There’s a lot more to being a landlord than most people think. After all, you don’t just buy an investment property, place tenants, and start collecting rent. You have to draft lease agreements, handle maintenance requests, perform inspections, and so much more.
But there is a solution.
Whether you want to save time, don’t have a clue what you’re doing, or simply want to let someone else deal with the hassles of managing an Antioch, California rental, it’s time you think about enlisting the help of an experienced property management company.
But what does a property management company do?
If you’re wondering what property managers do to help you with your investment property, keep reading. Today, we’re going to give you the lowdown on what a property management company does and how it will benefit you.
WHAT IS A PROPERTY MANAGER?
A property manager is an individual person or a company that is hired to oversee the day-to-day operations of an investment property. They are in charge of making sure the rental is occupied, well-cared for, and generating an annual profit.
Property managers are hired by property owners when they can’t, or don’t want to manage the daily tasks that come with a rental.
The exact duties of a property manager will depend largely on the type of property being managed. They are also based on the extent of the services the company provides and the terms the property manager and landlord agree to. That said, let’s take a look at the most common things property managers do.
WHAT PROPERTY MANAGERS DO
1. MARKET VACANT PROPERTIES
No one likes an empty rental property that isn’t generating a profit. This is especially true if that property still has a mortgage. However, advertising a property as available takes some marketing finesse.
A good property manager will be able to attract the right kind of tenants for your Antioch, California rental. This will include:
- Advertising the property across multiple channels such as the MLS, Craigslist, online classifieds, direct mail, and even an official website
- Creating visually appealing and informative ads that market your rental as available for lease
- Knowing how to stage your vacancy so that people will be interested in leasing from you
- Giving potential tenants an easy way to reach out for more information and/or to apply
In addition, property managers will know how to ensure your property is rent-ready. Whether it’s the first time you’re placing a tenant in your rental, or it’s just vacant in between tenants, a qualified property manager will be able to attract high-quality tenants and lease your rental fast.
2. CONDUCT THOROUGH TENANT SCREENING
It’s not enough to market your property as available. After all, you don’t want just any person living in your rental. Instead, you want someone that pays the rent on time, takes care of your property, and wants to stay long term.
That’s where an experienced property management company can help.
Screening potential tenants for placement in your property must be done thoroughly so you get the right person leasing from you. But there are also discrimination laws in place that must be followed at all times.
In California, you’re not allowed to discriminate against prospective tenants based on:
- Marital status
- National origin
- Familial status
- Medical condition
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
- Source of income
This may seem easy enough. But the truth is, not all landlords can perform strict tenant screening that not only weeds out problem tenants, but also follows every regulation in place. However, with a knowledgeable property manager on your side to conduct the screening process for you, you don’t have to worry about all that.
3. SET AND COLLECT RENT
When it comes to making money as a landlord, it’s all about the rent. It’s your responsibility to set rent rates, collect rent, track down those that haven’t paid, and send out payment reminders. Not to mention, giving tenants an easy way to pay their rent, such as through an online portal, is something you’re responsible for.
The task of collecting rent is simple enough when you have one rental property. Invest in a lot of California properties however, and you’ll quickly find your hands are full.
One thing that property managers do is handle all things rent collection for property owners. They ensure that your tenants pay the highest rent rate possible, on time every time.
If you set the rent rate too low, you risk losing out on money. If you set the rent rate too high, you risk having a vacant property and no tenants willing to lease from you. Your property manager will have knowledge about the housing market and going rent rates. Because of this, they’ll be able to set a rate that is appealing to tenants, but also high enough to generate you a profit.
And if by chance your tenant is late, your property management company takes on the bad guy role and doles out the right consequences, even if an eviction is necessary.
4. HANDLE MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
If you employ a property management company near you to manage your rental, they’ll be handling all maintenance and repair requests – even the emergency ones.
Routine maintenance is a major part of being a great landlord. After all, making sure your property is in good condition year round has two major benefits:
- It shows your tenants you care about the home they live in and can help you earn a lease renewal
- It helps you stay on top of minor repairs before they become costly and dig into your annual profits
Of course, performing maintenance and repairs on your rental can be time-consuming. In addition, it can be costly if you hire out contractors that you know very little about.
To save time and money, use a property manager instead. They’ll either have their own personal maintenance crew or a Rolodex of contractors that are affordable to do the work for them. Plus, you’ll never have to answer any midnight emergency calls.
5. PERFORM PROPERTY INSPECTIONS
Another time-consuming task that landlords often don’t want to do is perform seasonal inspections of their investment properties. However, doing this sends the message to your tenants that you are keeping an eye on how they treat your property. Plus, it gives you the chance to handle minor repairs, again, before they become costly.
For property inspections to work, you have to perform them on a regular basis. If your busy schedule doesn’t have room for move-in, move-out, and even seasonal inspections, hire a property manager to do it for you.
6. HANDLE THE PAPERWORK
As a landlord, there’s a lot of paperwork to do. This bookkeeping responsibility only increases as your portfolio grows. That said, it has to be done.
While you can hire an accountant to handle some of the financial paperwork related to your Antioch, California rental, a good property manager can do much more for you. For example, a property management company such as Blue Line Property Management can help you with things like:
- Yearly taxes
- Maintenance estimates, invoices, and payments
- Annual financial reporting
- Documentation related to expenses (such as HOA fees, utilities, and insurance)
- Monthly income/expense reports
If you don’t want the headache of dealing with all the paperwork that comes with being a property owner, entrust the bookkeeping to your property manager instead.
7. KEEP UP WITH LANDLORD-TENANT LAWS AND REGULATIONS
Your property manager will be the first person to deal with the difficult legalities that come with rental properties. For instance, tenant disputes, lease provisions, and even evictions are things that all landlords have to deal with at some time. However, if you aren’t up to date on the most recent California landlord-tenant laws, you could find yourself on the losing side of a court dispute with your tenants.
Experienced property managers like the ones at Blue Line Property Management know about safety compliance, tenant screening, terminating lease agreements, eviction proceedings, and much more.
Looking for qualified property management companies in Antioch, CA? If so, contact us today and see how we can take the burden of managing a rental property off your hands.
At Blue Line Property Management, we strive to take the frustration of being a landlord away from property owners and instead allow them to enjoy the passive income that comes with a rental property. Not only can we find you a high-quality tenant in 29 days or less, we help with things like rent collection, 24/7 maintenance and repair services, and aggressive advertising designed to lower vacancy rates and maximize your ROI.