Your rental portfolio is growing, and managing resident requests is getting more difficult. Maintenance at some of your properties needs extra attention, and renewals are just around the corner. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day for you. Just keeping up is leaving opportunities on the table.
It may be time to enlist the help of a property management company to handle the details.
The obvious upside to owning rental property is passive income. With owning investment properties comes negotiating obstacles that require time and extra money if not managed efficiently. Failing to efficiently navigate the difficult issues inherent to property management can stall growth opportunities and ultimately stall the portfolio’s growth.
“Property management is a problem-based business,” says Amelia Christensen, Director of Property Management for Homespot Property Management LLC . “If we don’t have problems, we really don’t have a job.”
Relationships are everything in property management
Christensen, who has been a property manager since 2011 at the family-based business in Portales, N.M., says even the smallest of single-family owners can benefit from letting someone handle the details. Property managers can be a buffer between owners and the resident and help find common ground with issues that concern both parties. In addition, companies like Homespot Property Management, LLC, can help with the entire scope of asset management so owners can improve their portfolios.
The key, Christensen says, is to work with a property manager that focuses on relationship-based management. Forging mutually beneficial relationships is how Homespot Property Management, LLC, has organically grown from managing 35 single-family properties in 2011 to more than 350. A couple of owners have about 30 properties, but smaller portfolios compose the rest the company’s business.
“Working with a property management company is a relationship based thing,” she said. “You need to have a good relationship. There are going to be mistakes made, there are going to be problems and you want to be working with someone who you’re comfortable working through problems with.”
A strong working relationship also helps create a greater bond with residents. With a property management company, the owner can let someone else help with unpleasant issues while improving relationships with residents.
“I have owners who talk to tenants and they’ll always say, ‘Go talk to Homespot for the details’,” Christensen said. “They don’t want to be the bad buy, they want to be the happy, good guy.”
It’s also a good idea to clearly understand the fees for the property management company’s services.
“You want to know what they are going to charge, how they charge it,” Christensen said. “Do they charge whether the property is rented or not, are there flat fees involved, or is it a percentage based off of rent, are there associated fees for handling maintenance repairs, that kind of thing.”
5 Benefits of working with a Property Management Company
Here are five benefits of working with a property management company, according to Christensen:
1. Keeping an eye on the details
A property management company keeps an eye on the little things entailed in day-to-day property management. Managing leases and renewals are key functions, as well as handling maintenance issues. Also, PMCs help plan for bigger maintenance issues like tree trimming, painting, repairs and owner improvements.
2. Charting a path
Determine what you want your rental portfolio to look like and enlist the help of a property management company to help plan for the future. A PMC can help the property owner take a look at the bigger picture and ultimately determine how the asset will be used toward achieving an end goal.
3. Asset and financial planning
In addition to handling the books through a property management system like Propertyware, PMCs can help owners know what to ask of their accountant for tax planning.
4. Handling the dirty work
Christensen says owners can empower experienced PMCs to do the background checks, collect money and manage the tough issues that go along with rental properties. She said often unknowing owners can duped by residents who want to take advantage of the system. “Most owners want to be the hero, you want to help someone out, but sadly there are people who take advantage of kindness.”
5. Provide that special touch
Christensen says good property management revolves around great relationships with owners. When the PMC and owner work in harmony, good things are accomplished. A PMC should be able to work with you to provide a level of service everyone is comfortable with.
“You have to have someone you can work with during the good times and even in the bad times,” Christensen said. “You have to be able to celebrate wins but be able to trudge through the losses. It’s part of owning rentals.”