Property management is a job that is much more difficult than most people can imagine. Careers in property management range from renting single family homes to residential on-site management of apartment buildings, to large scale retail, commercial or industrial properties.
A property manager is a third party who is hired to handle the daily operations of a real estate investment property. Property managers wear many different hats while performing their job.
Typically they are:
- Responsible for maintenance and repairs.
- Responsible for knowledge of landlord/tenant laws.
- Responsible for supervising activities on the premises.
- Responsible for managing the budget, maintenance records, and bookkeeping.
The most critical function of a manager is to rent to qualified tenants who will remain for a reasonable period of time. Good customer service skills are at the top of the requirements list for a good property manager. To most tenants the manager is the only contact with the ownership side of the business.
A good manager must also have good negotiating and organizational skills. Good communication skills are a daily requirement: speaking with tenants and potential tenants, resolving disputes, answering questions, and supervising repair and maintenance are all in a day’s work and all require effective communication.
Property managers are often asked to participate in setting rental prices and must understand the current market conditions. Typically managers collect rents and are responsible for paying all bills.
From an owner’s perspective, the most important function of the manager is to keep a property full with quality tenants. To accomplish this, keeping current tenants happy and filling vacancies become top priorities.
Property managers are running a small business. Running a business means there are rules and regulations that have to be followed. Managers, owners and tenants must cooperate to accomplish the highest degree of satisfaction for everyone.
Eric Ruxton and Larry Aikins are the owners of Terrace Realty Inc. and Terrace Associates Inc., in Redwood City.
Terrace has been in business for over 60 years and in addition to being an independent Brokerage Company, also owns and operates rental properties