Need a little help?
Chances are if you’re searching, “what does a property manager do?” you’re considering whether you should hire one.
To know whether hiring a property manager would be a good fit for you, we’ve organized a list of some of the major tasks that a property manager typically performs.
Plus, we’ll also cover some less familiar or lesser-known things some property managers assist with that might also be worth keeping in mind when making your decision.
And, whether or not you feel hiring a property manager would be a good fit for you, we’ll also cover a powerful alternative you can use to help you manage your properties more effectively yourself.
But let’s start from the top: what does a property manager do, and how can they help you manage your properties?
What does a property manager do?
A property manager is a professional hired to help manage the day-to-day dealings required in running one or more properties.
What a particular property manager does depends on their services and your preferences.
One property manager might handle maintenance requests, another might only offer rent collection, accounting, and screening services but leave the maintenance up to you.
That’s not typically the case, however.
Usually, a property manager (or, more often than not, a full property management company) handles the full range of duties required to manage that property.
That can include:
- Collecting Rent
- Advertising your Properties
- Screening new Tenants
- Manage all Property Accounting
- Handling Maintenance
These services are thoroughly explained below, along with some excellent options for a property manager.
1. Collect rent
The first and most important thing a property manager will help you with is collecting rent.
Typically, they use property management software like DoorLoop to make paying rent online simple and easy for tenants. That makes it more likely you’ll get it and get it on time.
They also typically handle contacting tenants about late rent and charge late fees, pet rent, and other fees.
2. Advertise your properties
You can’t collect rent if your units are going vacant.
A property manager can help with this, too, putting up listings on property sites even before tenants leave so that a new tenant is lined up on their move-out date.
That way, your rent payments don’t ever skip a beat.
3. Screen new tenants
The screening process is vital to making sure you’re bringing in quality tenants who you can count on to pay their rent and take care of your unit.
A property manager will typically implement a thorough screening process, including:
- Background check
- Credit check
- Employment check
- And more
They’ll then handle the entire leasing process, often digitally, so everything is nice and tidy in one place.
4. Manage all property accounting
Property accounting is a bit unique from other types of business accounting, so it can help to have someone handling it who knows what they’re doing.
A property manager typically handles most or all of the property’s accounting, including:
- Tracking rent and fee payments
- Bank reconciliations
- Managing vendor payments
- And more
5. Handle maintenance
As a landlord, you know that managing maintenance requests is one of the biggest pains.
A property manager can help take the entire process off your back, including:
- Accepting maintenance requests
- Issuing work orders to vendors
- Paying those vendors
- And communicating with tenants throughout the process
Depending on who you go with, they may handle everything themselves or choose to have a handyman on-location then hire a professional for larger jobs. Either way, they’ll typically handle the entire process themselves, so you don’t have to worry about anything.
Other valuable tasks a property manager might help you with
The list above are the typical things a property manager will handle for you. An optional task you can ask your property manager to complete (or look into doing yourself) is joining local real estate investor associations, which can be extremely beneficial for networking and educational purposes.
However, there are other things they may handle that are either less significant or less common.
Those can include:
A property manager can be assigned the responsibility of filing taxes for you.
That’s in addition to being required to file taxes for any unincorporated vendor that has been paid more than $600 in a given calendar year.
Property managers will often handle the securing of insurance to protect their client’s properties and their tenants (as well as themselves).
Typically handled by the property manager, they’ll take care of everything required to shift one tenant out and another new tenant into the same unit, including:
- Collecting keys
- Cleaning said unit
- Refunding security deposits
- And enforcing move-out dates
4. Regular inspections
In addition to regular requested maintenance and repairs, property managers can, and often do, handle routine unit inspections.
5. Setting and raising rent
Property managers can also be solicited for help in researching what the best rent price would be for the property, as well as calculating when to raise the rent (and enforcing the raise).
6. Tenant disputes
One of the less definable tasks that property managers typically handle, but which is a huge boon to landlords, is managing tenant disputes.
With a property manager handling all tenant disputes, you could say goodbye to a large chunk of the stress connected to owning and managing properties.
What are the benefits of hiring a property manager?
At this point, you might already have a good idea of whether hiring a property manager is right for you.
However, if you’re on the fence, let’s talk a bit about the actual benefits you can expect when you hire a property manager (in most cases) so that you know the true value.
That way, you can decide for yourself whether you think it will be worth it or not.
1. Bring in more rent, more consistently
Collecting rent effectively is the single most important thing a property manager can do for you.
There are a few things they typically do to make that a reality:
- Set up a streamlined online rent payment system where tenants can pay online
- Enforce late fees
- And follow up with tenants to collect rent
Whether it’s a single property manager or a property management company, you have someone on your side whose sole responsibility is to make sure things are running smoothly, meaning rent doesn’t just get collected more easily but also on time more consistently.
2. Save you time
Time, time, and more time.
One of the most significant benefits of hiring a property manager is the time you save on various tasks and headaches you typically have to handle yourself.
Some examples include:
- Communicating back-and-forth with tenants on maintenance requests
- Communicating with vendors on the work orders for those maintenance requests
- Following up with tenants on rent payments and other fees
- Getting inspections done
- Setting up for showings to fill vacancies
The list goes on. Oftentimes, a property manager will handle many or all of these tasks, freeing up enormous amounts of your time so you can focus on other things.
3. Stay ahead of laws and regulations
It’s no secret that keeping up with the latest state and city laws and regulations is a pain. It’s one of those things that seems like a total waste of your time, but it can bite you in the form of fees and penalties– or worse– when you least expect it.
Property managers make it their job to be up to date on the latest laws and regulations surrounding property management, so they often handle everything related to making sure your properties stay up to code.
4. Improve tenant quality
We touched on this earlier, but the quality of your tenants affects all kinds of things, from how reliably they pay rent on time to how well they take care of the unit they’re staying in.
Improving the quality of the leads and future tenants you attract means a more profitable business overall with fewer issues.
5. Get better online reviews
This is a benefit that’s easy to fly beneath the radar, but it’s a valuable one.
Property managers typically make a living as a tenant much easier and more enjoyable:
- Maintenance gets handled quickly and smoothly
- Paying rent is easier
- And whenever you have any kind of issue, there’s always someone there to answer your question or help out
That leads to happier tenants, and happier tenants (long-term), leads to better reviews. This, in turn, leads to more and better leads that then works cyclically to continue bringing in new and quality tenants.
Should you hire a property manager?
At this point, you might be thinking that these benefits do sound pretty nice. But is hiring a property manager the right move for me and my properties?
Only you can decide that, but hopefully this deep-dive into the role a property manager can play, and the benefits they can provide, has helped you get some clarity.
To further help you make an informed decision, here are three things to consider when thinking about whether to hire a property manager:
1. How much are you willing to pay?
Hiring a property manager can be costly, depending on your situation. Most property managers charge based on a percentage of rent collected, typically somewhere around 10%.
So, if you have a property generating $45,000 of rent per month, a typical property management company would charge you around $4,500 to manage that property (sometimes more).
You have to consider if giving up around 10% is worth the benefits such as time and efficiency you get in return.
2. How many units do you have?
The number of units you have plays a big part in deciding if hiring a property manager is right for you.
Maybe when you first started out, you could manage your 5-10 units fine on your own without much hassle, but you now have three properties, each with 5-10 units.
If that’s the case, it’s definitely time to consider hiring someone to manage one or more of your properties.
That way, you can spend more time doing high-value tasks like identifying other investment opportunities or figuring out how to increase the value of your properties.
3. How much control do you want over how your properties are managed?
Depending on how you like to run your properties, you might not be comfortable with having a property manager take everything over.
You might prefer instead to employ staff yourself to manage your property to whom you can manage.
Get the property manager that fits in your pocket
What if you’re interested in getting some help, but you’re not in a position to hire a property manager?
Or what if you’d prefer to hire a team yourself so you can take a more hands-on approach to running your properties?
There is an alternative. In fact, it’s something that property managers utilize to help them manage large numbers of properties efficiently: property management software.
With property management software, you can do things like streamline all of your tenant communications into one convenient place.
No more jumping around between text, email, and phone calls.
No more getting maintenance requests over text, only to have to jump on QuickBooks to make a purchase order for a vendor, contact that vendor via email or phone, then circle back and text that tenant when the job is done.
Talk about a headache.
A great property management software like DoorLoop can do a lot for you, like having your very own property manager right in your pocket.
- Offer a tenant portal where tenants can pay rent and other fees online and send in maintenance requests directly
- Streamline tenant screening, background checks, eLeasing, and more all from right within the app
- Fill vacancies quicker with automatic listings
- Manage all your property accounting in one place (on a platform designed for property accounting– unlike QuickBooks and it’s frustrating workarounds)
- And much more
Don’t believe us?
No need to wait, you can jump on now (no credit card necessary) and start using DoorLoop to streamline your property management efforts today.
It’s 50% off your first two months!
Take some time to see what it can do for you and discover the peace of mind you get by having one central platform that brings everything together simply and cleanly in one place.