What does a property manager do, and what should you expect from your property manager? As landlords, we enter contracts with property managers, and you can read about how to interview a property manager and what a property manager does, and you get a lot of different opinions. Some people say the property should be inspected every two weeks, or having a property manager will save you from problems and you’ll never have an eviction or a nonsense repair. Really, a property manager gives accountability to the situation. That’s the main thing a property manager should do. So, let’s talk about setting expectations. If you have expectations beyond what’s in the contract, talk about them at the interview. You have to make sure you are aligned on culture and expectations. There are a few things to discuss before you sign a contract with an Austin property management company.
Point of Contact
Find out if there is one point of contact; the property manager or the manager’s assistant, or whether you have other points of contact for maintenance, leasing, etc. You need to know who is there to help you. We have a portfolio management system, and there is one main point of contact no matter what kind of question you have, whether it’s accounting or maintenance. Your property manager will be the one talking to you. We get to know you better with this system, and we get to know the property better. If they property manager never deals with maintenance, how will they know about the issues with your property? We have a coordinator to help with maintenance scheduling, but your property manager is always your main point of contact.
Discuss how frequently you expect communication. Do you want an email every week, or do you just want to see the monthly statement? We are here to communicate; that’s the majority of our job. The point is to get the project and the home to a place where we don’t have to communicate a lot.
How comfortable are you with your property manager making financial decisions on your behalf? The property manager has the authority to fix your house and spend your money. Decide where you’re comfortable and what your contract says. When I talk to prospective clients, we talk about how we handle specific repairs. Consistency is important, especially if you work with a team. It’s important to know how this is handled.
The best advice I can provide on partnering with a property manager as a landlord is to release control but demand accountability. Your property manager should be controlling the situation, but should also be accountable to you and willing to help you with any questions, projects, or ideas.
If you have any questions about what to expect from your property manager, please contact us at Austin Landmark Property Services, and we’d be happy to tell you more.