The decision to hire a property manager means a decision to convert your rental to a passive investment. Almost! There are still times when you should hear from your property manager. Confirming a potential manager is in agreement with this kind of communication may make the idea of hiring one easier.
Hiring a property manager usually means you, want to spend your time differently. Succesfully managing a rental is a time consuming activity. Many owner's can't let go of that day-to-day involvement. For them, life includes late night tenant calls, door-knocking for rent, and taking calls during dinner to lease their property. Knowing all the issues for the property every day can be exhausting. When you decide this is not how your life should operate you hire a property manager.
Experienced property manager's have developed systems that ensure execution of processes that include communication with the owner. The following is a list of times when you should hear from your property manager.
Most management agreements will provide authority for the property manager to market and lease your rental. Most of the steps in this process involve processes that have successfully worked for years. Normally there should be communication from the manager as for their recommended lease rate. There should also be a method for the owner to receive feedback as to how the lease process is evolving. If the lease asking rate needs to change, you should hear from your manager with this feedback. Ideally the manager will convince you by providing information that a new lease ask price is needed.
There is good news! A tenant has been approved for your rental! Certainly any owner wants to hear from their property manager such great news! It seem obvious but there are many reports of owners who had no idea their property had been rented or the terms of the placement! We know this because we get to go try and sort the whole mess out when the owner terminates the manager!
If you want control over every dollar spent by your property manager, you may wish to reconsider the decision to hire one. Professional property managers need to be free to make fiduciary decisions regarding small maintenance items and emergency repairs. This is one of the real benefits of hiring a manager that allows you some distance from the day to day operations of your rental.
Yet, you should have a clear understanding of when you will hear from your property manager regarding maintenance and repairs. Usually, non-emergency items that require an owner's approval are identified with a specific expense amount. Recommended maintenance or repairs above this amount are then to be sent to the owner for approval.
Any property manager who expects the ability to approve any and all repairs should seriously be asked why. It may be that the manager's business is really a maintenance/contracting business and not property management.
Most owners like to know if their tenant will be renewing. Or if they are facing a vacancy in the near future. Hopefully, your property manager lets you know if a tenant is renewing or vacating. If they don't you might want to ask why?
Sadly, tenant non-payment is a part of owning rentals. While it may not be necessary that you understand what collection methods are being pursued, you do want to make sure your manager has a plan for collection and worst case...eviction.
If the manager is left with no other choice, you should hear from the property manager as to that decision. Eviction, and what occurs through the process can cause much anxiety. This is one time that communication and updates should be a part of the manager's operations.
Finally, don't we all enjoy receiving a message that our bank account just received funds? Hopefully the property manager has a process and you receive one of those messages every month. After all, that is why you own your rental property!
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