Being a property manager is one of the most demanding careers in real estate. Meeting the needs of property owners, tenants, contractors, and co-workers is not easy. A property manager can be responsible for managing anything from multi-family homes, apartment complexes and single-family homes, to private business buildings and shopping malls. Managing rental properties involves finding and screening tenants, handling leases, handling emergencies/complaints, dealing with evictions, property maintenance, managing the budget, maintaining records, and supervising employees. This means that a successful property manager needs to have a wide range of property manager skills in order to carry out their daily tasks effectively.
Being a lucrative career, the property management industry continues to attract more and more players. A recent report revealed that there are more than 280,000 property management companies in the US alone. The same report showed that the property management market generated revenue of about $76 billion in 2018. With all the competition out there, making money as a property manager requires staying ahead of competitors.
Here are 9 tips for standing out from the competition in 2020:
1. Be available and dependable
Successful property management means being available and dependable. Even if you are very busy managing multiple properties, make sure you are available whenever property owners, renters, and contractors want to reach you. Responding to emails and phone calls in a timely manner will help build trust with property management clients and boost your business revenues. On the other hand, being aloof and indifferent to the needs of your clients in the rental market will only lower your ratings as a property manager and hurt your chances of generating more leads and gaining clients.
2. Know your rental properties well
To beat the competition as a full-time or part-time property manager, you need to have intimate knowledge about all the rental properties you manage. Learn everything about your rentals; all their quirks and unique qualities. This way, you will be able to answer any questions potential tenants might ask without having to look it up.
In addition, you should also have a good understanding of the general neighborhood. This will help you provide customers with information such as nearby parks, malls, schools, railway stations, and hospitals. Such information will make it easier for potential renters to decide if that is a place they would want to live. The more knowledge you have about your rental properties and neighborhood, the higher your chances of attracting and retaining tenants.
3. Have a solid property management marketing plan
To survive in the rental property management business, a solid marketing plan is a must. The more visible your properties are, the higher the chances of finding rental property management leads. The first thing you need to do is get your properties listed on sites such as Zillow and Craigslist. Make sure your listings are accompanied by a detailed description of your properties, as well as good quality pictures. You could also promote your rental properties using paid ads on online and offline platforms. A good property management marketing plan should also involve face-to-face engagements with potential customers in trade shows, conferences, and open houses.
4. Use Mashboard
Mashboard is a tool by Mashvisor which can be used to find the right investment properties for clients. With a wide range of properties from Auction.com, MLS, off-market properties and others, you can quickly locate the right kind of property for your clients. The Property Recommender feature will help you match your customers to the best properties available for them. You can even share a branded property analysis report with your clients via email or SMS. Offering this unique service is sure to set you apart from the competition in your local housing market!
To learn more about how Mashvisor can help boost your property management career, schedule a demo.
5. Have a great team
It is a fact that ‘teamwork makes the dream work’. The tasks and responsibilities involved in being a property manager can be overwhelming for one person. This is why you need to have a strong team in your property management company. In the beginning, your team may only consist of the following:
- Property manager – Responsible for liaising with the property owner and handling sensitive tasks such as leases, budgets, and evictions
- Assistant property manager – Handling day to day issues such as tenant complaints and repairs
- Leasing agent – Handling all rental inquiries and property showings
With time, you can add other departments to handle specific issues such as insurance, accounting, and maintenance. Have frequent meetings with your property management team for brainstorming and assigning tasks to each member. Don’t forget to allow time for concerns, clarifications, and questions. Offering competitive remuneration, growth programs and rewards for outstanding performance will help attract and maintain the best employees.
6. Reinvest in your business
Whenever you generate revenue through your properties as a property manager, consider investing part of it in your rental property management business. For instance, you can buy new, state-of-the-art tools and software or you can move your office to a more convenient location for key team members or major clients. Putting money back into your business will help you consistently improve when other management companies may just be frivolously spending their profits.
7. Provide user-friendly instructions
When people rent a home or vacation rental, they don’t want to waste time trying to figure out how everything works. To stand out from the competition, make it simple for your renters by leaving clear instructions. The instructions should make it easy for them to operate your A/V systems, laundry machines, music systems, and cable TV.
8. Set a realistic price (for rentals and your services)
When it comes to finding a rental, price is one of the most important considerations for most renters. If the price of your property is set too high, potential tenants are likely to overlook it and go to the competition. Therefore, do your due diligence before setting the price. A property manager could consult an experienced real estate agent to find out what others in the neighborhood are charging for similar properties (or learn more about conducting a rental market analysis yourself). Finding the right price will help lower your vacancy rates and boost your occupancy rates.
Besides ensuring you set the right rental rate to make both tenants and clients happy and to keep your property management business running, you need to think about how much you should charge your clients. Check the competing property management companies in the area. What services do they offer and how much do they charge? You may want to offer competitive prices at first to attract clients. Alternatively, try to offer unique services that allow you to charge more and help to attract property management clients as well.
9. Be open to feedback
Our final tip for you is to be open to feedback. It can be hard to hear from tenants or property management clients that you may have failed them in some way or made a mistake, but taking the feedback and learning from it can really set you apart. If clients see that you are willing to learn and meet their needs, you are likely to retain them. With that, you could end up with great reviews that really set you apart from the competition.
The Bottom Line
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you’re going to have to do things a little different. Just be sure to keep an eye on the growing competition!
What have you done to set yourself apart in the property management industry lately?