It's in the name: Property Manager. It means they're responsible for all facets of your property with very little input required from you. They'll handle all the rents and deposits. Managers will have strong, defensible leases that will help legitimize your investment. A strong lease is probably your best line of defense, and a manager handles it all.
Whatever maintenance needs to be done, the manager takes care of it. Typically, the only input needed from you will be signing off on the work done or verifying the scope of any individual project. Managers will either contract with handymen or have staffed contractors to handle the work. You will not be called at midnight to unclog a toilet or waste your weekend cleaning out gutters or doing yard work.
One of the most stressful parts of owning an investment property is finding good, solid tenants. With their systems and strategies in place, property managers are able to reach more prospects, ultimately getting you a better, more qualified tenant, which in turn will give you a stronger return on investment and leave your property in better shape. Property managers have pools of prospective tenants (especially in today's rental market) that they will run credit and background checks on before having them sign a lease for your investment. They abide by fair housing laws and will never discriminate when choosing tenants. Not only will they have better tenants, but they will get better terms and longer leases, which will positively impact your bottom line.
The best of the best managers are excellent reporters. They will provide you all the income and expense reports necessary for taxes and accounting. Along with that, your manager may even report your return on investment, and point out places where you could maximize your profit. Managers will always tell you when they believe it's feasible to raise rents, and should always provide data to back up any changes in the rental market.
Just like folks use a stock broker to manage their stock investments, a good property manager will be on the front line, managing your rentals. Although there is a varied amount of arrangements, managers work fairly inexpensively, usually commanding about 8-12% of rent payments as a flat fee. Some charge less, some charge more, and some charge for different specialized services. Before entering into a contract, make sure you understand all the services provided so there aren't any surprises. After that point, the most difficult part of being landlord will be taking your check to the bank!
Jared Reimer is a real estate broker with Prudential Rocky Mountain Realtors in Northern Colorado. Real estate is his passion and he always wants to connect with like-minded and savvy real estate fans. For more information or to get in touch with Jared, please visit his website at www.ReimerRE.com or email him at JaredReimer@ReimerRE.com