Property Management Explained: A Common Misconception Debunked Pt. 2
If this is your first time reading our blog, I’d like to welcome you and I sincerely hope you enjoy yourself. I’ve made it a personal goal this year to blog more often. Embarrassingly, I studied Literature in University, so you’d think I’d be pumping out blogs like crazy. Turns out not so much…
So, I decided to do a series of blogs about what it’s like to work at a Property Management company. I think there’s a lot of misconception about what actually goes on behind closed doors in the Property Management industry, so I think a peak behind the curtain might answer some questions (If you feel like encouraging me, leave a comment or suggestion down at the bottom.)
In Part 1 of this post, I explained why the misconception that Property Managers will “let anyone rent [your] property” simply can’t be true.
We don’t have time to deal with the inevitably negative results of “letting anyone” rent your property. As I explained in the previous post, doing the work upfront to find the perfect, quality, tenant that fits the property is the only way we make money in the long run.
We simply don’t have time to deal with 900+ tenants being difficult on an ongoing basis. So, putting in the time upfront, doing our background checks, and making sure the tenant is a good fit (personally, and financially) is a win-win for everyone involved.
But I’m sure you’re wondering, “if you’re saying you guys don’t have the time, what are you actually doing behind the scenes? Isn’t this what you’ve been hired for?”
True, it is. And we do handle all tenant communications, 24/7 maintenance requests, billing discrepancies, showings, tenant screening, etc on our owner’s behalf.
What I’m saying is that it is in our best interest to put someone in your property that fits, thereby ensuring that we don’t have many, or ideally any, problems down the road. That allows our staff to do the work that keeps the company running smoothly.
As I said in my previous article, the above is true for a majority of our portfolio. It’s the 5% that cause 90% of the trouble. And this is to be expected, there are always tenants that aren’t what they seem on the surface. However, by utilizing our extensive background checking criteria we eliminate most of the poor-quality tenants.
Let’s take a peek at what that looks like. Here at Drummer we have 5 departments; Administration, Accounting, Maintenance, Marketing, and Leasing.
As my time is largely taken up by all things Marketing, my knowledge of what each department does may be more limited than it could be (so I hope they’ll forgive me if I forget anything). That being said, I think I can paint a pretty accurate picture.
On a weekly basis we receive hundreds of calls from tenants, owners, solicitors, maintenance vendors, and prospective clients. Admin answers a majority of these calls and directs them accordingly. They also prepare a variety of documents, update and maintain our various databases, and serve as a ‘hub’ for inter-department communications. That’s not even considering the foot traffic; some tenants pay their rent in-house via debit. Some owners prefer to meet in person rather than communicating via email. And some people just walk in without having a clue where they are or what our office is…
If you hired a property management company, you’d want a transparent, detailed, statement so you could easily understand how your investment is doing, right?
We have ~ 350 owners, many of whom own multiple properties under our management, and they need their statements every month. For every property…
Some statements are straight forward; rent collected minus management fee = revenue. Easy-peasy right?
But what happens when their property needs maintenance? From multiple vendors (let’s say a roofer, a plumber, and our in-house maintenance tech)? All the detailed receipts and invoices need to be scanned, organized, and compiled into a statement.
You can imagine how much work would go into a document like that. Multiply that by ~ 350.
On top of that, there’s the company finances to compile, code correctly, balance, and report.
And if that wasn’t enough, in many cases Drummer pays utilities on behalf of the tenant, then collects from them accordingly. In most cases this is straightforward, but occasionally we have to chase down these payments.
Maintenance is a necessity when it comes to owning rental property. But how do you know you’re not getting raked over the coals by a contractor? We get preferred pricing from our trusted vendors because we can give them a lot of work. Which is great for our owners…
But for our Maintenance team, it’s a lot of back and forth between our owners and our vendors. Trying to get the best cleaning and maintenance rates is a constant game of push and pull.
We also keep track of all warranties on work and appliances on behalf of our owners.
Add to that, our maintenance team answers all maintenance calls 24/7 (weekends, Christmas, all of it) and coordinates with our vendors and in-house maintenance technician to get the work done quickly.
That’s me! Marketing handles all digital marketing for Drummer’s services and on behalf of our owner’s properties. That includes photography, copywriting, media buying, ad creation, website management, and sign coordination.
Additionally, Marketing plans company events, coordinates production of branded clothing and promotional goods, as well as maintaining our marketing collateral.
We also report on market statistics and ad performance to ensure our advertising efforts are continually effective.
Our team of Licensed Property Managers screen tenants, perform credit and reference checks, conduct move in/out inspections, deliver rental evaluations for new clients, show properties, organize mid-lease property inspections, and act as liaison between tenants, owners, and the rest of the organization.
This is a full-time job where the Property Manager can find themselves being pulled in many directions at once, and it is their job to find solutions to problems they likely didn’t create. So, try and be kind to your Property Manager 😊
That’s it for now, if there’s a part of Property Management you would like explained leave a comment below and I’ll write an article about it.