Is investment property management different than managing other types of properties? After all, there can’t be too many differences, right?
In one regard, yes. Working as a property manager for an investor will have many similar tasks and roles as that of another, for example an apartment property management team. But while they are very similar, they also have a few major differences.
Here’s what makes them the same, as well as what differentiates the two.
Investment Property Management- The Similarities
One of the most important tasks for both kinds of managers is taking the lion’s share of responsibilities for the tenants. For example, they need to constantly be marketing the property and screening potential tenants to fill vacant homes. Even if there are no current vacancies, they may be screening potential tenants to fill upcoming vacancies, or add to the wait list.
Another similarity is managing rent. Both kinds of property managers will regularly collect the rent from tenants and send it off to the respective party- either the landlord or company finance team. When a tenant doesn’t pay rent on time, they get in contact with the tenant to make sure it gets collected in a timely manner- and maybe with an additional late fee.
Maintaining the property is also expected. Keeping the property up to code is part of this, but it’s also just to keep the tenants happy. Cleaning carpets after a tenant moves out, fixing broken appliances, and maintaining the lawn all fall on you. If word spreads in your community that the property is falling apart, you’re setting yourself up for trouble in the long run.
As the property manager- whether it’s for an investor or a company- your job is to be the go-to person. You should always be aware of what’s going on with the property, both good and bad. How can you manage something that you don’t know about?
Investment Property Management – The Differences
Let’s take a look at a few differences between these two types of property managers.
For one thing, managing an investor’s properties is more likely making you responsible of multiple properties. For example, you may manage a few dozen single-family homes. Compare this to an apartment manager, who is in charge of just one large property. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but in general it’s more stressful to manage many separate properties than to just manage a single large one.
Another difference is who pays your check every month. When you’re working for an investor, you’re likely skimming a percentage of the total rent, such as 10%. They likely don’t have a committee or board that approves the decisions, which impacts how you approach with questions, comments or suggestions. If you think something can be done better, a simple phone call or email may be all it takes.
An apartment manager is probably working for a large company that owns the complex. The company may be stricter on policies, as they’ll want to ensure standardization across the brand. If you don’t like how something is done, it may be an uphill battle to get it changed. If the other properties all adhere and are fine with the current policy, you may just have to deal with it.
Investment property management may also differ on how maintenance is done. You probably won’t have a full-time maintenance team. Instead, you’ll rely on contractors to do most of the work for you. The money to pay the contractors will come out of the landlord’s check every month.
Other property managers may have their own maintenance team to handle most tasks. Even though they probably aren’t equipped to perform everything that comes up, they can usually do anything from landscaping to put up or repair drywall.
At the end of the day though, there aren’t a lot of differences. The role of every property manager- no matter who is paying your check- is to run the daily operations.