Posts Tagged Property Mangement
When my wife, Kris and I were traveling and staying with some friends, we walked into the room they had prepared for us and on the lamp was an antique looking sign which read: “Our guest bring us great joy… some when they arrive… and others when they leave!” I felt that way about our Tenants… sometimes, it’s the waiting for the joy at the end!
We are all challenging people to live with… some more than most! We categorize our challenging Tenants into three primary categories: 1.) Students 2.) Entitled Tenants and 3.) Those Tenants who upset the neighbors around them. In a way, they all have similar attributes… they want to live their lives… any way they choose… regardless of how disruptive they may be to others around them. Many of these Tenants “bully” their way through life… pushing their way through. Our tip for dealing with all types of challenging Tenants is to show respect to them, but also show your resolve. Be assertive in requiring that they go by the same rules that most others on the planet go by. We have developed what we call a “No” letter and it very respectfully says something to the effect of “Thank you for your concern about (whatever the concern is). However, this is not a situation in which we will be able to meet your expectations at this time.” (then state whatever clause in the lease which applies). Another option, if they are disturbing the neighbors or causing damage to the property is to threaten them with a notice to comply with their lease or move. There is a very strong chance that your Tenants won’t like either response. But with your resolve… you will get this challenging situation under control.
To view a short video on this same subject, please CLICK HERE
If this tip has been helpful to you, please visit our website at: ManageToMakeMoney.com where you can find our “No” Letter and many more tools, tips and techniques for managing your rental property profitably.
Tenants Breaking Their Lease
One thing which occurs more often in Rental Property Management is Tenants breaking their lease.
Let’s face it, life happens and Tenants break their leases for many reasons . . . they can’t pay any longer and are skipping out or, it is generally something less sinister like . . . getting a great deal on a short sale and just learning that they have to close in 2 weeks . . . YIKES!! Either way, you have to know the Tenant’s and your responsibilities when this happens.
As you probably already know, the Tenant has the responsibility for the rent through the end of the term of the lease as stated in their lease agreement . . . and to leave all the utilities on and pay for them until the property is re-leased (if you used our lease form). You, as the Landlord, if you want to be able to collect any rent through the end of their lease term, must immediately and diligently market the property for lease again. Be careful not to market the property at a higher rent amount than the previous Tenant paid or you may have difficulty in collecting money for lost rent in court if . . . you “Jacked the Price up” which is how a judge may see it. You will only be entitled to the lost rent between the time your previous Tenant vacated or last paid rent and the beginning of a new lease with your new Tenant . . . no double dipping!
The subject of Tenants breaking their lease along with many other property management challenges are covered extensively in our new Property Management Training Program; Manage to Make Money . . . . the Real Estate Series. Click here for a workshop near you: Workshop. This new series has been developed around one of our books: Manage to make Money . . . Your Guide to Profitably Managing Rental Properties which is now available for California laws as well as many states in the Midwest. It is a virtual Survival Guide for anyone managing Rental Properties!
Imagine yourself having challenges with your rental property . . . NOW imagine yourself having a solution to nearly all of your rental property issues! Visit our website at http://www.ManageToMakeMoney.com and check our books, e-books, documents, forms and checklists and much much more! You never knew that life managing rental properties could be this easy!
Click on this link for a short video about what to do when Tenants break their lease: Tenants Breaking Their Lease
Thank you for reading!
Pat and Kris
Few of us would ever allow our Tenants to move in before their lease begins but . . . many of us do unwittingly!
Would you ever knowingly allow your Tenant to move into your property early? Perhaps unwittingly.
Think about this scenario for a minute: You have rented your property and the lease begins on the 1st of the month which is a Sunday. For our convenience, many times, we may be inclined to give the Tenants the keys on a Friday or Saturday, so that we don’t have to do it early Sunday morning. What happens so many times is that the Tenant is excited about their new place and now that they have the keys they go by just for a look . . . just to “breathe it in”. When they get there, they remember those two boxes in the back of the car . . . “Gee, if I get those out, then I can start with an empty car on moving day.” Once those boxes go from their car to the house or condo, technically, they have “moved in”!
Now, let me ask you, what is the effective for their renter’s insurance? Chances are, it doesn’t take effect until the 1st. why would it start sooner? Without that date (the now NEW move in date) being covered in their lease or their renter’s insurance being in effect . . . you, the Landlord, are liable for any damage, or injuries they may occur during that time between when they moved the boxes in until the lease start date on the lease!
To solve this issue, we always wrote the lease to begin on the day we gave them the keys and, required the Tenant to have their renter’s insurance effective on that date also. You don’t necessarily need to charge them for the extra days rent . . . just cover yourself legally and from a liability perspective.
In summary, think through the date relating to move in dates and “possible” move in dates. You might just save yourself some heartache.
To view a video on this same subject click on this link: Early Move In
If you have any questions about this subject, fell free to contact us via our free service; ManagementLink. Simply click on the link and type in your question or issue. We will get back to you within 24 hours with an answer.
Thank you for reading!
Pat & Kris Larkin
We have founded and developed “Manage To Make Money” which is a resource for anyone, novice or professional who manages rental properties. We provide Books, Documents and Forms, Live Seminars, E-Books, Free Webinars, Tips and Private Consulting. Check it out!
Manage To Make Money – Cottonwood Falls, Kansas 949-689-4344, Info@ManageToMakeMoney.com
Screening prospective Tenants can be difficult but here are a couple of tips that will help you to minimize your risk of getting a bad Tenant.
One of the main elements in screening your Tenants is to get a credit report. There are many other ways to check out your tenants but a credit report will do the best job of surfacing potential issues in their ability to pay rent and in general will help you to sort through your applicants. You can get a credit report in a couple of different ways; First, is to have your prospective Tenants run their own credit report. But be careful, free credit reports are available but rarely have a credit score. A credit score is key. Without the credit score you are subjected to reading through reams of credit information… some good and some not so good and having to figure out if this applicant is a good risk or not. The credit score will do all of that for you. Secondly, you can find many companies on the web that you can sign up with to run credit reports for your applicants. These companies will of course check you out first to be sure that you are trustworthy enough to be dealing with such sensitive information and that you will get the proper authorizations from your applicants.
As to what credit scores are good and bad; that depends on your market but I can give you some very rough ideas: a stellar credit score is 800+ and a score in the 500 range is going to be due to a lot of late payments, possibly judgments or even a bankruptcy.
In summary, a credit report will “tell the tale” about your Tenants. Be careful though not to be too restrictive; these are tough economic times we live in and you need to hear everyone’s “story”.
To view a short video on this subject go to: http://bit.ly/eCprVn
Thank you for Reading!
PAT & KRIS
Visit our website at: www.ManageToMakeMoney.com to see the full array of rental property management resources as well as our latest current live seminar schedule.
Delivery of Statements – Mail Hard Copy vs. e-mail
When our company started all of these processes and procedures . . . it seems bizzare to say it but . . . there was no internet or e-mail. All of the monthly statements along with all of the backup copies of invoices were packaged, posted and mailed out to each of our Owners. With the advent of e-mail and good quality scanners, we were able to move toward e-mailing our monthly statements to our Owners. The only thing that held us back was our Owners; many of whom were a bit technologically challenged and “didn’t do e-mail”.
As we moved forward though, we pushed to make the change. I am a big believer in processes and the more processes you have for the same outcome, the less efficient you are. I know that the time is quickly approaching when this will no longer be an issue and electronic delivery will be the standard for all property owners.
If you are just starting a property management firm, this is an awesome opportunity for you. You can start from the beginning sending your statements out electronically . . . and not be faced with converting to the new technology that will undoubtedly be here all too soon!
Payments to Owners
Assuming that our Owners’ property had a positive cash flow, we paid a disbursement out to each of our Owners at the time we issued the statements. Our software had a default setting that basically told it to send the Owner any remaining cash in the account after all expenses have been paid. This is not always a good thing; if you have a system like this, you want to be diligent to keep an eye on future anticipated expenses. Let me tell you it is not fun to have sent an Owner a bundle of money one month, then the next month you are trying to pay his real estate taxes and you don’t have enough money in the account. You then have the opportunity to ask the Owner to send the money back to you. This is not good for your credibility! We could also go into our system and set a cash minimum that we wanted to maintain in all of our accounts and it would automatically send the Owner anything in excess of that amount. It is all a matter of how you want to set it up.
Like mailing out hard copies of statements and technology marching on, making payments to our Owners has also undergone some changes. In the early days, we sent out live checks each month to our Owners. Now, with the advent of ACH or; Automated Clearing House, we can electronically transfer funds from our trust account to our Owners’ bank accounts, minimizing live checks, mail problems, etc. Again, we still had those Owners (probably the same ones that “don’t do e-mail”) “who don’t do electronic deposits”. We continued to work with them knowing that “someday . . . this too shall pass!”
Our hope and prayer is that this information has been helpful and sparked some thought processes for you. To discover more resources for managing rental properties for yourself or others, visit our website and check out our Books, Documents, Forms, Checklists, Videos . . . available in hard or immediately downloadable versions.
Thank you for reading!
Pat and Kris Larkin
One of the purposes of property management we was to provide accurate accounting for our Owners, and part of that is to provide them with monthly statements. As we mentioned previously, a property management firm must set up and maintain a “Fiduciary Trust” bank account for all of the monies for the properties it manages to flow through. In our company, we had the rent revenues as well as mortgage, HOA dues, maintenance and a multitude of other expense payments for over 320 properties flowing through this account. Keeping it all straight is paramount!
Regardless whether you manage one property for an Owner or five, you will need to provide all of your Owners with a monthly statement. This statement spells out all of the income, expenses, disbursements to or from the Owner, operating profit or loss, and the beginning and ending cash position for each individual property for each month. You will send out each statement, along with copies of all invoices paid for the period and the Owner’s check (assuming they have positive cash flow) or advice of deposit in their account.
Cutoff times and statement dates
This has been an issue that was a difficult one for us to get our arms around. We all have different needs, and while we were building the company, like any other fledgling small business, we attempted to accommodate everyone’s needs. Some Owners needed their disbursements by the 10th of each month and others were OK so long as they received it before the first of the month. Consequently, we set up two statement dates for our Owners; one on the 10th and the other on the 25th. This became very labor-intensive as we found ourselves always dealing with statements and statement issues. We later learned that if people want your service, they will adapt to your processes and procedures, so we changed to one statement date of the 25th for all of our Owners. OK, we still had some of our oldest clients, (some had been with us for many years and others had been on this earth for many years and others . . . both!) who we maintained a 10th of the month statement date for their convenience. Though that number continued to decrease!
We set up our statement date of the 25th of the month so that we could manage our clients’ expectations as well as exceed them. You remember I mentioned that most of our Owners needed their funds before the 1st of each month? Well, that is why we set up the 25th as the date we specify in our contract. We promised that they will always have their money by then. Now, to exceed their expectations; internally, we worked with a 20th statement date. Due to the calendar and the tricks it plays on us from time to time, we may miss that and go to the 22nd or so, but with few extenuating circumstances did we ever miss the 25th and nearly all of the time we exceeded it! Which of course kept our Owners happy!
It is all well and good that we talk about a statement date of the 25th. So what? What that really means is that behind the scenes we have to have a cutoff date for all transactions between the 15th and the 17th of the month, depending on where the dates fall on the calendar. That means all rents have to be in; all payments made including mortgages, taxes, HOA’s and even security deposit refunds. Otherwise, we will need to run a supplemental statement for that property for that month. If we don’t, there would be a gap in the information on the statements from month to month.
If this information has been helpful to you there is a lot more where it came from! Visit our website for more books, videos, downloadable e-books and live seminars near you.
Thank you for reading!
Pat & Kris
While you will have your ways of doing business and many regulations that you cannot stray from, to be successful managing properties for others, you will need to know how to adapt and work with their personalities. That is not to say that you be totally co-dependent on your Owners, but learn how they like to do business and make your best efforts to conform your practices to their idiosyncrasies.
Our philosophy is that the Owner has hired us so that they don’t have to deal with the day-to day-issues of managing properties. We try to spare them the gory details of the everyday stuff, but then involve them in the bigger decisions. At what level your Owner wants to be involved in the details, you will have to just learn and figure that out. We suggest when you are having your initial conversations with your Owners that you ask them some qualifying questions on this subject before you enter into a management agreement.
Qualifying questions for potential Owners
1) While we will always attempt to contact you whenever we have to spend money for service, we normally will respond to a service request under $100.00 without having to speak directly to you. We may leave a voice mail or an e-mail to let you know what is going on. Does that work OK for you?
2) Do you have e-mail? Are you willing for us to use e-mail as our primary method of communication?
Their response will give you a better idea as to whether or not you should do business together. If they aren’t going to be happy with you, you certainly are not going to be happy with them!
Types of Owners
The Involved Owner: Some Owners are very detail oriented and want to be involved in many aspects of the management of their property. Others want to be involved to a fault and may attempt to micro-manage or second-guess your actions. You may find yourself asking the question “Why does this person want a property manager?” There are a couple of issues at play here;
1.) Some people are simply very involved until you have proven that you are trustworthy and they are convinced that you indeed have their best interests at heart.
2.) Others are simply control freaks and no matter what you do, will be in your business all the time. With this second type of Owner, you will have to do some soul searching as to whether or not this is a positive situation for you. If it works OK, then great. If not, then there may be another property manager out there who it works fine for. That may be the best solution for both of you; to end the relationship sooner rather than later.
The Uninvolved Owner: On the other end of the spectrum, we have Owners who don’t want to hear about their property. They just want a monthly statement and a deposit in their bank account. The less they hear from you the better. While this type of Owner has a lot of positive attributes, this is the Owner that you also want to be very proactive with. You don’t want to pester them with details . . . remember, they hired you so they wouldn’t have to deal with all that stuff. However, be proactive with your communication with them, and this is true for all of your Owners. Document your actions in writing either by sending them an e-mail or by leaving them a voice mail and documenting it in a communication log. How technologically savvy they are will determine which method of communication you use. The uninvolved Owner can be a bit disarming at times. Don’t think their seeming lack of involvement means a lack of interest. The truth is they are very interested in the outcome of your management of their property. Continue to keep good records and keep them informed, even if they appear uninterested.
Be Dialed In to the Type of Properties you are Willing to Manage:
While this is a personal decision, we want to share some pros and cons we have observed in this area. We are not making a character judgment about any of the groups listed below. These are simply our observations as a result of our experiences in working with all of the groups.
White Collar Properties:
Also defined as high-end properties, these can attract very good renters. These renters have typically owned expensive homes and as a rule will take very good care of your property. On the other hand, our experience is that the high-end renter can have a very entitled mentality and can be difficult to work with. Things like requesting and scheduling maintenance, seemingly pretty simple things can become very challenging with these tenants. Another aspect of the high-end tenant is that if you don’t meet their expectations, they do have the resources to come after you legally. White collar renters will typically have more financial resources and are executives or self employed. You will find them to be fairly well insulated from an economic downturn.
Gray Collar Properties:
These are properties in the middle of the economic spectrum rented by the gray collar worker. What is a gray collar worker? I’m glad you asked! It is typically a middle management person; the manager of the local electronics, or grocery store. This renter is generally conscientious and will take care of your property. They are typically regular people and most all adults in the home are working full time. They are generally easier to work with than the white-collar renter when it comes to requesting or scheduling maintenance work. They possess moderate financial resources and will be somewhat insulated from an economic downturn.
Blue Collar Properties:
This renter is at the lower end of the economic spectrum. They usually work in the trades, i.e., construction worker, car mechanic or truck driver. Generally, all adults living in the property work full time. They are also just regular people and are generally easier to work with than the white-collar renter when it comes to requesting or scheduling maintenance work. They possess more limited financial resources and will be the first tier to be affected from an economic downturn.
Don’t Let Fear Deter You: If at anytime during your due-diligence/interviews with an owner you get that gut feeling that this guy just ain’t going to work out . . . heed the warning! This could be anything from not having a good connection with your communication or that he wants you to manage a type of property that you are not set up for. We are all different and there is nothing to be ashamed of in that. There are people that I am just too different from and will have difficulty doing business with in a way that will make them happy. Conversely, there are people out there that are just different enough from me that they would have a tough time keeping me happy either. Embrace your differences and rather than being fearful that you will lose face or be embarrassed, nip it in the bud! Do both of you a favor and save a lot of heartache and hard feelings; decline to do business with them. Perhaps you could refer them to another property management firm.
So, how do you do that? I learned a great technique from my pastor, of all people. I simply tell the prospective owner that based on our conversations, it is apparent to me that we may not be a great fit for one another. There are a lot of great property management companies out there and I am sure that one of them would be a better fit for their needs than I can be. I wish you the best of luck. And . . . don’t let them talk you into it . . . you know what your gut just told you! HEED THE WARNING!!
Thank you for reading!!
Pat and Kris Larkin
For more information and resources for profitably managing your rental property visit our Website
Let’s assume that your construct confirmed your suspicion that you would be well suited for a career in property management, what are the next steps. How do you put together a resume which will convince the people hiring that you are a good bet in property management even though you may not have as much experience in the field as some of the other applicants for the same position?
Resumes and marketing yourself is a vast subject and to do yourself justice you will really want to take advantage of some of the information that is out there which will take you to a much higher level of detail than we will here.
We do, though, have a lot of experience in the hiring side of things . . . both from the perspective of the employer as well as the employee.
In today’s wide-open Internet world, the possibilities for you to market yourself to countless numbers of people are nearly endless. It is really just marketing. Experts tell us that you only have seven seconds to make your first impression and that is why a great format for communicating to the decision makers is so important . . . scratch that . . . it’s imperative.
In my travels I have finally come across a resume format that literally turns heads. I’ve even had interviewers at the end of an interview say to me, “This resume looks great, it really got my attention. Where did you get it?” So in the spirit of sharing my stuff, I am sharing it with you.
First you start with what I call the “Billboard” section of the resume. Remember the 7 seconds to make a great first impression? That’s what the billboard is all about. Please refer to our sample resume in the appendix at the end of this chapter to see what I am talking about.
Billboard – This at the top of your resume and it is going to give a quick snapshot of who this great applicant is (you). It will contain the title of the general position you are seeking and then a short (perhaps two lines) summary of who you are and how wonderful you are. Next part is just words in bold type that describe your skills and talents. Below this section is a section describing even more incredible skills and talents you have. I say that a bit tongue in cheek, but it is true, you need to be selling yourself and this is the place to do it.
Selected Career Highlights – This is where you list the previous positions you have held at various companies. Be careful here. Remember, you are not going to write this, as you would have when you were looking for another job in your old industry. You are changing industries so you need to find similarities between your previous positions and the one you are seeking. If you were a purchasing manager for a medical supply company and you want to be a property manager, you will want to find the things like: Balanced multiple projects simultaneously or Relate quickly and easily with all diversities, personalities and business levels. Tell what you did, such as: Contracted with major pharmaceutical companies balancing multiple priorities continually.
Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t want to put words in your mouth and I don’t want you to be dishonest. Tell the truth or you won’t be able to own it. Be sure and tell the part of the truth that won’t distract them and will show them the part of you that they want.
Be sure to limit your information per company to four or five bullet points in your first listing and less for the subsequent listing. This is of course unless one of your subsequent listing has the most in common with the position you are seeking.
You will want to continue to list previous positions to show at least the last five years of employment and, ideally, your entire career. You will need to balance this with length of your resume. Perfect world length is one page; I think 2 is OK, but I recommend that you not go over that.
Other Relevant Experience, I use this section in my resume for a position I held many years before the last job listing on my resume because it showed particular relevance to the position I was seeking but, did not fall into comfortable chronological order with the others.
Education – Just list the schools attended and degrees earned. If you didn’t finish college, as I did not, just list the schools you attended. I don’t call attention to the fact that I didn’t get my degree. The people looking at this are smart and will ask you about it if it is important to them. If it is a non-starter for them, then it is.
Professional – List your licenses, any and all Trade Associations you belong to, or special training seminars you have attended, and computer skills along with particular software you are proficient with.
Personal – You don’t want to make this too long or too personal. Just list your marital status – any children and what you like to do on your time off. Sitting on the sofa sucking down beers while watching the game probably wouldn’t be a good idea!
References – I subscribe to the idea that in your first exposure to folks, your mission is to make that great first impression. It is not to overwhelm them with paper work. I don’t include references with my resume but I do tell them that I will provide excellent ones if they would like. Again, if this is an important issue for them, they will ask.
Hopefully, this has been helpful to you. For more information and resources about transitioning your career to Property Management go to our website.
See you next time!!
Once you answer that nagging impulse in your heart telling you that you need a change, then there are some action steps you can take to get you headed in the right direction. This exceprt from our book; “Mange To Make Money . . . with a Career in Property Management” should prove to be helpful. I hope you enjoy it!
So you’ve decided that a change in career path is for you. You are not alone in that thought. From time to time, our economy will help us to see that our career path may be leading to a brick wall . . . or a dead end . . . QUICK . . . turn or make a change before you crash!
Making that determination is an important step, but, now what?! Moving into a different area of discipline can be challenging. What is the next step in pursuing a new career . . . a career in property management?
Let’s roll up our sleeves and see.
The first step is to explore what other careers you might be interested in. Our opinion is that we can all do OK in a career that is not necessarily in our gift set. What does that mean? Well, I believe that we were all created with gifts and natural talents that are unique to each of us.
For instance, I am well equipped for managing processes, I am creative, I am a good speaker and enjoy teaching people things that I know. Now, if I decide that I want to be a doctor, beside the obvious void in my education, do I have the God-given gift to be a doctor? Do I have the aptitude to understand the stuff I would need to learn in order to be a doctor? The answer in my case is a resounding NO.
Think with me for a minute about people who are in the wrong career paths. We’ve all run into them; they don’t really like their job and we are an imposition to them for expecting them to do their job. You know the cranky store clerk, the non-helpful customer service person. I’m not talking about someone having a bad day, I am talking about someone who is terminally unhappy in their job or in the wrong career. That would probably be me if I chose to pursue being a doctor!
The first step in this direction is to identify what it is you were gifted to do. OK well, that is like asking someone “how long is a string?”
We have created a short little construct to help you identify what it is you like to do. Now, it is impossible to learn all of our gifting from one little construct. Our gifts are like a treasure hunt; we have gifts that we may not discover for years. For instance, Kris and I only learned that we love teaching just a few years ago. But I have to say this; it was after a great deal of self-discovery coupled with chance.
You can only find this construct and other self-evaluation tools in the appendix of chapter 3 of our book. You may purchase the book as well as many other helpful property management tools at our web site: www.ManageToMakeMoney.com
Thank you for reading!
Before you go charging off to pursue a career in property management, we recommend that you first see if property management is for you. Or, are you for property management.
Managing rental properties takes a very broad but distinct set of skills and temperament. To give you a broad brush idea of what it takes to be a good property manager I have included below a brief job description of a property manager. Of course, the description will vary between property management companies:
Property Manger/Leasing Agent:
- Responsible for all maintenance on properties
- Responsible for all make-readies of properties between Tenants
- Responsible for collecting rent from Tenants
- Responsible for delivery of all notices to Tenants, including 3-Day Notices to Pay Rent or Quit
- Responsible for all Tenant issues relating to maintenance.
- Responsible for communicating maintenance needs of properties to owners and gaining their approval for work to be done prior to performing the work.
- Responsible for the collection of all “Funds Requests” from Owners.
- Manages all vendors and contractors as they relate to property maintenance
- Performs periodic inspection of properties
- Is primary contact for leasing ads alternating with other leasing agents
- Shows and leases properties.
- Screens all prospective Tenants, including running credit reports and writing up Lease agreements.
- Serves as liaison between Tenants, Owners and Home Owner Association.
- To have a working knowledge of the financial condition of each property managed.
- To oversee the timely production and communication of a monthly Owner’s statement and remittance of Owner’s distribution as appropriate
If that didn’t scare you off, let’s continue.
Again, in a broad-brush approach, below are some aptitudes and temperaments, which, while not absolutely necessary, will make your quest into property management smoother going:
Knowledge of Real Estate Law (state license is preferable)
- Knowledge of property maintenance.
- Knowledge of Accounting and financial statements.
- Strong People Skills
- Strong Communication Skills.
- Ability to “shift Gears” or change your daily or hourly priorities with a moment’s notice.
- Be a self-motivated, self-starter
- Ability to mange stress-charged situations and work toward consensus with all parties.
- Ability to work with agencies and organizations with authority and always work for consensus.
Something to think about: Our book: Manage to Make Money . . . with a Career in Property Management contains some self-evaluation tools to help you further assess your skill and temperament set for a career in property management. To check the book out CLICK HERE
Next is to figure out what type of properties you want to manage; industrial, commercial, institutional, retail or residential. Of course this book is oriented around residential but first a few notes about managing the other types: commercial, industrial, and institutional properties. Property management for these types of properties will tend to require much fewer hours to manage them. What do I mean by that? Well, with these types of properties for the most part, there is no one in them during the evenings or the weekends. No calls on Thanksgiving Day that someone’s oven doesn’t work. On the other hand, the retail and residential will require you to be on call more often to respond to service requests like the oven not working on Thanksgiving or the heating isn’t working on Black Friday and it’s too cold to have their sale. Just some things to think about.
So how do you break into the property management business as a career change? There are many ways you can do this but basically, you need education and experience. In many cases, the two go hand in hand, but, your life is going to be less complicated if you can get the education ahead of the experience. Otherwise, you will be making lots of mistakes as you learn the business and it will be in a real-world scenario with pretty high stakes.
We recommend that you take a course (or courses) similar to our “How to Profitably Manage Rental Properties” which will at least walk you through the basics of the day-in, day-out things that you will need to know in order to manage properties. In fact we taught a class in Pasadena, California and a few weeks after the class, one of our students contacted us. He wanted to get into the property management business and asked if he could intern with us for a while. We set up a part-time schedule with him and he learned a lot in his six months as an intern.
Another option would be to work for a property management company as an assistant to a property manager . . . a great source of education and experience.
Ok so that’s great, but how do you find a good property manager to even talk to? Believe it or not, it isn’t that hard, especially if you live in a fairly well populated area. There will be several companies out there to choose from.
How do you find a quality property manager? Do your homework, which will include research. My first and foremost piece of advice is to look for a firm that is a member of your local Board of Realtors. The Board of Realtors is a very strong trade organization, which also has a very positive history of regulating itself. You can call your local board and get a list of the firms who are property managers. If your board doesn’t keep the information that way then you can work backwards for it: search the web for property manager in your area and then screen them by which ones are Realtors.
Once you have the list narrowed down to between three and five, check them out! Go to their websites (if they don’t have one it’s not a non-starter but does raise a red flag) and see what they are about. From the website, you will be able to get a feel for their level of professionalism . . . or a feel for how much money they spent for a great web-designer!!
Next, check with the Better Business Bureau, Yelp Business or Yahoo Business and see if there are any complaints or comments that concern you, and if so what the status of them is. Also check with your State Department of Real Estate and confirm that they have a broker’s license with the State and that it is in good standing. Also, be sure to check if there are any complaints against the license. The internet is so well developed now that you should be able to do most of your homework sitting at your computer!
We recommend that you personally interview the companies who make the cut . . . at their office. This is a great opportunity to see their operation and possibly meet their staff. It is also a great time to see if there is a positive connection between you and them . . . do you share similar values? Do you communicate at the same level?
You may have to offer to intern for free or . . . at a much lower rate than is the market. This will help you get your foot in the door and you can always renegotiate, after you have shown that you are worth the investment.
Thank you for reading. To investigate our offering of Property Management Resources . . . Books, E-Books, Documents, Forms, Checklists, Seminar DVD’s and Live Seminars go to our Website: www.ManageToMakeMoney.com