employment; or

PA: No, I receive social security checks, I am on disability.

(To assume when renting real estate that all tenants on assistance or seniors will be bad is wrong. Some may get a co-signer.)

Me: Sorry we only take applications if the total monthly documented net income is 3 times the rent. The no refundable application fee is only $20 and we do a credit report request and pay a different company for that service. (Some applicants just gives up after this phrase.); or

PA: Yes I work two jobs: manager at Mac Donald and telephone marketing at night. My girlfriend is working as telephone marketer. Together we make $1400 a month.

(This is a border line situation, they may pay for a few months and something is happening and girl/boy friend is gone. He/she no longer qualifies by income requirements. In this cases if the vacancy is hurting me and I cannot wait for a better applicant, I might take them, but the lease will have a clause: "If he or she intends to leave any time, they both must leave at the same time"); or:

PA: Yes, I work part-time at "Printing Nice" and I am full-time student. It is my fist time out of home; my mom may co-sign the lease.

Me: OK, bring your mom when you want to see the apartment.

PA: We want to see it, Saturday morning at 12 noon, it is our time to look for apartments.(PA may put some pressure on you)

Me: OK, see you then, at apartment no.30 second floor, a sign "For Rent" is in the window/door.

The potential applicant interview is very important. You have to see face to face the potential applicant and their pet. Watch their car how clean is outside and inside and get an idea about how much that person care about personal staff.

My "good tenant" definition is: A good tenant is paying always on time, takes care of apartment, is friendly and comprehends "quiet enjoyment" words.

It is better for me to wait for the right applicant and do not rush to make a buck. Also, I discovered that the service to society, the humanity we share is coming after you take care of our business. Otherwise you will not be in this business for very long time.

Eleven Key Attributes of a Good Property Manager

Property Management is a career profession. The industry allows for employment growth, continual learning experiences, and the opportunity to work with diverse people and income groups. The Property Manager can work either directly for an owner of real estate properties, or for a property management company, contracted by an owner or legal entity to care for the real estate over a specific period of time.

The Property manager has a fiduciary relationship with the management company and property owner. A fiduciary relationship is one that is based on a mutual trust and complete confidence in one another.

The Property Manager is provided an owner's real estate portfolio to manage to its "highest and best use" in exchange for an employment contract or salary. Real estate assignments for the property manager includes apartment buildings, condominiums, hotels, storage facilities, shopping centers, office buildings, government subsidized properties, rooming houses, abandoned buildings and plots of vacant land, to name a few.

I have managed almost all of the above types of properties for over twenty years. I have managed public and private housing, for non-profit organizations, for the federal government, and for private developers and real estate investors. I also owned my own property management company for eight years. I now teach, speak, and write about property management standards and techniques. Here are some crucial skills, which I know from first hand experience, must be accepted as required attributes and learned skills in order to be a good property manager.

1. Must Know and Stay Current on Local Ordinances and State Laws

Managers are required to perform their work according to the laws of the land. The government (city, state, and federal) dictates how real estate is to be managed, from requiring a real estate license (depending on the state), to the use of the real estate (such as rent control laws). From proper trash removal to how and where we must keep security deposits, the manager has to keep abreast of the many legal requirements of managing real estate. If a mistake is made or a task is forgotten, it could cost the owner his or her property, and/or a management company's reputation, loss of the account, or even the loss of real estate licenses.

2. Must Be Highly Ethical and Honest

Property Managers work on the Honor Code when they handle other people's money. By collecting rent, security deposits, laundry machine money et al, the property manager holds a fiduciary relationship with the property owner and/or management company. The owner entrusts the property with thousands of dollars each month, plus the value of the real estate itself. The manager is hired to perform at his or her highest level of integrity. On a daily basis, the property manager's good judgment and sense of what is right and wrong is called into play.

3. Must be Detail Oriented and Organized

Managers collect the rent daily, and must ensure that each rent is paid and posted to the tenants' account as received. Financial records detailing each and every rent transaction are kept, either by rent cards, or on the computer. Lease expirations and renewals, rent increase letters, and rent invoices must be mailed on time. lines for court appearances must be kept, and clients must receive their written monthly report of operations. A skilled property manager is able to multi-task, keep site files organized, and prioritize repairs and assignments.

4. Must Have Good Communication Skills

Managers must be able to communicate with people from all walks of life, cultures, ethnicities, and personalities. Managers must be able to articulate their cases in front of judges, talk to the owner, negotiate with vendors as well as speak appropriately with tenants, who are often frustrated, upset, or angry. A good manager must be able to stay calm, and communicate in a professional manner. Familiarity speaking in other languages is always a plus.

5. Must have Good Computer Skills

Computer competency is a technical skill, like driving, typing, etc. The use of email, mail merge, and faxing through the computer is at the heart of property management today. This is especially true if the property is on one part of the city or state, and the home office is a distance away from the site. If a manager does not have a solid command of the computer and its basic programs, such as Microsoft Word and the spreadsheet Excel, you may be hard pressed to find an administrative position in this field.

6. Should Like Working with the Public

If everyone paid the rent on time by the fifth day of each month, the manager would not have rent collection work to do. If a property never had problems, such as toilet overflows, lost keys, or defective smoke detectors, a property manager would have little to do. Therefore, it is important that a manager enjoy dealing with people with problems. A manager should at least like helping tenants with dignity, and in a responsible manager. If you do not like being interrupted several times a day with a dilemma to solve, this type of job may not be for you.

7. Must Be Patient and Have a Sense of Humor

There is some pressure involved working with the public. There are days when nothing seems to go right, and if you happen to have a headache that day, it could be a long 9 to 5. A calm personality or a good sense of humor will take you a long way in property management. If you tend to be high-strung, anxious, or become angry or impatient while working with tight deadlines or with people with problems, you may want to re-consider taking on this profession.

8. Must Like to Read and Conduct Research

There are many types of leases, agreements, forms, and other legal documents that must be signed between tenants, the manager, government agencies, the site attorney, and/or the owner. Real estate and governmental regulations change; the manager must be willing to read up on them and stay current. Documentation must be read and checked before submitted to tenants, agencies, the owner, etc. If you do not like to read in order to keep up with the latest trends, legal and industry changes and terminology used, you will not be able to properly do your job.

9. Must Have a Strong Sense of Duty and Commitment

Ensuring that the tenants under your control are treated with respect, have heat and hot water, are not subjected to or committing illegal activities or disruptive behavior of their neighbors, are some of the managers' duties. Tenants depend on the manager's sense of obligation to the property and the families or professionals who live in it. The manager may not always have the funds to do everything all the time, but what can and should be done, such as keeping the building clean, and having a sense of urgency to get work completed in a timely manner.

10. Should be Flexible-Minded

Property Management is a fluid profession, in that it follows economic, governmental, industry, and societal changes that impacts how a property is managed. Managers who still like the "good old days" of mistreating tenants and making rental applicants jump through unnecessary hoops to get an apartment (or the opposite, by not checking anything), will find him or herself out of touch, and maybe out of a job. The ability to accept changes of law, obey fair housing laws, have a positive, or at least a neutral, attitude about people who are different, and above all, to be open-minded, is a key element of a successful manager.

11. Must Be an Excellent Follow-Up Person

A manager can never assume that a repair or rent payment plan will happen on its own. Our mantra is: "Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up!" This is one of the most critical skills of a good property manager. The ability to multi-task, keeping several balls in the air without dropping any of them is challenging, and difficult at times. The ability to successfully multi-task is often rewarded both financially and in promotion decisions.

Property Management Services

Management companies provide a wide array of property management services to investors. The needs of each real estate investment may be different and the exact service offering of each company will vary, but here is an overview of the main services offered by residential property management firms.

Determine the best rental rate

A manager will perform a detailed evaluation of your property in an effort to determine the optimal rental rate. This typically involves documenting the interior and exterior with quality photos, offering recommendations on repairs and cosmetic improvements that will improve ROI, researching comparables and their current rental rates, and discussing with the owners the pros and cons of different policies and restrictions on the property.

Market the unit to tenants

A competent property manager should have a lot to offer and be actively involved in the process of gaining new tenants. This typically means preparing the home for rent, creating ads and marketing the rental online and offline, working with other realtors and leasing agents to find prospective tenants, fielding calls from prospects for questions and viewings, meeting potential tenants throughout the week and weekend for showings, providing a legally compliant rental application, and collecting the signed application with the application fee.

Screen potential tenants

The last thing any landlord wants is a troublesome or delinquent tenant. A property management company worth its salt will carefully screen potential tenants, perform the necessary background checks, grade the tenant according to predefined criteria and inform both the tenants who were selected and those who were turned down of the final decision. This doesn't eliminate the risk of getting a bad tenant, but it does much to minimize it.

Supervise tenant move in

A property manager will provide assistance to tenants during the move in process. They will draw up the leasing agreement and review its requirements with the tenant to make sure they understand their responsibilities, ensure that all the necessary agreements have been signed, perform a detailed move in inspection, and collect the first month's rent and security deposit.

Collect rent

Property managers are responsible for collecting rent from the property. They should deal proactively with late payments, sending out pay or quit notices, and enforcing the late fees specified in the leasing agreement.

Evict recalcitrant tenants

A good manager will be prepared to deal with this unpleasant process in an orderly fashion according to the law. They will know how to file the relevant paperwork to initiate and complete an unlawful detainer action, represent the owner in court, and work with law enforcement to remove the tenant and the tenant's possessions from the unit.

Provide legal advice

A management firm will be able to provide advice in the event of a legal dispute or litigation brought against the owner. If necessary, they will refer the owner to a qualified attorney. Most importantly, a competent manager will understand and abide by the latest local, state and federal legislation that apply to rental properties, minimizing the owner's legal risks.

Inspect the property regularly

Periodic inspections of the property to identify repair needs, safety hazards, code violations, lease violations, etc, and keep the owner informed of the condition of the investment.

Manage finances

Property management companies may provide a wide variety of finance-related services to real estate investors, including accounting services, annual reports for tax purposes, record keeping, advice on tax deductions, and monthly cash-flow statements showing income and itemized expenses.

Maintain and repair the unit

A management company will coordinate with the owner to make sure the property receives the necessary maintenance and repairs. The work may be performed by their in-house maintenance crew, or through a network of licensed, bonded, and insured contractors, who should be vetted for good pricing and work that is up to code. They should maintain a 24 hour emergency hotline that tenants can call to request urgent repairs.

Supervise tenant move out

When a tenant is ready to move out, the property manager helps facilitate the process by inspecting the unit, communicating with the tenant, refunding the balance of the security deposit, cleaning the unit, re-keying the locks, and putting the unit back on the market for rent.

This isn't a comprehensive survey, but is a fair summary of the services typically performed by residential property management companies.

Advanced Thinking Concepts for Investing in a Property Management Firmin Uganda

As the Ugandan economy continues developing, the property market will grow. Many of the property sector investors however will probably not have time to manage the properties themselves on a day to day basis. They will increasingly rely on property management firms.

Before considering property management in Uganda as an investment option, the investor needs to however be aware of the following:


1. Legal hurdles.

You should be aware that in Uganda, owing to the poor land tenure system, combined with administrative inefficiencies and corruption, property purchase and construction is often fraught with legal difficulties. It is not uncommon for individuals to obtain illegal planning permits for construction of properties in say gazetted zones like wetlands and forest reserves. Subsequently rectifying this irregularity has often resulted in long drawn out legal processes and the owner and thus the property manager often lose revenues during the non occupancy of the disputed property.

2. Reputation.

Property management firms like any other businesses need to exhibit a high degree of integrity for potential clients to handover the properties. In Uganda there have been some high-profile court cases involving property managers, including one of a leading property management firm whose managing director conned a potential purchaser of advance monies paid. There was a significant reputation loss. If you are considering investing in this sector, you should therefore ensure you maintain the high standards of professional ethics such as separating client and office monies as well as maintaining good accounting records, otherwise your reputation can easily be dented.

3. The property market bubble.

Whilst the global credit crisis continues depressing property values in places such as the USA and the UK, In Uganda this is not particularly being felt for a myriad of reasons. In the commercial sector, malls and shopping centres continue to spring up in the capital city Kampala and its suburbs to cater for the growing middle class and increasing population as a result of rural- urban migration which is currently estimated at 3%-5% per annum.

In the residential sector owing to a general shortage of housing there is always demand for property and as such the property values continue to rise. The shortage of housing is primarily because just like many cities across sub Saharan Africa, rural-urban migration to Kampala has resulted in significant population growth not matched by construction and thus causing a shortage of housing, particularly for the low and middle level income earners.

The main risk of the property bubble in Uganda would arise from political instability which would lead to collapse of the sector.

4. Competition

The competition for property management in this sector is as follows:

At the top end of the market are international property management firm affiliates like Knight Frank. In addition there are ISO certified companies like Amalgamated Property Consultants (APS) as well as large and reputable property management companies such as Crane Management services which is under the Ruparelia Group of companies.

At the lower end of the market are property brokers who also double as property managers for their clients. These typically cater for low-income earners' housing.

In my model, I advocate that the property management investor will need to develop their niche as follows:

1) A firm that is an affiliate or franchise holder of an international property management firm. In Uganda, as far as I know, international property management firms like CBRE and Colliers have no local representation except for Knight Frank. There is therefore an opportunity for the investor to ensure that their firm gets affiliation to these international firms. This will give them instant brand recognition and the perceived quality and reputation already associated with the international firms. In addition they will benefit from the referrals if clients of the international firm seek a local representative in Uganda. I can expect that this affiliation has contributed to the success of Knight Frank Uganda.

2) A firm that has some brokers on its payroll. Brokers in Uganda tend to act independent of any firm, are semi illiterate and lack sufficient working capital to deal with potential clients.If the firm therefore guarantees them a daily allowance say of shs. 10,000 to cater for meals, transport and communication for their activities, they are likely to refer future business to the firm, particularly if they are unable to handle it themselves.


Excellent return on capital

In my model I expect that the investment will be returned in about 6 months. The reason for this is manifold:

a) The property manager's advertising will emphasise property management as their core business. This is such that the firm can develop inside knowledge of the sector as well as establish itself as a reputable leader in the sector. When they have developed a good reputation, clients can then entrust them with property sales, which tend to be more lucrative than property management.The property management side is therefore in business terms called the "loss leader".

b) A significant part of the marketing budget will go to the brokers rather than traditional avenues of marketing like TV and newspaper advertisements. This is because the Ugandan real estate sector is highly informal and as such a significant portion of the illiterate/semi illiterate but wealthy persons will usually revert to the brokers who just like them are often illiterate/semi illiterate. It therefore becomes critical to have these brokers as a linkage to such clientele.

In my model, I expect returns will be as below:

Capital Investment(A): Shs 35, 149, 155

Profit per year (B): Shs. 58,803,380

Return on Investment/Capital (years to get capital back) (A/B): 0.6 years


The basics you must get right before investing:

1. Property management software. You must invest in good software to provide you with real-time client accounts and reporting. This will give the client the assurance as to your integrity. I cannot recommend a particular software but a google search should yield one.

2. Maintain a good contact data base. Property management requires liaison with several bodies including city council authorities, land authorities, utility suppliers, repairs and maintenance personnel, lawyers and brokers. I expect that a good property management software system will have a robust Database Management System at its heart. I will reiterate, include a good lawyer and accountant on this contact database.

3. Become an affiliate of an international property management firm. If you cannot afford one with an international firm such as CBRE or Colliers then go for a locally reputable firm like APS.

For over 8 years I have worked with several clients providing audit, accounts, tax and advisory in sectors ranging from agriculture, mining, entertainment, financial services and technology. My client portfolio in Uganda, The Bahamas and The Channel Islands, United Kingdom has equally been diverse and this experience has given me a "well rounded" view of business including several clients in the Real Estate/Property market.

The Greening of Property Management

When your day is spent trying to revolutionize an industry, it can be rather exciting yet a little frustrating at the same time. Not only do you have to get the word out to millions of people, but you also have all of those who ignore you when they hear 'change'. Those people may agree with you that they want everything to be done faster and cheaper, so long as it stays the same.

We always start out by reminding them that there can be very little progress without change, but it is hard for them to swallow that part of progress as it relates to changing anything. Progress they want, change they do not want. In order for a property manager to be able to say, Yes and Now to each customer, building owner, staff member, vendor, leasing broker or anyone they encounter, there must be a monumental change within the industry to make this dramatic progress a reality. We are hoping, like so many people, that by adding Greening to the concept it might take off. It seems that anything about Greening or The Environment is popular. As property managers we need to start Greening ourselves.

For us to become a green industry our effort will be more than just recycling, it will have to include creating standards, minimizing training, eliminating redundancy, identifying the appropriate tools and stopping the madness of starting over every time a new property is assigned to us and minimizing the horrific pain when a property is taken away or sold. If and when, we as an industry, empower ourselves as property managers to provide Yes and Now solutions, there will be a great efficiency or greening of the property management world. The greening will take place throughout every facet of the physical property as well. The greening will impact actual costs and improve customer retention, lower employee turnover and increase the actual value of the property if we all pull together and green this industry.

For over two decades I have been in property management, with the majority of those years in the field, at the frontline. The frontline is an appropriate description of those persons in a company who deal with the customers. When you are at the front, the demands come from various directions. Those challenges come from the general public, existing customers, building ownership, the local municipality, the corporate office, vendors or even our own property staff, and usually all at the same time. There is a constant barrage and an endless flow of expectations, with internal conflicts. Herein lies the problem or dilemma.

For instance, the customers expect us to be at our desk at all times to answer their questions or answer the phone when they call. The building owner wants us to walk the property each day and insure all things are in top condition, while watching every single penny spent and every single penny collected. The property manager is also held accountable for each member of the building staff and the assurance to ownership and our corporate office that the staff is being supervised with eagle eyes. Those high standards are expected at the on-site office we are assigned to, in addition to the other 6 properties we manage.

The corporate office wants reports done on time so the accounting department is insured immediate response to their inquiries or needs. When a broker inquires about space available, those tenant rep brokers want the answers now. The local municipality expects us to be at the ready and drop everything, on a moments notice to do a full building or fire inspection so we comply with all codes and ordinances. All of the vendors want to be paid immediately after performing their services and the vendors will call repeatedly until we can tell them the exact time they will be paid. Simultaneous to this we are listening to the property leasing broker on the other line who is impatiently waiting for feedback on a 7 page, lease proposal that he/she needs to have our feedback on within the next 15 minutes. All while there is another tenant standing in the office appalled that the illegal car in their parking space has not yet been towed, along with the staff member who wishes to find out why their paycheck was shorted 1.5 hours overtime.

All of the above scenarios can be made less painful if we pull together and start a grassroots effort to revolutionize the property management industry and take the property manager out of the line of fire by igniting a movement towards creating an environment whereby the property manager or the frontline staff, can truly find the time to provide excellent customer service. In addition, immediate responsiveness to the general public, our customers, the building staff, the government, the corporate office and the vendors who all believe they are entitled to receive answers now and make us a Green industry.

Because the industry is bogged down with redundancy, limited standardization, dysfunctional tools, insane repetition and wasted motion, we are the biggest culprits of waste and ineffiency. Today, with all of the creative electronic gadgets and sleek cell phones, why is a property manager ordering 3-part NCR work order pads from Peachtree, bulletin boards to post notices, reams and reams of paper to print statements, newsletters and other legal notices, cases of timecards for the staff to punch in and punch out, binders to store records and logs, and tons of envelopes to mail out the paper coupon books, paper invoices, vendor paper checks and paper remittance stubs and letters imploring the vendors to provide the paper certificates of insurance or other vendor compliance requirements? The reason is simple. We are not creating cohesive systems or systems of any kind. With cohesive systems that communicate, the redundancy will be gone, the manual task will be gone, the errors will be gone and the service will be improved.

There are groups tackling these challenges right now. These groups are taking the challenge head on. The goal is to create standards across all PM/FM firms. In a conference call with one of the organization leaders last week, we were given an overview of the various standards already in place. As professionals we must continue to monitor the various organizational processes and keep spreading the word about this important step in the process of improving the property management industry. If you take the standards and connect this to all of our systems, we will all be able to share data across any database, no matter what accounting system, work order system, commercial listing service or lease abstract system.

Our mission is to connect all of these dots so things can truly be 'touch it once'. Every aspect of managing any asset should be treated as a giant template. Once this template is in place, simply change the names and fill in the blanks. If we, as an industry can start looking at standards, practices, systems and procedures as templates, we can truly be a much Greener industry.

Linda Day Harrison, author of this article, is a CERTIFIED PROPERTY MANAGER® and Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM®) and has been in the property and facility management industry since 1980.

Linda has managed such prestigious properties as the 900/910 Lake Shore Drive Towers, architect Mies VanDer Rohe, 29 East Madison and the National Association of Realtors® headquarters, all located within the highly acclaimed Gold Coast, Loop and River North neighborhoods of Chicago, Illinois, US, respectively.

Linda's last role was as President of a Chicago based, full service commercial real estate company, where Linda was key in revamping the accounting, technology, administrative and property management departments with her keen sense of processes and systems and their relationship to technology and automation. As a visionary strategist Linda has earned an outstanding reputation as an exceptional professional service provider who has raised the bar among colleagues and peers.

In Linda's last position, the Chicago based, full service company was a spin off firm of Baird & Warner Management Group, Inc., which then acquired another longtime Chicago firm Floyd M. Phillips. Later those merged firms were then sold into another locally based firm. This then opened up the opportunity in 2007 for Linda to found ManagerLabs, a technology think-tank, and take on the role, for the Property and Facility Management industries, as a maven dedicated to advancing the industries use of technology, by affordable and effective means.

Snag Your Property Manager Jobs Easily With These Proven Steps

Are you curious about property manager jobs? While there are no formal requirements for working with a property management company, it's important to prepare yourself adequately to work in the field. Use this simple step by step approach to gain the experience that you'll need to succeed as a property manager.

Does Formal Education Help for Your Property Manager Jobs?

While A college degree is not strictly required for those who choose to pursue property management jobs, it provides you with important interpersonal and professional skills that you can use on the job. No matter what career you choose, a college degree can only help you in your career goals.

When it comes to property management, certain courses will help you gain more insight into the field. Consider taking classes in real estate, accounting, business, finance, and related fields.

In general, pursuing a bachelor's degree or higher is a good idea, and many companies do show a preference professionals with degrees. However, if you are unable to complete a four year degree or higher, consider taking part time courses at a local community college.

Training and Earning Your Property Management Certification

When you are looking for property manager jobs, having the proper training and certification can provide you with a distinct advantage over the competition. If you don't have any working experience, having the right training can mean the difference between getting your job dream and being shown the door.

Property management training courses are available through a wide variety of avenues. They are offered by many vocational and technical schools, as well as real estate associations. You can also find options for online training. This is especially helpful if you already working full time and are moving onto a new career.

It is also a good idea to pursue CPM (Certified Property Manager) status through the Institute of Real Estate Management. To do so, you must pass mandatory courses in human resource management, real estate financing and marketing, and property management. These courses can be completed via distance learning or in a classroom.

How does Work Experience Affect Your Property Manager Jobs?

Even though training and education are very important when it comes to property manager jobs, there is no substitute for the first hand experience you get from working in the field.

Perhaps the most important lesson you'll learn from on the job experience are the interpersonal skills you gain from dealing with landlords, tenants, and third parties like contractors, attorneys, and other real estate professionals. This type of experience simply can't be gained from a textbook.

Working your way up through the ranks is the best way to learn these skills.You may want to consider becoming a member of a professional association for property managers, like the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), the National Apartment Association (NAA), or the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM).

Joining a professional organization will raise your credibility with potential employers, and provide you with access to experienced mentors to provide support and advice.

By taking these steps, you'll be well on your way to gaining the experience that you need in order to take on property manager jobs of increasing responsibility. As with any profession, you should commit yourself to continually learning and perfecting your trade.

Property Management - Investment Comes First

The Investment

Investing in real estate can be overwhelming if one is not aware of how the system behind this business works. This can be a lifetime source of income. But it takes the right kind of management to ensure success and avoid failure in this intricate venture.

The most common dilemma that owners face is how to maintain a well-balanced portfolio or properties in different geographic areas and on varying market conditions. This is what property management services are good at.

Tampa property management should he about the primary landlord or investor as customer. Most clients are intentional investors who expect expert service. About a third are "accidental investors"; individuals and families who find themselves with an unsold or unoccupied home because of relocation, slow market conditions or other circumstances.

Property Managers And Their Responsibilities

Traditional property management rules should be challenged on the basis of accountability. For example, a property inspection is normally charged to the landlord, yet this is a standard that has been created due to tenant behavior. The company should disclose this charge to tenant as term of the lease, This process reduces landlords' costs while increasing tenant accountability.

Next is landlord reporting. Most property management accounting systems are designed from the bottom up around managing data units such as a house and a tenant, and accounting to an owner. There should be an investor-client accounting entity; and everything else (house/units, tenants and transactions) as items that are accounted for, rolled up and reported to the investor, no mailer where the investment is or which franchise manages this property.

The system can be maintained and accessed by an authorized property manager or client, no matter where they are. This shift in perspective has been a major hurdle for property managers treading water just to keep house and units rented, and current.

Real Estate Investment Expectations

Successful property managers are often in a no-win position, especially if they are referred to an investor-client who was oversold on the rental possibilities of a property. The expectations do not meet market reality. A perfect job for someone with impractical expectations is seen as an imperfect job.

Intimate understanding of this customer experience dilemma is part of the culture and the processes that deliver a solution that is sensitive to meeting businesslike expectations. Educating real estate agents to deliverable standards, and franchisees to this contradiction, is a key factor for a successful client-investor relationship.

The Search Is On and Ongoing

The Internet is now a medium for advertising properties. Property management in Tampa spend more thousands of dollars a year on Internet tenant advertising and search engine optimization. The number continues to grow as new markets and franchisees are added.

There are 39,000 existing property management companies of varying sizes across this country. But investors want consistent standards, service, anti reporting when they invest across multiple markets. The stakes are high for the investor. A poor property management experience adds risk and expenses that are often fatal to the success of a real estate based investment retirement plan.

For more information or for further inquiries, visit: Rental Homes Tampa. Real Property Management specialize in the management of residential properties all over the United States, and our Tampa office is locally owned and operated and serves Hillsborough County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, and Polk County. This gives us tremendous resources at the local level to assist you with your property management needs.

Should You Hire a Property Manager Or Not?

Using a property manager has both pros and cons. There are no hard and fast rules regarding whether you should hire one or not. You have to evaluate the answer based on your own situation. The following are some considerations to take into account before you jump to a conclusion.

Time Commitment

A lot of real estate investors have a full time job so they do not have enough time or energy to manage properties. Especially if the house is situated remotely, many investors might feel they cannot manage on their own or do not want to travel. If fact, you can manage on your own.

Cost Benefit

If you have several properties or an apartment complex in one area, using a property manager to manage all the property may be economic. The manager will be able to combine expenses and costs. For example, they can purchase maintenance materials in bulk for all the rental units. If you don't have several rental units in one area, but together with your friends' or families' rental units you do. Then you can afford to hire a professional dedicated property manager.

The Nature of the Rental Market Where your Property is Located

If your rental property is located in an area where renters mostly check out the rentals through the local property management companies, then you have no other choice but to hire the company. This may happen in small towns where there is only a handful of management companies.

Tenant's Characteristics

Some tenants are not easy to deal with. You may find some tenants that are constantly paying late, asking for a lot of unnecessary repairs, complaining about everything, or having difficulty keeping up the premises. A property manager may handle the situation better than you as you might be emotionally attached to your property and less likely to handle many issues impartially. What's more, the tenant might try to take advantage of you. They may take it more seriously if they are dealing with a professional property management company instead of an individual.

Does your Property Need Frequent Repairs or Maintenance?

If your property needs frequent repairs due to its age or other reasons, having a property manager may help you if repairs are a burden. Usually the property management company either has its own in-house repair service or contracts with outside vendors. In any case, you should ask about it before hiring them and understand how much they charge.

What Kind of Service do you need from a Property Manager?

Do you need a full service property management, which includes placing tenants and ongoing management service? If the condition of your property is good or new and not much repair is anticipated, you may save your money on the ongoing management service part. If you already have a tenant but you are moving out of that area you can use a local property manager to collect the rent and do the maintenance work.

Lack of Interest in Managing

Some rental property owners just do not want to get involved in managing the property at all. They rather have someone look after their rental properties so they can enjoy their life doing other things. That is absolutely ok. Enjoying life is also very important.

The purpose of hiring a property manager is to free up your time and make your rental investment successful. Nevertheless, hiring a poor one is worse than hiring no one. You can end up spending more time and money to rescue your property.

If you hire one, keep in mind it does not mean you have to be a completely hand-offs owner. You should keep in regular communication with your property manager so he understands you do not treat your real estate business lightly. How to hire a good property manager belongs to another blog we will write about.

Commercial Property Management - What to Look For

So you've decided to invest in commercial properties...perhaps a shopping center. What do you do next? Many investors face that tough question. When reality sets in the task of maintaining and running a commercial property can quickly become overwhelming, even to the savviest investor. That is when they employ the services of an experienced commercial property management company.

What can an experienced commercial property management company do for you?

1. Collect all rent payments and deposit them into your account.
While collecting monthly rent from your tenants is often a challenge, a good property management company already has its own systems in place to ensure that rent payments are collected when they should be so as not to affect your cash flow.

2. Know what competitors are charging.
A really competent commercial property manager monitors the rental rates you are charging to ensure that they are priced just right for the area. This can be a key factor in securing and keeping good tenants for you.

3. Be Knowledgeable of All Pertinent Real Estate Laws and Statutes.
Commercial property managers stay abreast of important laws pertaining to your property to ensure that your real estate properties are in compliance and up to code.

4. Be a Masterful Marketer.
An experienced property manager is a master at handling all the current online and offline marketing and advertising opportunities to promote your property. These strategies will keep vacancies at a minimum.

5. Be Meticulous at Inspections.
The commercial property manager you choose should be vigilant in the maintenance of your property through regular inspections. It is important that they find and fix any problems before they grow into a larger issue before, during and after your tenant takes occupancy.

6. Have a Proven Ability to Keep Occupancy Rates High.
This can take a lot of a manager's time, so be sure he has the availability, staff and resources to handle this important service. A good property manager will handle aspects of securing the right tenants for your shopping center by conducting all the necessary background/credit checks, credit reports, etc.

7. Have Great Resources.
Experienced property management firms have spent time over the years forging important relationships with suppliers, contractors, maintenance workers, etc. who can save you time and money when making changes or repairs to your shopping center.

8. Be a Time Management Whiz.
Hiring a good commercial property manager to handle all the details concerning your center frees up your time to focus on other endeavors. Look for programs used by your prospective managers to indicate that they value their time and use it well. This will mean a more efficient and ultimately effective administration of your program.

9. Be Able To Manage Properties Anywhere.
Because it's not possible for you to efficiently monitor your commercial properties that are located out of your geographic area, an experienced property management firm with multiple offices or affiliates can make your life incredibly less complicated.

10. Financial Management.
Most commercial property management professionals also assist with your financial management strategies and charge investors a percentage of the monthly rental rate of the property, usually 3.5% to 6%. Savvy investors realize the benefits of a good property manager and gladly pay this fee.

Make Finding a Property Management Co Easier on Yourself by Asking theRight Questions, Part 1 of 4

This is a four part series where we have outlined important questions to ask a property management company before hiring them.

Series 1 Company's credentials
Series 2 Property management services
Series 3 Property management fees
Series 4 Tenant screening process

Property management companies come in all sizes, capabilities and expertise. Just because one works for one investor doesn't necessarily mean they will work for you. Below we have outlined some important questions to ask a company during your initial interview process. Their answers to these questions will provide insight into their business capabilities, credentials and areas of expertise,and can provide you with an understanding of the type of services they offer which are important to you.

Series 1 - Credentials

Years in the business - Years in the business can equate to experience and stability within a company. Of course things such as changes in key personnel or senior management can jeopardize this. But generally this is a good indicator of a company with a solid foundation. Chances are they have solid processes and procedures in place to streamline the management of possibly hundreds of properties all at the same time. Make sure these "years in the business" are related to property management and not sales only. Just because they have 30 years running a real estate sale department does not make them an expert in property management or tenant relations.

Done business under another name - You should do your due diligence and contact the Better Business Bureau or other reliable service such as Dun & Bradstreet to see if the company your interested in has a good track record or any consumer complaints filed against them. The Better Business Bureau assigns grades from A to F with pluses and minuses. A+ is the highest grade and F is the lowest. The grade represents BBB's degree of confidence that the business is operating in a trustworthy manner and will make a good faith effort to resolve any customer concerns. If the company your interested in has done business under another name you will want to check the track record of this business entity also.

Property Management Only or Sales also - Some investors will only hire companies that deal strictly in property management when it comes time to managing their rentals. These companies are focused on every aspect of property management since this is all they do, and they will not be influenced in trying to get you to sell and making a sales commission.

Other investors may find security in knowing they have a management company that is well verse in sales. A company that offers both sales and property management can be very useful if you plan on buying multiple properties and want to work exclusively with one company for buying and managing all these properties. These companies typically will have a good grasp of the overall market condition whether buying, selling for owner occupied or investment.

Real Estate or Brokers License - In order to practice business as a property manager some states require they process a Real estate or Broker's license. To receive a license requires extensive education as well as passing the state's licensing exam. In order to keep their license current they must also participate in ongoing courses. These courses and license designations cost money and show they have a commitment to their trade. Other states may only require a certificate, which consists of basic classes and passing a class exam.

Staff personnel - Some management company may employ hundreds of employees, while others may be run by a sole proprietor. What you want to find out here is the ratio between their portfolio of rental properties and managers they employ. In other words, if they manage several hundred properties yet only have two staff managers, they may be overworked and unable to give you the service you expect.

Type of properties you manage - Some property management companies manage all types of properties while others specialize in one type, such as residential. If you have a single-family house that needs managing, a company with 90% of its properties being commercial property may not be a good fit. Typically commercial and community association management is the most profitable for a property management company. And some residential property management company may prefer to manage only multi-unit apartment buildings of a certain size and not manage single family houses at all.

Property Management Companies - How Essential Are They?

Property management is very important to make a regular flow of money. If the property is vacant or is not well managed it will cost you infact you will be losing some amount of money every month. So before you property lose it charm and value, it is better to manage it and make some goods flow of money every month. It is true that people face tough time to maintain the assets, but it can be done easily by hiring the reputed and professional property management services. They offer you their services to maintain your house, flats, apartments, buildings and many other possessions in a great style, so that people would hire them on rent.

Today we often see that people spend their money in a well managed and well maintained property. Be it for hiring the room, flats or apartments on rents or property for business purposes, people usually how well it is managed. They check out everything before hiring, so if you want to make a goods income from your property it has to be well maintained. Managing your assets will truly give a goods return every month. So if you could not do it yourself, hire one reputed and professional rental management company.

A rental management company can range is size according to their dealing processes. Some deals only with rental management while the large corporation deals in selling, buying and leasing the properties on rent. A small property management companies largely works for landlords and the property holders so that they can efficiently manage the property and give a good return in their hand every month. In return they also receive some percentage for their services they provide in managing the assets of the property owners.

Some of the basic services offered by the management companies includes, collecting rent, rent agreement, paying utility of electric bills, handling maintenance issues, document of lease agreement along with enhancing tenant relationships. However, they also maintain the document of land tax, yearly basis expenditure and income for you. The accounting side includes everything from maintaining the check registers to updating the increment in the rents and turnover. However the collection of rents and maintenance activities are carried out the expert staff member of these companies while the accounting part is well maintained by the property managers. They keep good records of all the expenditures, tax, rent agreement, lease agreement and many other details related to managing of property.

Not only they collect rents and maintain the property, but before leasing the room on rent they also enquire in details about the people to whom they are leasing the room. They also tackle infact look after the problems of the tenants related to the room they are staying in. Sometimes tenants face like clogging of water drainage, water problems, power cut off, painting of rooms, maintenance, etc these entire problems are efficiently handled and taken care of by the rental management company. They take care of each and every needs and requirements of the tenants so that they do not face any problems while staying in the rooms, apartments or flats given on lease by these rental management companies. So in order to make it more precise and clear it is always goods to hire the services from the property management companies to main the property charm and value. They will also assure you goods return of money every month out of your property.

Should I Hire a Property Management Company?

Depending on their circumstances, property owners may choose to manage their properties themselves, or they can outsource these responsibilities to a professional property management company. The following questions should help you decide whether or not you should consider hiring a property manager.

How far do you live from your property, and how often can you visit on a regular basis?

For your property to be a successful investment, inspections, maintenance, and collections need to be performed regularly and often. This can be feasible if your property is close by, but the larger the distance, the greater the temptation not to keep a close eye on things, and that can be a recipe for disaster. Plan on making monthly scheduled visits and be prepared for a middle of the night emergency call that requires your immediate attention. Determine if this is feasible for you in the long run.

How do you deal with stress? Are you a tolerant person?

In addition to the seemingly simple task of collecting rent every month, property management tends to come with its share of unique challenges. Ask yourself how you would react in the unfortunate event that tenants:

  • Get in fights with other tenants or neighbors

  • Have domestic disputes

  • Conduct illegal business in the dwelling

  • Carry on all-night parties and revelry

  • Try to sneak extra people or animals into the home

  • Decide to sue you

  • Trash the property

  • Incite the wrath of the HOA because of repeated deed restriction violations

  • Refuse to pay rent because they are a "professional tenant" and know how to work the legal system for the maximum amount of free housing at the owners expense?

Are you currently overwhelmed with your property(ies)?Do you have things under control, or do you need help?

How many rental properties or units do you have?

The larger your investment portfolio, the easier it is to let things slip through the cracks, and the more you stand to gain by employing scalable best practices. Hiring a competent property management firm can help mitigate these challenges.

How experienced are you in handling maintenance and repairs?

Are you able to fix it yourself, and if not do you know who to call? Maintenance and repairs are an important part of landlording, and need to be done well and in a timely manner. If you question your willingness or ability to manage this, you might want to consider hiring a property management firm.

How quickly are you able to get your unit rented?

Advertising, fielding calls, and showing the unit have to be performed in earnest to keep vacancies from eating into your profit margins. If these activities are not your cup of tea, or if you have historically had an unacceptably high vacancy rate, you may want to consider hiring a property management firm.

Can you handle the accounting and record keeping for your property?

From profit and loss statements to tax deductions, this area needs special attention and becomes an increasingly larger burden for larger portfolios. Some owners (especially those with a back ground in finance) will do just fine, others may opt to hire an accountant to help with the book keeping. If you feel like this might be a weak point you might want to consider hiring a property management company.

Are you willing to be on call 27/7/365?

It's important to answer this question honestly, because as a landlord you have an obligation to your tenant. Emergencies don't happen all the time, but when they do, you have to be willing and able to handle them immediately. Can you handle being called at 2 am to fix someone's overflowing toilet?

Are you prepared to deal with late payments and if necessary evict non-paying tenants from the property?

Many new owners are uncomfortable with being the "bad guy", and try to be understanding by making exceptions. The problem is, this only invites further abuse and excuses by tenants. Late payments should be dealt with immediately. Sometimes only a friendly reminder is needed, but in other cases it can be a very confrontational process ending in eviction. It's also important to know the laws governing this process to shield yourself from liability and lawsuits from delinquent tenants.

How well do you understand the laws governing land lording?

Making sure your property is run according to the law is critical both in preventing lawsuits, and in sheltering yourself from liability in the event that you are sued. Whoever is responsible for managing your property, whether yourself or a management company, needs to be familiar with these rules.

From a financial standpoint, is managing your property the best use of your time?

Your decision to hire or not hire a management company should boil down to whether or not it is a good fit with your lifestyle and is financially the best use of your time. Individual investors will have to evaluate the opportunity cost of both options based on their unique circumstances.

Want to learn more about the fees property managers charge for their services? See our article on property management fees.

For more resources about property management and to find local property managers, check out our directory of property management companies.

Anatomy of a Financial Statement - Property Management

Robert Kiyosaki likes real estate investing is because real estate touches each part of his financial statement. Starting with his best-selling book Rich Dad Poor Dad and continued in many of his subsequent books, Robert explains how real estate gives cash flow to his income statement and on the expense side of the income statement he's able to deduct the property's depreciation as an expense.

When seen from the balance sheet, he's able to gain appreciation on the asset side and the leverage provided by the bank rounds out the liability side of the balance sheet.

Through a property management company you can also access the four parts of the financial statement. Here's how:

Balance Sheet: Asset Column

Every property producing monthly rent is an asset. It is possible to sell the rights to manage the property to another property manager for a lump sum of money.

Balance Sheet: Liability Column

Robert uses his banker's money aka leverage in order to purchase a large property with only a small percentage as a down payment. When the property goes up in value he is able to keep the entire appreciation amount without having to share it with the bank. He can use leverage and still get the benefit of 100% of the appreciation.

In the property management business, leverage is achieved through controlling the income of a property. A property that is producing $500/month in rent gives a property manager $50 in income. If the manager feels that $500 is too low for the area, then her or she can increase the rents by 10% to $550 and the management company's income will go up 10% accordingly. How many companies can increase their income by 10% without a causing uproar among its clients?

Income Statement: Income Column

As a property management company, you take your 10% management fee directly off the top after the rents have been collected. Here again, if the manager feels that rents are too low, the manager simply raises the rent and increases the income to both the manager and the property owner. It's win-win!

Income Statement: Expense Column

While Robert Kiyosaki is able to depreciate the building as an expense, a property management company cannot take this tax advantage because a property manager doesn't own the building-the owner does, however, a manager is able to make money off the expenses incurred by the owner of the property.

Let's say that a tenant calls to say that the plumbing underneath the sink is leaking. The manager sends out his repairman to fix the leak. The repairman sends a bill to the property management company for the $12.00 plumbing parts plus $30.00 for his hourly rate.

The property manager now marks up the bill by lets say $10.00 and now charges the property owner $12.00 for the parts and $40.00 for the repair time. The $10.00 is for the manager's orchestration of taking the call from the tenant and sending out the repairman.

Now multiply this scenario by the management of 200 properties and you'll find that expense mark-up is a significant source of a manager's income.

As you can see real estate allows an investor to utilize all four parts of a financial statement. As a property manager, you can piggyback on the owner's shoulders and receive some of the same benefits of cash flow and leverage and you can actually profit from the property in ways an investor cannot i.e. expense mark-up.

And here's the best part -and the prime example of a property management's ultimate leverage: the manager isn't responsible to the bank for making the payments on the mortgage. The owner is responsible! The property manager is able to make money off the property without being personally responsible to the bank for the asset that creates all the money in the first place.

Property Management-Real Estate Management - A Booming Career Option

Almost similar to the management function in any other business, property management also implies operation of residential, commercial, or industrial property. In literal words, this may stand as managing a property on behalf of its owner in his/her absence or lack of time. This branch of management includes a wide array of functions related to maintenance of buildings including damage repair, paint, and substitution of any fitting. Property management, also referred to as Real estate Management, at times also involves rent collection, outgoings of payments, insurance payments, paying the maintenance staff, and negotiating with the current and prospective tenants.

Right from the residential apartments to villas, and from small shops to commercial malls, people engaged in the property management service cater to all your property related needs. Not only this, they at times also undertake personal property management, thereby taking care of equipment, tools, and all the related corporeal capital assets attained and employed to build, renovate, and sustain end article deliverables.

Real Estate Management or Property Management actually entails the procedures, organisms, and manpower needed to administer the life sequence of acquired properties. These procedures may include two or more of the following features like acquisition, maintenance, control, liability, operation, and disposition.

Roles of a Property Manager
One of the most important roles of a property manager is to act as a buffer between the landlord and the user of the property. He/she acts as a liaison person who makes both the parties agree on mutually beneficial terms. The property mangers accept the rent on the behalf of the landlord from the tenants and address all the maintenance issues on behalf of tenants. This service thus benefits both the parties equally and is hence flourishing with the upcoming boom in the real estate sector.

Property management service is beneficial either for working professionals who do not have time to search for their desired place or for property owners staying outside Canada. Such landlords definitely need to hire some manager to look after their property and to liaise with their tenant constituency.

This service has many different facets to it. It includes managing the financial transactions of the properties, participation in the litigation process as well as initiation of tenant litigation and signing in of the contracts with maintenance companies, security companies, and insurance companies.

Although litigation is an altogether different stream which is entrusted only upon trained attorneys of the area, yet most of the management services undertake the property litigation themselves. For this, they also at times hire real estate attorneys on an hourly basis who do the freelancing for the former. The majority of legal matters that draw the attention of property managers are cases pertaining to

* Evictions
* Public nuisance
* Non-payment of rent
* Non-payment of bills
* Harassment due to damages and
* Diminution of pre-arranged facilities

Therefore, it becomes quite mandatory for the property managers to be updated on all the law practices applicable under municipal, county, and state law.
In the present scenario, various magazines and journals also publish the desired property details. Such journals tend to publish mainly the following

* Contemporary market trends and research
* Market data digests and reports
* Area-wise deep analysis of property trends
* Various judgments and updates in property law and
* Property reviews based on market research

That is to say, these journals adopt a wide subject abate and address key concerns ranging from the economic, physical, and social aspects of Property management to international perspective.

Thirty Questions to Ask Your Property Manager

Finding a good property manager is like any other vendor search - it's worth your time up front to make the best possible choice. That's because a bad manager can cost you a lot of money, up to the entire value of your rental property investment. Consider:

o Your property manager will be receiving rent and fees on your behalf. A crooked manager could steal you blind.

o Your manager will be in charge of finding new tenants. A naïve or slipshod manager could bring in bad tenants who trash your building.

o Your manager will handle maintenance. A greedy manager could charge a fortune for simple repair jobs.

Here's a thirty-question checklist for interviewing prospective property managers. The answers you get will provide a very solid understanding of each manager's qualifications. You can also get an impression of a prospective manager from other cues - I'll explain those at the end.

Finally, remember that you have to compare managers to others within an area. It's possible that none of the prospective managers in one city will match the high standard of your terrific manager in another. On the other hand, if you can't find a good manager in a city where you plan to invest in real estate, maybe you shouldn't invest there.

The first questions have to do with finding good tenants, which I think is the key to a happy building. A building with good tenants tends to have fewer maintenance and other issues.

o How many vacancies do you have right now? Out of how many total units that you manage?

o What is the average length of time it takes to fill a vacancy?

o Is that average time getting longer or shorter?

o How do you market your rental units?

o Do you require an exclusive arrangement for marketing to new tenants?

o How does your web site look?

o What factors would make you reject a prospect?

o Would you accept a tenant who met your qualifications in some areas, but not others?

o Which qualifications are most important to you?

o What screening methods do you use?

You want a manager who finds good tenants reasonably quickly. He should use a variety of methods to find prospective tenants, such as a web site, Craigslist postings, newspaper ads, signs, flyers and more. Your manager should follow an extensive screening process, but be willing to accept a "maybe" tenant if the situation is right. You want a look at the web site to make sure that is inviting to prospective tenants, and constantly updated.

As for the exclusive arrangement, property managers never mind when you or somebody else finds prospects for them. However, in almost all cases, they will still want a rental fee for moving the prospect into your rental unit. Make sure you have a clause that if the unit hasn't been rented for some time, and you or someone else you find brings in a new tenant, the rental fee is cut in half. You don't want it cut to $0 because the manager will still have to screen prospects.

The next questions relate to tenant management. It's just as important to keep good tenants as it is to find them.

o What does your lease look like?

o What is your late rent policy?

o What other rules do you set for tenants?

o What percentage of tenants do you have to evict?

o How does the eviction process work here?

o How do your tenants contact you?

I recommend sticking with the manager's preferred lease, late rent policy, and rules unless you have a really major objection. If the manager is really experienced, chances are they've developed smart rules and policies over time. Tenants should be able to contact the manager through a variety of ways during the day, and have an emergency number for off hours. If the manager is always evicting tenants, he's bringing in bad tenants.

The next questions relate to maintenance.

o Which kinds of maintenance jobs are handled in-house?

o Which ones do you use an outside handyman for?

o Which ones do you use professional contractors for?

o How many quotes do you get for jobs?

o How expensive does a job have to be for you to contact me before doing it?

o What are your rules for contractors being inside occupied rental units?

o Who are your preferred contractors?

Managers should have a well-thought-out system for assigning jobs to different parties - in-house employees, handyman and professional contractors. Almost any plumbing, heating, or electrical job should be handled by a professional. Other jobs, such as paving a parking lot, require special equipment that usually only professionals have. But most small jobs can be done by handymen who will cost you less.

You want multiple quotes for major jobs - say, anything over $500. You should also have a rule that contractors can never enter an occupied unit -even if the tenant is not home at the time - without a manager's representative being there. Finally, you want the names of preferred contractors so you can run a quick check on them.

The last group of questions relates to experience. You want managers to know the local real estate world inside and out.

o How long have you been a property manager?

o How long have you been a manager in this area?

o Can I see some of the other properties you manage?

o Do you personally invest in real estate in this area?

Finally, you need to understand your arrangement with the property manager.

o What is your fee structure?

o How will I get reports?

o Do you require an exclusive arrangement to broker the property?

o How much notice will you give before terminating a contract?

The manager's fees aren't really important unless they are much higher than everybody else's, or are so high that you really can't afford them. Reports are very important because they are your only window into how your investments are performing. The best way is to get them on your own computer, on your time - as may be the case if they use on-line property management software.

You should not accept any exclusive arrangement to broker properties unless they have a limited term. In other words, if the properties don't sell after a certain time, you can re-list with a different broker for no penalty.

Also, you should require good notice for the contract to be terminated - at least 30 days. That gives you time to find another manager.

Here are some other things to watch out for:

o A manager with a messy office or personal appearance. Chances are he doesn't much care about the condition of the properties either.

o A manager you have a hard time reaching by phone or email. If he won't return your messages now when he's trying to get your business, what are the chances that he'll do better later?

o A manager whom you sense is trying to intimidate you with knowledge. The "don't ask stupid questions, I know all about this" approach is often a cover for not really knowing much at all.

Property Management - Commercial Management

Property management is an ever growing need as more and more people are now opting out of buying homes due to aspects such as the increase in mortgage prices. Renting is now becoming the more popular way of gaining property. It is because of the fact that more of us are now renting property that that need for property management has grown so much. It should be noted that property management requires time, intelligence and good attention to detail as well as management qualifications.

Property management is the job of looking after the properties that people rent out. This is the same for residential and commercial property. Whatever type of property you have as long as you are renting it; you will be able to get the help of property a management team.

Property management companies have the responsibility to deal with multiple responsibilities and aspects of the management and ownership of real estate. The duties of a property management company is to negotiate and stabilise a relationship between the landlord and tenant. The duties performed by a property management company are pretty much the same if your property is a residential or commercial but here we are mainly going to be looking at commercial property. Whether your property is an office block, a retail store or a bar/restaurant the duties that a property management team will perform for you are:

o Collecting rent

o Handle your letting

o Asses potential tenants

o Administration services

o Maintenance of the property

Commercial property management is an essential aspect of the property market if you want to increase the appeal or value of your property. It will allow you to get on with your renting business while the management company gets on with the day-to-day running. The extent of the service that is provided by a property management team is as flexible as you want it to be; it can be used as much as you need it to be.

A professional commercial property management service maintains and raises the level of occupancy, which enables a steady income. This is because a property management company keeps your commercial property in good condition in order to bring in business for the landlord. Your commercial property needs good curb appeal. This is achieved through keeping the structure, landscape and parking elements of the property in a clean and welcoming condition.

Your commercial property needs to be kept in good condition in order to attract customers to use your business. You need to ensure that your property is in good condition to attract businesses to set up shop within your property.

If you have invested within the property market then you will want to ensure that you are getting the most from your investment, which is where commercial property management can help you. By keeping a well run and well maintained property you will generate interest within your business and therefore attract more custom.

If you would like more information about what a commercial property management team could do for you get in touch with an expert company today.

Property Management Fees Explained

When you hire a property management company to serve as the liaison between yourself and your tenants, you want to be sure you're getting the best possible property management services for the money. The services a property management company provides can range from ala carte to an all-in-one inclusive package. Along with that comes an array of fees for each. There is no set in stone fee structure we can provide you. But we can educate you on what common fees to expect and what each is commonly for. In the end it will be up to you to compare company fee structures and choose the best one that fits within your budget. Below are some of the most common fees and what service they provide.


This is an ongoing monthly fee charged to the owner to compensate the property manager for the responsibilities of overseeing the management of their property. This fee can vary from as little as 3% to over 15% of the monthly gross rent. In place of a percentage some managers may charge a flat monthly amount which again can vary from $50 to over $200 per month. All property management companies generally charge this fee.

Lease-Up or Setup Fee

This fee is charged to the owner to compensate the property manager for their initial time invested and resources used in setting up an owners account; showing property and/or other activities resulting in tenant placement. I guess you could look at it as a "finders fee" for placing a tenant in your property. Once a tenant has been placed and first rent income comes in, the property manager will deduct this fee from the rent proceeds. Some property managers have been known to require this fee upfront prior to tenant procurement. Usually this fee is non-refundable once the property manager has started the process of tenant procurement or any legwork has been initiated with the property. This fee can vary from none to as much as the first months rent, and usually is a one-time fee per tenant.

Lease Renewal Fee

This fee is charged to the owner when a property manager renews a current tenants lease and covers the costs of initiating paperwork or communication involved in implementing the new lease document. A property manager may also justify this fee if they perform a year end inspection of property. This fee can vary from none to $200 or higher, and may be charged every time a lease renewal is implemented.

Advertising Costs

Depending upon the property management company's contract, either they will pay the advertising costs or the owner or they could split the costs. If the manager is willing to cover this cost, most likely they will charge the lease-up or setup fee as outline above. If the management company covers this cost make sure to find out what type advertising or marketing of your property is included. If it's placing your listing on their own web site and other free online classified sites you may not be getting your monies worth. They are many good rental or tenant resource online web sites that bring in qualified tenants for a reasonable fee and you will want to consider these. And don't forget about print media, yard signs, listing on the MLS or even an open house. Nothing is worst than having your property vacant, bringing in no money only because you or your property manager skimped on advertising.

Maintenance Mark-up Charges

This is one of those costs you may never really of known about or had it disclosed to you. A "Mark-up" is a charge over and beyond the final bill on maintenance and/or repair work done to your property initiated by your property management company when using their vendors or in-house maintenance staff. This should be disclosed in your Manager/Owner contract which usually will state the markup as a percentage above the final invoice from vendor. For example, your manager had to call a plumber to replace the dishwasher in your rental property. Total charges for completing the job: $400. If your property manager contract states you will incur a 10% markup on all maintenance work the actual cost to you will be $440. Just one of those things to be aware of as these all eat into your profits.

Early Cancellation Fee

The dreaded "3 months and no tenant". Your property manager insist he or she's doing everything they can to find you a tenant. But here it is 3 months and still no tenant; what do you do. Well, look at your Manager/Owner contract and that might be your deciding factor. I am not a fan of this fee, and believe it to be an unnecessary fee and for you manager out there this could be the deal breaker. I'll tell you why; if a property manager is doing their due diligence and keeping the owners in the loop as far as decision making, market conditions and communication lines open an owner will not be second guessing his property managers abilities. The odds of this scenario happening is unlikely but you must be prepared for it. A cancellation fee can range from none to over $500. To be fair, some managers legitimately deserve this fee especially if they have pocketed advertising costs, incurred lots of legwork and time invested in your property.