Photo: irina slutsky
A property manager’s job is not easy. None of the tasks are extremely hard, but the devil is in the details, as they say.
There are the daily tasks of collecting the rent, filing for eviction, keeping up with the maintenance of the property, lease renewals, showings, new lease signings and marketing the available properties.
However, that only scratches the surface of the complete job description.
A lot of property managers also keep all of the accounts payable records and pay the expenses, they do reporting on each rental unit for owners, and they keep up with the taxes and insurance payments on the property. It is a lot of work and if the property manager misses a deadline, the ripple effect could be detrimental to the many other tasks that hinge on each other.
Like anything in life, if you understand the position, it can be easier to embrace the frustrations you might encounter in this real estate investment game, whether you are an owner, renter or wanting to be a property manager yourself.
From the perspective of the owner:
The property managers are the glue between you and your tenants. The manager shields your identity from the tenant so that tenants aren’t looking up your name and number in the middle of the night to call you about their backed-up toilet. The property manager also keeps track of all of the expenses, income and other accounting details, allowing you to hand over clean records to your accountant at the end of the year.
From the perspective of the tenant:
Sometimes the manager’s hands are tied. It’s not that they don’t want to give you everything you want, but they face budget restrictions and requirements handed down to them by the owner of the property. Therefore, they are not being “mean” if they do not honour your request to replace all of the appliances in your rental home with new ones; they are probably following the budgets outlined by the owner of the property.
From the perspective of those who want to be a property manager:
This job can be very rewarding, especially when all parties are happy. You must be very organised to avoid the little things sneaking up on you. Property managers need to have a thick skin for when either a tenant or owner is not happy with the way things are going. Overall, it can be very rewarding to help tenants find a place to live.
Frustration with your current property manager can be a common occurrence among both owners and tenants and even the property managers themselves, but what it comes down to is communication. As a manager, owner or tenant, don’t be afraid to express your frustration, but do it with class and document your conversations with e-mail. State the problem or issue clearly and offer a solution.
No matter the role you play, anyone will most likely be “all in” when it comes to suggestions on how to make the job easier for all involved. Likewise, if it is done with respect, each person will feel better about their role and will only improve the job to offer better services to clients.
Understanding the role that each person plays will be key in making the task of property management manageable and profitable for all involved.
Jessica Hickok is a REALTOR® Broker and Property Manager/Landlord with Dizmang Properties, Inc. (www.getpaul.com) in Springfield, Missouri. She can also be found on Twitter as @SugarCube.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.