Property management can be a lucrative and emotionally rewarding industry — but success is not a guarantee. Like any industry, you will have to beat your competitors, and that requires dedication and hard work.
Here are 7 tips for a successful property management company. Combined with effort, these tips are here to propel your property management company into a success!
1. Build a Good Team
It’s going to be incredibly difficult — if not impossible — for your company to become a success without a dedicated team. Not only will you need trained and skilled property managers ready to be dispatched, but you also need behind-the-scenes professionals. In addition to managers, your team will need an accountant, a real estate attorney, and contractors.
An accountant will cover all records, file tax forms, and offer professional insight into your budgeting needs. Ideally, the accountant you hire will specialize in real estate management, so that they are familiar with all the legislation. A real estate attorney protects you from legal trouble and they can offer you valuable insight on what you can and can’t do. Contractors are able to provide maintenance and repairs on problems like pest control and piping.
With these 3 team members, you are ready to tackle any problem that comes your way.
2. Complete All Legal Requirements
To officially create a company, you’ll need to fill out some forms and establish the right legal structure that’ll work for you. The legal structure you choose will determine the taxes you are liable for, your level of personal liability, and the amount of paperwork that needs to be completed.
Generally, property management companies will want to opt-in for a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) or an incorporated business. Consult with your lawyer, and depending on your needs, choose the correct structure. Since the legal structure has a lasting effect on your company, take time to do research.
Once you’ve established your company, you’ll need permits to operate as a property manager. The permits that are often required include a property management license or a real estate broker license. Since property management requirements differ depending on which state you live in, make sure to find the most appropriate information.
3. Establish An Online Presence
Whatever business you have nowadays, an online presence is often necessary for success. After all, companies come off as fishy and unreliable when they don’t appear on search engines like Google or Bing. To establish your online presence, the very first step is to create a fast, attractive, and reliable website.
During the creation process, you will want to hire a professional website designer that’s already had experience designing property management websites. This will ensure that the website has the appropriate tools and an intuitive interface for tenants and landlords alike.
4. Develop A Marketing Strategy
Similar to creating a website, developing a marketing strategy will increase your visibility. No matter how professional or amazing your deals are, there’s no point if nobody knows you exist. To create a marketing strategy, you can pursue traditional and/or digital marketing. For traditional marketing, you will rely on referrals, posters, cold calling, and word of mouth to generate a buzz. For digital marketing, you will be using social media channels, blog posts, search engine ads, search engine optimization, and more to attract new audiences.
Whether you develop your own or hire a marketing professional, your marketing strategy should be producing results. If results are not being produced, you may have to redevelop your strategy and try again. A marketing strategy is important, and should not be overlooked!
5. Embrace Technology and Property Management Software
Not only can technology speed up communication and payment processes, but there is a lot of software dedicated to property management alone. Software allows you to streamline your processes by automating most administrative tasks — saving you time, money, and room for human error.
Depending on your company’s needs, you should be using software that best meets those said needs. Important features to look out for include rent tracking, lease management, tenant vetting tools, and property marketing tools.
Sometimes, certain types of properties will require specialized software. For example, trailer rentals or vacation homes may have software built specifically to accommodate the needs of these properties.
6. Always Network
To become successful, you need to know the right people. No one can ever be too good to network! For a property management company, your ideal networking tactic is to make connections with others in the industry. Stay in touch and connect with contractors, lenders, real estate agents, and even your clients. Constantly network, and you’ll be able to find the necessary people without having to research for hours at a time.
In order to network, you can try to meet others through mutual relationships or you can leverage social media.
7. Thoroughly Screen Tenants
Problematic or irresponsible tenants are terrible for your company’s reputation, they will deter good tenants from living in your property, and they will ultimately cost you thousands of dollars. Whatever you do, thoroughly screen your tenants! Don’t be in a rush to fill a vacant spot and you will be rewarded in the long run. Take time to create a list of desirable qualities that you can refer to when interviewing or reviewing each potential tenant.
To gather information, have potential tenants fill out a tenant application form to obtain relevant information like name, the reason for moving, income, employer information, and landlord references. Then, consult with the Department of Correction or Department of Justice to verify that the potential tenant is clean of any criminal activities.
Only when the potential tenant is cleared should you move on to the next steps. Proceed in due diligence to protect your reputation, save money, and make current tenants feel the most comfortable.