Any good consumer, when considering a product or a service, will wonder what exactly they’re getting for their money.
Property management is more than just a product or a service – it’s an investment in the property you’re renting out. Still, before you sign a management contract and partner with a management professional, you want to know what’s included in the services they provide.
Generally, you hire a property manager in order to receive:
- Leasing services
- Management services
- Maintenance services
Just about all the tasks and responsibilities you expect from your property manager will fall into one of those categories.
A good property manager, however, will do much more than cross tasks off a list. You’ll get access to investment advice that can help you grow your portfolio. You’ll get risk management help that protects you from potential lawsuits, disputes, and claims. You’ll have an investment partner who cares about your real estate goals and is willing to help you achieve them.
Let’s take a look at what’s included in property management services, and why they’re more than worth your investment.
Leasing Services for Gulf Coast Rental Properties
A good rental experience starts with a good leasing experience. There’s a lot involved in finding a tenant for your rental property, including:
- Preparing the home for rent. Your property manager will supervise repairs, cosmetic upgrades, cleaning, and creating curb appeal.
- Pricing your rental property. You’ll need to rely on your property manager and their data to set an accurate and competitive rental price. With the help of their local knowledge, you won’t have to worry about overpricing or underpricing your property. Property managers understand what the competition is charging and what tenants are willing to pay.
- Listing the home. Property managers will take professional photos, write engaging descriptions, and use their property management technology to syndicate listings and share your home for rent on their own website and across all the popular rental websites.
- Showings. When you have a full-service property manager leasing your home, you can expect that they’ll be available to show your home to each qualified tenant who is interested.
Also included is the tenant screening. Your property management team will screen applicants thoroughly and within the requirements of federal fair housing laws. Then, you can expect them to negotiate and sign a lease agreement that’s legally enforceable in Florida.
All of this happens before a tenant is even living in your property.
Many property managers in Sarasota will offer a separate leasing service outside of their property management services. This is valuable if you’re planning to manage your own home but you know you need help finding and placing a tenant.
When you opt for a full-service management plan, however, the leasing services will be part of what you hire your property managers to do. There may be a one-time leasing fee that’s separate from the monthly management fee. It covers all of these services that are required to prepare your property for the rental market and attract potential tenants.
Property Management and Tenant Placement
If you’ve ever had to deal with a bad tenant, you know how disruptive they can be to your investment experience. The wrong tenants can be a disaster for your rental property.
Placing the wrong tenant means chasing down late rent. It means threatening eviction and maybe even following through on that eviction. With bad tenants, you risk damage to your property and lease violations or lease breaks.
You can’t be too careful with placing tenants in your rental home, and that’s why a rigorous screening process must be in place.
Tenant screening should always be included in your property management services.
Your property manager will have access to the nationwide credit, eviction, and criminal background checks that you need. There will be verification of income and employment, and your property manager will conduct rental reference checks and make sure that everything on the application matches up and checks out.
There’s a lot more than a good tenant at stake. There’s also an effective and efficient process that’s nearly impossible for independent landlords to manage on their own. Professional property managers have a consistent, compliant, and rigorous screening process to ensure only highly qualified tenants are placed in your property. This makes a big difference in both what you earn and how you feel about your rental experience.
Inadequate screening puts you at risk. Property management services will protect you against bad tenants and bad screening.
Ongoing Property Management Services
Once a tenant is in place, you can expect the general day-to-day management services to include:
- Rent collection
- Lease enforcement
- Tenant relationships and correspondence
- Accounting and bookkeeping
- Providing technology such as online portals
- Lease renewals or turnover preparation
Every property requires something a little different, and it’s not uncommon for property managers to customize their services.
Sarasota Rental Property Maintenance
You can expect your property management services to include maintenance.
“Maintenance” covers a lot.
- Emergency maintenance. This is when something unexpected happens at your rental property. A tenant might call because there’s a leak that’s causing a flood. Or, a tree may crash through a backyard fence during a tropical storm. Emergency maintenance might include a fire that started in the kitchen or a toilet that is backed up in a one-bathroom house. It demands an immediate response, and your property management company can be counted on to provide that response.
- Routine maintenance. These are the repairs that are not emergencies, but still very important to your tenants. Maybe a sink is clogged or an interior door is off its hinges or new caulk is needed around the tub. Tenants will submit a maintenance request and your property manage will schedule the appropriate vendor to take care of the problem.
- Preventative maintenance. This is pest control, landscape, and the annual inspection of your HVAC unit. Preventative maintenance is cost-effective and helps to prevent those emergency repairs, which are always more expensive. You should expect your property manager to talk to you about their plan for preventative maintenance.
The common thread here is that you won’t be bothered by your tenants when something breaks or needs to be replaced. There are no late night phone calls and no scrambling to find a plumber. Your property manager will take care of all the maintenance coordination.
This means you have access to local vendors and contractors who have been screened. These professionals will be licensed and insured, and dedicated to providing a high quality of work for cost effective prices.
Most property managers get discounts from the vendors they use, because of the volume of work they’re able to provide. These relationships save you money as an owner.
Keeping your home in good condition is important to preserve its value. It also helps you keep good tenants in place and attract new ones. Property managers can keep a close eye on the needs of your property. They have systems in place to respond right away to emergency and routine repairs.
Reducing the Risk of Renting Out Property
Every investment carries an element of risk. Real estate investments are no different. You might get a bad tenant. Your property value might suddenly plummet. You may face a vacancy of several months.
You hire a property management team like ours to mitigate those risks.
Property managers understand the dangers that are present, and keeping you and your property and your tenants safe is part of the management services that most companies provide.
Risk management in property management looks like:
- Protecting you from bad tenants with good screening practices.
- Protecting you from fair housing claims by following a consistent screening process.
- Protecting you from vacancy loss by pricing your property accurately and marketing it strategically.
- Protecting you from deferred and unreported damage by conducting inspections and applying preventative maintenance strategies.
- Keeping your finances accurate, detailed, and transparent.
Helping You Reach Your Investment Goals
Nearly all property managers will help with the leasing, management, and maintenance of your property. You should not have to be hands-on at all. You can expect all of the services we’ve talked about to be included.
If you’re a landlord who is simply renting out a home to earn some income and nothing more, that’s going to be more than enough for you.
But, if you’re an investor who is trying to grow a portfolio or a rental property owner who likes the returns they’re seeing and would like to explore how to leverage what they already own, a property manager can help you set some investment goals and make an action plan to reach them.
Maybe you’re interested in renting out vacation properties. Perhaps you’d like to try a 1031 exchange or you’re thinking about diversifying your portfolio. Talk to your property manager about the opportunities that are out there. No one knows the rental market better.
At Anchor Down Property Management, we’re always doing more than the bare minimum that’s required by our property management agreements. We’re working closely with owners to ensure they’re earning as much as they can on their properties and spending only what’s required. We’re monitoring the performance of your rental home and making suggestions whenever we can.
If you’d like to hear more about our property management services, please contact us at Anchor Down Property Management. We specialize in rental properties in Sarasota, Bradenton, Anna Maria Island, and the central Gulf Coast area.