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Property Management Blog

Published on Saturday, November 22, 2008

What Property Managers Do

When you hear the term property manager , many job descriptions come to mind.

Self storage- these managers will oversee the facility. They will make sure that the access-controlled gate is working properly. Daily walks around the property will insure that the buildings are in good standing order and do not need repair. If they do need repair the manager will either be able to repair the damage or hire someone to do the work. Making sure the landscaping is done and curb appeal kept up is an important part of this job. The property must look nice to draw in potential customers.

Large corporations - these managers will be in charge of the interior and exterior of the building, including the parking lots. Because these managers will have a lot more ground to cover they will usually have a property staff to help with upkeep and repairs. Often the landscaping is hired out to a company that specializes in large jobs.

Living communities - these managers are responsible for the interior as well as the exterior of the community. Some managers will be on call for any residential emergencies that could occur round the clock. Things like, water leakage, heater not working, storm damage, toilet issues, dishwasher problems, pest control and more.

Malls - these managers will maintain all public areas and the occupied tenant areas. Keeping the mall clean and tidy is a big responsibility for these managers. A crew that is constantly patrolling the public areas and cleaning is important. Trash removal and public restroom duty is part of this managers job also. Tenant areas will also be maintained and the manager will be on call for any potential problems that might arise.

The property manager is a relatively loose job description that can imply many job duties depending on the site being managed. One manager can certainly manage a smaller site or building while a staff of many can be seen at the larger building and properties. A property manager can be hired privately or commercially depending on the size of the job.
Several common job duties that all of these managers share are,

- Landscaping, mowing, and grounds keeping
- Pest Control
- Upkeep and maintenance on the exterior of the building or structures
- Upkeep and maintenance on the interior of the building or structures
- Snow Removal
- Roof inspections and maintenance
- Window cleaning
- Office cleaning
- Restroom cleaning
- Sweeping, vacuuming, and moping
- Parking lot maintenance
- Storm, fire, and water damage control
- Appliance repair
- Plumbing maintenance

These managers work very hard and are sometimes behind the scenes making everything look good and run smoothly. They must be flexible, handy, smart, decisive, and more to make the job a success. A property manager will sometimes live on-site at a small residential area. This allows the manager to be close to the action if any emergencies should occur. The manager can be the first one on the site to assess any damage and quickly take the property into consideration. Because a manager might live on-site, part of the salary will be the living quarters.

If you are considering a job as a property manager , then you will probably be able to find work in your city or town. This is not the most glamorous of jobs but they are in high demand if you are qualified.

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Author: Web Master

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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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