Residential property management is one of the most competitive real estate careers. It is therefore very crucial to have the abilities and skills that will help you stay ahead of the competition. Combined with determination and self-discipline, these property manager skills will enhance both your personal and professional life.
To help you succeed, here are a few tips on how to be a successful property manager:
1. Market Yourself
No matter how knowledgeable or skilled you are in managing rental properties, you cannot succeed if no one knows about you. Marketing yourself as a residential property manager to people that might need your services is therefore very critical. You can create awareness about your residential property manager business through traditional advertising methods such as television ads or newspapers. Online platforms such as websites and social media could also come in very handy for building a following. Attend real estate trade shows and seminars to network with other professionals in your industry. You could also volunteer to give talks at local universities or colleges.
2. Set Goals and Follow Through
To be a highly successful residential property manager, you will need to set daily, weekly, monthly and annual goals for your business. Here are some questions to ask when setting goals:
- What can be done to lower expenditures?
- What procedures can be enhanced to better serve tenants and property owners?
- How effective are you in collecting deposits, rent and the like?
- What is your tenant retention record and how can you improve it?
- How fast do you acquire new tenants?
Your property management company goals should be challenging and specific, yet achievable. Be sure to break down your bigger goals into smaller actionable steps to avoid getting overwhelmed. You should also make your goals measurable for accountability purposes. Keep track of your progress and adjust your goals when necessary.
3. Find the Right Tenants
Successful property management begins with finding the right tenant for the rental property. Finding the right tenant will ensure positive cash flow and keep turnover low. You could ask the landlord for previous records to find out what kind of tenants had a history of on-time rent payments. Charge a small non-refundable fee for new tenant applications and carry out a background check to find out their criminal record, credit history, and any history of evictions. This procedure and fee will keep off jokers that are just casually browsing for rentals and unscrupulous tenants.
Related: What Is the Ideal Type of Tenant for Your Rental Property?
4. Streamline Your Communications
As a residential property manager, you will spend a lot of time engaging and communicating with real estate investors, tenants, and suppliers. Streamlining your communications will ensure efficiency and consistency. If you find yourself sending the same message repeatedly, create a template for future use. You could also use property manager software that comes with preloaded templates.
Another way of ensuring efficient communication is by creating a portal where tenants and landlords can log in and access data at any time. This provides complete transparency and prevents unnecessary back and forth communication.
5. Establish Consistent Procedures
Good property management requires creating standardized processes for different rental property issues from tenant disputes to how to deal with maintenance requests. This not only ensures operational efficiency and consistency but also makes it easier to train new staff. You could create an online ticketing system for handling tenant issues or create a dedicated residential property manager email address for communicating with tenants. Be sure to write down your procedures and store the documents in a central location where your employees can access it when necessary.
6. Be a Continual Leaner
To gain recognition as a knowledgeable residential property manager, you need to keep abreast of the latest residential real estate trends, statistics, and legislation. This could be through reading the news, listening to real estate podcasts, and perusing property management blogs. Being updated on the latest tips on how to be a property manager makes it easier to respond to questions asked by tenants, real estate investors, and fellow property managers.
You could also take an occasional survey of your clients to help identify potential areas of improvement for your business. The feedback received will help you learn from your mistakes and even provide ideas on how to get more clients.
7. Embrace Change
Learning is not enough; being a real estate property manager requires the willingness to apply the knowledge acquired and do things differently. A residential property manager that is resistant to change will soon find him/herself falling behind the competition. Look for ways of leveraging technology such as virtual reality, 3D walkthroughs, and cloud property management software to make your business more competitive and efficient. Having a culture of continuous improvement will help position you as an innovative residential property manager.
8. Put Your Paperwork in Order
Rental property management involves handling a lot of paperwork on a daily basis. This includes records such as:
- Property maintenance notices
- Security deposits and refunds
- Rent payment records
- Move out and move in inspection paperwork
- Lease violation records
- Eviction paperwork
- Correspondence regarding approval
Creating a good file management system will help you handle issues such as claims, audits, and legal disputes faster and more effectively.
9. Carry Out Regular Inspections
As a residential property manager, you need to conduct regular and thorough inspections of the investment properties under your care. Some of the reasons for carrying out regular inspections of rentals are:
- Preserving and raising the value of the investment property
- Confirming that nothing illegal is happening on the facility
- Boosting tenant retention
- Identifying areas that require maintenance and repairs
Preferably, inspections should be done every 3-4 months by a professional inspector.
Related: The Ultimate Guide to Rental Property Maintenance
10. Find More Properties for Your Clients
Real estate investors are always looking for new properties to purchase. Almost 25%-35% of investors are willing to buy another property in the next year if the right opportunity appears. Therefore, you will succeed as a property manager if you can help investors find what they are looking for quickly. It can also be a way to grow your business without having to hunt down new clients.
Mashboard can help property managers determine which clients are ready to buy. Once you have a client in mind, the Property Recommender feature of the Mashboard will match an investment property to your client (with 90% accuracy!).
Learn more about this property management tool here.
These tips for property managers will help you succeed in your career. However, when starting out as a residential property manager, you are likely to make a few mistakes. This could be anything from hiring an inept contractor for maintenance to renting out a property to troublesome tenants. Your resilience as a residential property manager will be measured by how fast you recover from your mistakes. As you gain more experience, you will find better ways of doing things and increase the chances of success in your property manager job.