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Property Management Blog

Published on Thursday, December 18, 2008

Get To Know Building Management

Building management is simply taking care of a building and managing all the related activities. It can range from any emergency breakdown management to management of any expansion job. This job can be done on individual supervision but with complicated matters getting incorporated into every sphere, the job seems best to be left to the professionals for value for money output. These days the professionals are being complemented by various systems and software that take care of many aspects of the day-to-day management of a building.

Building management is no high tech or even research oriented.   It is also not any kind of expert-handled matter that the ordinary man cannot comprehend. Simply looking after the maintenance of a building is also a part of it. A leaking pipe is the job of a plumber. Even you can call in a plumber and get it fixed. Then why bother for paying an agency to do it for you? Consider faulty electrical wiring that resulted from this leakage. Add to it the puffing of the paint in the affected area and top it of with angry tenants if you are an owner. Then you have a situation in hand and you can only then realize what it would have been had you had a professional building manager by your side. The first thing that you must know is that had there been a manager, there would not have been the situation. The word of a doctor holds true here also, prevention is better than cure. This kind of management is all about prevention and in all cases preventive measures cost less than repairs. Sometimes such measures seem useless and waste of money as the crisis never arises. It is like having insurance. Does anybody think about the money when buying insurance?

Building management is best started from the very designing process of the building. It should be understood that bad buildings are costlier to maintain than the well designed ones. The optimum utilization of the resources and planning for the maintenance part early helps a lot in the later years when the building actually needs to undergo major maintenance procedures.

The most important part of building management is obviously the maintenance. Any building, new or old, needs maintenance. There is no fixed rule that a building will need a certain kind of maintenance at regular intervals of the year. Each building is unique and has its unique set of features that need maintenance work at certain times. What is common to all structures is periodic inspection. Specific materials need inspections at specific intervals. Say a roof of slate and shingles will have a different interval between inspections than concrete roofs. A steel structure might require different type of maintenance than a concrete structure. Glass might need more frequent maintenance. The management procedure is all about identifying the need and time and finding the best way to tackle the situation and in the most cost effective way.

Building management is also important to carry out any major renovation or extension to an existing building. In such cases, the legal matters get involved. Whether any renovation is permissible? What are the rules and procedures that need to be followed while extending any part of the building? All these matters are not always easy to understand and follow for the layman. So professional help in the form of managers of buildings, be it firms or individuals are also preferable in such cases.

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Author: Web Master

Categories: Property Management




Landlord Knowledge Base

If you’ve ever considered investing in a few rental properties in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA now might be a good time. Prices are still low in Philadelphia, but have been on the upswing. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing home in a US metropolitan area grew 13.7% between July 2012 and July 2013, the latest in a 17-month streak of year-over-year price increases. 

New landlords can choose from properties that are likely to appreciate and a large pool of potential renters.Licensed realtor Pat Mueller cites a few reasons for this trend: “Many families have lost their homes to foreclosure and are entering the rentals market for the first time in years. Mortgages are also harder to get now, so fewer people are qualifying for a new one.”The more skills you bring to the table to get into Houses for Rent in Philadelphia Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA and the more time you have to devote to your properties, the faster you can make a return on your investment. 

But investing in rentals can also be disastrous (or too stressful to be worthwhile) without expertise. Here are three professionals you may consult about your new rental properties, and what you can do to mitigate how much they cost you:Handyman:  You may need to hire a specialist for some work on your rental. If you need new outlets or new pipes, for example, hire an electrician, plumber or licensed contractor. Handymen usually tackle smaller, more manageable tasks, like:

  • Painting and paint removal
  • Drywall repair
  • Minor appliance repairs (fixing a leaky toilet or faucet, among others)
  • Installing tiling or flooring, moldings, windows, doors
  • Refinishing decks, cabinets and other wood items

When You Could Skip It: You could do any (or all) of these projects yourself if you have the time and interest in learning. Of course, this only works if you live relatively close to your rentals and are flexible enough to service them on short notice. And if you’re willing to respond to the occasional 5 AM basement flooding.

Average Savings: Any base rates or costs-per-hour vary from location to location in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA , but nationally, you can expect to spend an average of $60 to $85 per hour for repair costs. It general costs less to hire an individual handyman than a handyman employed by a company. Expect an additional charge if your job requires a trip to the store for materials.

Resident Property Manager As the owner of a handful of rental properties, you may be able to manage them yourself, but if you want help, a single resident manager would probably be more cost efficient than a property management company. Resident managers may:

  • Serve as a handyman
  • Advertise vacancies in your units
  • Show apartments to prospective tenants
  • Review rental applications
  • Collect rents

When You Could Skip It: Again, the closer you live to your properties and the more spare time you have, the less likely you are to need a manager. The obligations of being a boss will also cut into the time you save on maintenance.

Average Savings: The national median wage for residential managers is just over $25 per hour. Research the wages in your community and adjust according to how much responsibility your manager will take on. 

Real Estate Agent: Once you’ve gotten your financials in order and done your own research on the neighborhood(s) you’re considering, you might contact a realtor to show you potential properties. You can also arrange for a realtor in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA to show rentals once they’re ready to rent.

When You Could Skip It: It depends. Even if you’re a local, or have thoroughly researched the neighborhood(s) you’re considering, a realtor is a great resource for a first-time rental buyer. Realtors have access to data and statistics not necessarily available to the general public and first-time buyers may not know all the right questions to ask. Using a realtor to fill your Houses for Rent vacancies is less of a no-brainer, depending on your other time commitments or whether you plan to hire a resident manager who could do the same thing.

Average Savings: As a buyer of rental properties, as when buying your own home, sellers typically pay most, if not all, of the buyer’s realtor fees. In this case, Mueller points out there’s little reason not to work with a realtor. For help in filling your units in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA, the services of a realtor would set you back between 10-20% of the unit’s rent per month.  Mueller recommends interviewing with several brokers before making your final decision to invest into Houses for Rent .

The Bottom Line: As a new landlord, you can’t necessarily control the flexibility of your schedule or the amount (and cost) of unexpected repairs to your properties. Rentals are a long-term investment. However, to maximize profits from your Houses for Rent, new rentals, you can buy close to home and start small. It is best to begin with just one or two properties. This will allow you to maximize the time you spend on your properties’ needs, and minimize the amount you’ll have to pay anyone else.


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