Do you want to hire a property manager for your company? If YES, here is a detailed guide on how to hire a good property manager and how much it will cost.

Just imagine if you will, living in an apartment building complex with about seven blocks of five story buildings containing two three bedroom flats on each floor all inside of an enclosed space which is popularly known as an estate. Normally there would be need for certain activities to be regulated like security, electricity, water supply, facility maintenance and so on.

With a property like this, there would be need to have some sort of go between, someone who stands as a representative for the tenants and also as a representative for the property owners. Such a person is known as a property manager, the above stated function is just one of his multifaceted duties as he ensures the proper running of the property.

Duties of a Property Manager

The functions of a property manager are numerous; he ensures that tenants within the property he manages are safe and that the property has the necessary amenities and facilities. Another duty of the property manager is to ensure that all personnel hired to keep the property in good shape are doing their jobs effectively.

This includes electricians, cleaners, gardeners, security et al. She/he oversees the jobs being carried out in the estate, distributes pay checks, and deals with any other issues.

Sourcing for buyers or people willing to lease a listed property is also one of the duties of a property manager. This person would have to be proactive when marketing a listed property properly. Relating with prospective buyers or leasers would be one of the core duties of a property manager as he has to have the ability to negotiate, persuade and sweet talk prospective clients into acquiring the said property.

Doing extensive paperwork necessary for the proper running of the property is another duty of the property manager. Regulatory paper work, taxes, tenant documentations, client’s documentations, property values and various laws are just a few documents a property manager would have to ensure are up to date and well within the legal rights of the state or community in which the property is situated.

In this article however we would be looking at the specific functions of a commercial property manager as he/she focuses on providing all of the duties of a property manager for a commercial building.

The property manager is the key person that makes decisions on the day to day running of the property, and will have to look for responsible tenants to rent the facility entrusted to him or her. He monitors the type of companies to outsource for security, maintenance and other technical duties; how the property can relate well with governmental agencies who may want to issue licenses, levies and taxes.

Qualities You Should Look Out For in a Good Property Manager

Furthermore, a property manager must be very organized when running a property. Since the person would be doing a whole lot of things which include, paper work, overseeing the working staff and so on, a disorganized individual would be the worse type of person for the job, so when looking to hire a property manager for your small business, pay attention to how organized the person is.

You may pick up on this by noticing little things about their general presentation. For instance, if they are not capable of paying attention to details in their dressing, office space, hairdo and the likes, how would you be able to trust them with an entire business complex?

A property manager would also have to be a great negotiator as many clients are looking for a bargain and would love something with cheaper rent or lower administrative fees. So part of the challenge would be getting prospective clients to pay the asking price for the property. Sometimes, this could take some type of effort from the property manager, who is tasked with the responsibility of finding profitable tenants for the property.

Education can be an added value for a property manager. This shows that the person has received the needed training that will better inform their decision making process. When challenges arise in the course of people carrying out their duties, it is the level of their training that informs how they act. A person who is not trained would approach issues with kid’s gloves, hence escalating a situation that may have been settled by simple means.

Experience is also another great thing to look for when hiring a property manager. With experience comes maturity, insight, foresight, better perception and understanding. One with experience may have failed a number of times and must have learnt a lot of lessons from that.

Furthermore, with experience comes intuitive knowledge as to how things can be done to achieve the desired outcome. Like they say, “Experience is the best teacher”, so this could make the difference between success in your business or not.

People skills are seriously needed to do this job in optimal level. At the end of the day the property manager would be dealing with people. Sometimes what the owners expect from the tenants may not be palatable to the tenants themselves and can cause certain levels of friction.

The same may go for the workers who labour for the effective working of the facility, or governmental agents who will definitely come in from time to time to inspect activities that take place on the property. The property manager would have to deal with all these people with understanding and tact.

10 Helpful Tips for Hiring a Good Property Manager

1. Research: You can’t simply go out there and pick the very first property management company you find. You need to take out time to research the companies that first come up on your radar when you search. Look into the different properties they have managed, pay attention to how long they have been in the business, and if you can, visit these sites and interview the tenants they handle; this would give you a well-rounded view of the company.

One thing you need to pay attention to when conducting your research is how many properties they are managing at the time of your proposed hire and also how many employees do they have on their payroll. The truth of the matter is you do not want to hand over your property to people who already have their hands full or are even understaffed. Research is the first step to ensuring that you make a proper decision when choosing your property manager.

2. Question the Decision: Depending on the type of property it is, most of the duties stated above are things the owner can do if they have the time and expertise. If for instance you are retired, or you have no other job taking your time, you could actually carry out these activities and save yourself the cost.

Look at the various advantages and disadvantages of hiring a property manager and ask yourself if it is right for you at this time. On the other hand, if you know you will not be able to do the job yourself, in spite of being retired or having a lot of free time, then the choice should be to hire one who will do the task.

3. How They Communicate: How well would they communicate with you concerning the goings on of the property placed in their care. Pay attention to this because you would need to be kept in the loop on all important developments on your property. What is their policy on communication with the owners?

Would they keep certain things from you in an attempt to handle the situation themselves, or will they be committed to keeping you informed on issues that arise on the property, even the ones they may consider trivial. Yes, the idea may have been to relive you of the day to day activities of the property, but this does not mean you should be in the dark all the time.

4. Do They Own Properties: If they own properties of their own, you can be rest assured that they would have an understanding of what it means to be an owner. They would know exactly what could be going through your head as you have given them management of your property. This will inform them on how to serve you better being owners themselves.

It also shows to some extent the level of competence they have achieved in the industry, for them to actually possess properties they manage for themselves, places them on another level higher than others that have not achieved this feat. So them owning properties of their own is definitely a plus.

5. Are They Licensed: Having a license to operate says a lot of things about the company, we all have an idea of what it takes to receive operating license for whatever purpose in any country or state. There are strict conditions that must be met before various professionals receive licenses from the federal or state authorities. So to find a property Management Company with proper authorization to work professionally is an addition to the reasons why such a company should be picked.

6. Fees and Renumeration: This addresses the question of how much it would cost to secure the services of a property management company. You need to keep in mind that these people would be taking care of something so important to you, so making sure that they are well taken care of will go a long way in ensuring that they do their duties with zeal and commitment.

Also, if they are a bit pricey, you would have to be honest with your budget and probably find a way to negotiate pricing or maybe look for a more affordable company.

Although pricey does not translate to better quality, their price could be due to some of the internal maintenance cost it would take to give you the best. On the other hand, a much cheaper property management company may not necessarily translate to being mediocre. I guess your research would inform you on which to choose as you go along this very important decision.

7. References Go a Long Way: In many things we do, receiving proper reference from a trusted friend, colleague or relative can go a long way. This is someone who has tested and tried a particular service first hand and is recommending them to you for the same purpose.

More importantly if this is coming from someone of great reputation, then you know you are in good hands. This of course should not  prevent you from doing your own person research on the company. It could pose as a solid foundation for the next series of decisions you will make when choosing a property management company of your choice.

8. Read the Fine Print: If possible get a lawyer to look at the contract you would be signing with the property management company before you display your signature on the dotted line. Contracts are binding by law, so you wouldn’t want to get into any agreement that wouldn’t favor you or your property at the end of the day.

Make sure you look at the hidden clauses and also statements of termination. Being in the know about the important contents of the contract will keep your property safe from unfavorable legal activities.

9. Ask Important Questions About How They Run Their Business: Ask very serious questions, one suggestion would be to develop these questions through your research stage. You want to know how often they visit the properties they manage, what type of Business model they have employed in running their company.

You also what to know how transparent they would be about the paper work they would be handling and of course other important activities they would undertake.

You also want to pay attention to the way you are being treated by them, because usually if they do not have basic respect for you before they take on your property, it is likely to be the same after they have secured the contract with you. Develop important questions about how they run their business and make sure you get the right answers as well.

10. How Do They Screen Tenants: The process taken to screen tenants is another very important thing you want to look into when picking a property management company. You want to know how deep they look into the background of those they want to rent the property out to. It would not be wise to allow people who are known for violence or theft into the property as this would reflect negatively on the owners. Proper screening should be done for each and every prospective client who intends to rent or lease a space within the property.

These tips should serve as some kind of guide in selecting the property management company that best suits you. There are definitely more things to look out for, but the ones listed above can be a great way to start. Know that whoever you decide to work with will determine the eventual condition of your property, so be sure to choose wisely.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Property Manager?

The cost of a property manager depends on various factors some of which are; the person or people who hire them. Sometimes businesses like these like to keep their pricing flexible for when persons of great repute come along.

The location of the property is another factor that will determine how the property manager would do their costing. If the property is located in a hostile part of town, this may pose a security risk for the agents who will visit the property for inspection regularly or the one who may need to be there daily.

Distance in location is another factor in this area, but if the location is close to the head office of the property management company or in a desirable place in town, where security and other positive attributes are present, this too can affect the fee.

The size of the property will also determine how the property manager would bill the client. The size of the property has a role to play in how much work it would take to fulfill the duties of property managers.

It has been stated that the average amount of money made by property managers is around $60,000 per year, or $23.40 per hour. But like stated in the paragraphs above, there are other factors that can affect the price drastically, so these should be taken into account.

In conclusion, hiring company for any number of reasons is a task everyone should take seriously because these people would be in charge of something so important to you. For a task like managing a property, the risks are even higher, so great care should be taken in making sure that the company you have chosen is the best out there.

Ajaero Tony Martins