Just as every property is different, every investor’s home property management needs are different. For example, someone who just has 1-2 single family homes for rent needs something different than someone with fifty. Investors with apartment complexes likewise need other things than someone renting out their high-end condo downtown.
To help you decide what kind of service you need, here are a few main categories, along with what should be expected from each.
Detached Single Family Home Property Management
Most investors start with single family detached homes- and for good reason. Lots of people in the U.S. like living in homes because they like to have a little privacy. Most people with detached houses also like having a yard, even if it’s fairly small.
The challenge that comes from these properties is maintenance. There are four walls to protect and paint every couple of years. Nothing is shared by other homes, so it has its own HVAC systems and water heater- all of which need maintenance and replacing. Not to mention yard maintenance! Small yards still require regular mowing and trimming, and properties with larger yards can quickly become expensive to maintain.
Home property management companies for this category of investments should do 3 primary things: advertise and interview potential tenants, work with contractors for maintenance, and collect rent from the tenant. Again, maintenance is the big one- it’s why most landlords hire program managers in the first place!
Apartment Home Property Management
Apartments are a different ball game, as they bring the advantage of scale to the investor. Unfortunately, higher numbers of tenants and units also means you’ll have a higher number of issues occurring at any one time.
Property managers for apartments will be working with your tenants on a daily basis. It’s also important for them man the front office during the workday, as you never know when potential tenants may show up on the doorstep.
As far as advertising goes, it’s important but not as important as those managing single family homes. When someone goes apartment hunting, they generally have a much lower selection to choose from, so there’s a good chance they’ll come check out your units on their own.
Maintenance also works different for large complexes, as they often have their own maintenance team. Just to help them keep track of every request, they may need to use a property management software.
Condominium and Town Home Property Management
Condos and town homes bring several advantages to the investor and property manager. For one thing, there are generally fewer maintenance needs, as they may not even have a yard. Condos also don’t have to deal with certain issues such as repairing the roof or water heater.
These units are gaining in popularity right now, making it easier for the property manager to rent out. Many people are tired of having excess space, and are starting to move into smaller homes such as condos to reduce their costs. That means your property manager may not need to do much marketing.
Probably the most important thing for these property managers to do well is select the perfect tenant. Condos and town homes usually carry HOA fees, especially downtown or in nice areas. The HOA fee generally makes the unit fairly expensive to rent, meaning tenants with solid credit and career backgrounds may be the only ones who can afford the rent.
Trailer Park Home Property Management
Last but not least, managing a trailer park is another unique situation. In most cases, the tenants own the homes themselves, but you own the lot and are responsible for things landscaping and amenities (if there are any.)
Your property manager will need to have a lot of patience and great people skills with a trailer park. Just like an apartment complex, you’ll generally have a few people that struggle (or forget) to pay the rent on time. In that case, you need someone who can calmly- but firmly- get the job done.