It’s a lot easier to be a property owner than to be a property manager. Owning property doesn’t entail too much work aside from, well, owning the property. But if you were to manage the rental property as well, that would mean doing some actual management work.
One common misconception of rental property owners is that owning a rental property is the same as managing one. They think ‘I have this beautiful rental property. If I can get some tenants, it’s going to generate me a good amount of income in no time!’. New rental property owners don’t know what they are in for. They don’t realize that to become a great rental property manager, you have to have a good set of skills. Here are some good skills to have if you want to transition from rental property owner to managing your own rental property as well.
A good understanding of all your jobs
Going from owner to manager overnight entails a steep learning curve. The best way to do it is to ease into it and try to learn the jobs that managing property will entail. Get a good grasp of the complexities and nuances of the job. It’s not just about advertising, marketing, or showing the property off. It’s not just about fixing leaky faucets, getting exterminators, or hiring a landscaper. It is also about managing finances, having a list of go-to repairmen and contractors, and even doing periodic inspections and maintenance. Sometimes, you also have to be a PR person and sales agent as well. These are only a few of your responsibilities as a rental property manager. There will be more and you will find those things out as you learn the ropes. Try to be as prepared as you can, especially if this is your first foray into rental property management.
A knack for keeping operations flowing smoothly
By now you know that being a rental property manager isn’t just one job. It means you have to keep on top of all aspects of the rental property on a daily basis. You need to be on top of daily operations and have to keep things running smoothly. You are not only the rental property manager but also the operations manager. You have to make sure that the rental property stays clean and well maintained. To be on top of operations, you have to create a regular schedule for inspections, repairs, and maintenance. Be sure to cascade relevant information about your schedule to your contractors, inspectors, repair team, and most importantly your tenants This gives them time to anticipate and adjust their time according to your maintenance schedule. This also gives them time to prepare for the work they need to fulfill. On top of being the operations manager, you also have to be the finance manager of some sorts. You have to oversee rent collection and payments to mortgage payroll, utilities, and repairs.
A long term plan and focus on the future
Being a rental property owner and property manager means you have to know how to play the long game. This means you have to have the foresight to plan for the next 5 years. This is why you should have a regular schedule for maintenance and inspection. From these inspections, you will know which major repairs are due and which large projects you should focus on, if budget permits. It’s no use to be reactive and just repair every time something breaks. You have to be proactive and focus on improving and upgrading your rental property for the long term. It’s good to have property improvement goals and plans on how to achieve them. It’s easier to acquire new tenants and keep existing ones if your rental property undergoes constant improvement and does not look old and dated.
A list of excellent craftsmen and reliable go-to guys
Here’s a trade secret. All great property managers have deep roots in the community. They know who to call for specialized work. They have the best of the best contractors on their list and on speed dial. They have connections to experts living in the area – people who are well known for their craft and their exceptional quality of work. Rental property managers have a go-to list because they know they can’t do everything themselves. These aren’t expected to know how to rewire circuitry or fix a flooded basement. So they hire. And they hire well. They hire the most reliable guys who are reasonably priced. They liaise and create a long term working relationships with the best people who will help them take care of their property.
An avenue to promote your property
Rental property managers know where they can get new tenants. Great ones don’t have vacancies for long. They know what prospective tenants are looking for in a rental property. They know where they can meet people and market their property. Whether it is face to face or online, a rental property manager can make a connection with people who want to check out their property or who can give them a signal boost when looking for new tenants. They have a strong ground presence in the community and also a strong online presence, to keep interest going for their property even if there are no vacancies.
A keen ability to work with people
Let’s face it. If you want to become a great rental property manager but you are not personable, this job is definitely not for you. Rental property managers do not have a problem meeting and connecting with all kinds of people. They liaise with different people on a daily basis. They handle meetups with prospective tenants coming from all walks of life. They negotiate with tradesmen, contractors, and industry experts. They talk with the staff and other property helpers. They deal with difficult people and know how to navigate challenging situations. They have strong boundaries and they stick to their policies when dealing with difficult tenants or neighbors.
A good sense of when you should outsource instead of doing it yourself
So far, it’s a tall order of skills for rental property owners who want to transition into being great rental property managers. Most owners simply do not have the time to do all these things or simply do not have the skillset. Mostly, it’s just a case of taking the time to learn the ropes. This is why a good option for rental property owners who are not yet ready or are still learning, is to hire someone else to do some aspects of the job. It could be hiring a specialist to do yard work like mowing, clearing, and landscaping. It could be hiring a marketing specialist to promote rental property.
Sometimes though, rental property owners hire the services of a full-service property management company to do most of the work for them. That way, all they have to do is oversee operations and make informed decisions. This could decidedly be a better use of their time and resources instead of being forced to learn immediately and try to do everything by themselves. If you’re looking for a full-service property management company to help you manage your rental property, give us a call today on 425-658-7471.
Davis Property Management
At Davis Property Management, we provide fast, friendly, and professional service tailored to your individual property management needs.