10 People You’ll Need to Hire to Help You Manage Your Properties

You’ve done it, taken a big leap, put your property on the rental market. The house is ready, looks good, and is going for top dollar in the market because it’s worth it. The applications are pouring in, and you’re feeling good about finding a good tenant.

Have you hired everyone you’re going to need to help maintain this property for you? Take a look at this list and make sure you find the best people for the job.


When there’s a big leak or a busted pipe, the tenants will call you. You need a professional who can fix the problem and make sure it stays fixed.


The lights go out. An outlet or two stopped working. Only a certified electrician should handle that kind of job or you may have to worry about a house fire.

General Contractor

When the roof needs repair, the handrail to the stairs is wobbly, and other parts of the property need fixing, a good general contractor will make sure everything’s fixed and up to code.

HVAC Service Team

The air conditioner/heating system must be serviced twice a year to make sure it continues to work properly. Tenants must have heat in the winter, and any Floridian knows, no air conditioning in the summer is brutal. Plus, if you do need a repair, it’s better to have someone you trust who can take care of the problem.

Lawn and Landscape Crew

Have a certain standard you want your lawn to meet? Did you promise lawn maintenance as an amenity? Start looking around and narrow it down to the best crew you can find at a reasonable price.

Pest Control

Termites, ants, and other bugs can ruin your property and bring down the quality of living in (and value of) your rental. Routine pest control is a must. When there’s an infestation, you’ll be grateful for your pest control company.

Pool Maintenance Crew

The day-to-day cleaning of the pool may be up to your tenants but when the pump breaks or the chemicals need to be adjusted to keep it safe, you’ll need to call the pool company.

Bill Collector

Got a tenant who still won’t pay the rent? Hire a bill collector who will hound them (legally) until you can go through the eviction process.


You need an accountant to help you keep up with how much income you’re receiving from your tenants, your expenses for property maintenance, repair, and upkeep, and who’s paid and who hasn’t.


Don’t buy a blank lease from an office supply store. Certain clauses may not be included that you really want – no pets, no smoking, etc. Instead, you’ll need an attorney who can write up a lease that fits what you want and stays within the law so that if your tenant violates the lease, you’ve got a leg to stand on in court.

That’s a lot of people to interview, compare, and ultimately hire. It’s also a lot of money to pay each month for their services. If you have more than one rental property, your costs will be higher. Of course, you could always hire a property management team like the one at ERA American Real Estate. We’ve got the contacts and the vendors, and our attorneys have already looked over our lease agreements. You can focus on what matters – growing your investment income.


How Landlords and Tenants Can Have a Good Relationship

Like any relationship, the one between tenants and landlords has its ups and downs. Everyone is happy when the rent is paid on time, the air conditioner works in the middle of July, and the front yard is kept neat and trimmed. You don’t have to be friends with your tenants or have a personal relationship with them in order for everyone to get along and be friendly. In fact, both landlords and tenants only have to do two things to have a great relationship: Listen and communicate.

Take a look at what both landlords and tenants can do to have a good working relationship.

What Landlords Can Do

  • Call in advance and schedule a time to come over to the property that’s convenient for your tenants. Never show up unannounced.
  • When a repair is called in, follow up with the information you have with your tenants: how long it will take before the service repair company arrives, how long it will take the part to come in, etc. Keep your tenants informed, and they’ll feel like they know what’s going on.
  • If you see a problem on the property, set a time to meet with your tenants to go over it and remind them of their responsibilities as a tenant. Be friendly and polite to keep the tension down. People don’t like to be told they’re doing something wrong, so frame it as a reminder.
  • If a tenant who usually pays on time experiences a personal problem that causes them to pay late, be willing to work with them, but also set your expectations. You may waive the late fee once but no more. You might give them an extra week or two this month but not every month.

What Tenants Can Do

  • Contact your landlord immediately if there’s a problem with your rental. Don’t wait to report a leaky pipe, broken appliance, or other problem. The longer it’s left unfixed, the more expensive it becomes.
  • Accommodate your landlord as best as you can when they need to come to the property to fix something or if they want to set a meeting to talk to you. Everyone, including your landlord, has a busy schedule to keep.
  • Be upfront if you’re struggling to pay the rent due to job loss, illness, or a recent death in the family. If you normally pay on time, your landlord may be understanding. Not communicating (and not paying) causes tension that might dissipate if they knew the reason.
  • Make sure you understand your responsibilities under the lease agreement. If you don’t, ask and get clarification.
  • Take care of your home and when you move out, leave it better than you found it. Keep it clean and neat, report damage immediately, and talk to your landlord about upgrades or changes before you do anything.

Landlords aren’t awful people and neither are tenants. If you’ve had a bad relationship in the past, the problem may have been in how well you communicated with each other. Instead of assuming the worst about your landlord or your tenant, keep an open mind and be willing to listen to each other. As long as you talk to each other, you can have a good relationship.

dos and donts

4 Things You Don’t Have to Let a Tenant Do and 3 Things You Do

As a landlord, you have duties and responsibilities to follow for your properties and your tenants. You’re required to provide safe housing, give notice before you come to the property, and follow eviction requirements.

It’s common to focus on all the things you have to do, but there are certain things you don’t have to let your tenants do.

What You Can Say No To

No smoking allowed. Put it in the lease agreement and make sure your tenants understand that smoking isn’t allowed in your property. You may allow it outside the home or within a certain distance from the front door – 25 feet or so. If you catch your tenants smoking in your rental, it could be a violation of the lease agreement.

No pets allowed. State it clearly and upfront and make sure it’s in the lease if you won’t allow pets. If you decide to change your mind, stay fair and make the change for all tenants, even if you require an additional pet deposit or monthly pet fee.

No illegal drugs. Legalized marijuana hasn’t arrived in Florida yet like in Colorado. When it does, you may have to make changes based on what’s legal, but for right now, you can clearly state no illegal drugs. Catching your tenant violating this rule is cause for terminating the lease.

No roommates. When you say “no roommates” what you want to do is require that all adults living in the property be listed on the lease agreement and go through the application process. “No roommates” usually means that no one is allowed to move in after the lease has been signed without a new credit application and application fee.

What You Have to Allow

Most of the things you’re required to allow your tenants to do or have are required under Fair Housing laws, especially accessibility requirements for tenants with disabilities. Make sure you know what tenants are allowed to do before you find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

You must allow service animals. Even if you have a strict “no pet” policy, you must allow tenants with disabilities to bring their service animals into the rental. You cannot charge a pet deposit or higher monthly fee for the animal. You can, however, request written verification that the tenant needs a service animal and the animal’s medical records. A tenant is still liable for any damage their service animal does to your property.

You can allow changes to the property. Ramps for tenants in wheelchairs are most common, but if a tenant has a disability and requests a change to make their home more accessible, you must allow it or allow the tenant to break the lease with no penalty (this doesn’t include any security deposit restrictions for potential damage). You can oversee the changes yourself or allow the tenant to take care of it with your final approval of contractor or cost. Either way, the changes must be made in a timely manner.

You may have to allow live-in aides. If a tenant requires a live-in aide for their disability, this aide will not fall under any “no roommate” rule you have in place. This is another accommodation your tenant needs. Damages caused by the aide will still be the tenant’s responsibility as it is with a service animal.

As a landlord it is your responsibility to know and keep up with Fair Housing laws, accessibility requirements, and your duties and responsibilities under the law. It may seem like you have to allow a tenant to do anything they want, but this isn’t true. You are, however, not allowed to discriminate against disabled tenants who need reasonable accommodations because they’re entitled to safe housing just like anyone else.

If trying to remember what’s allowed and what isn’t gives you a headache or keeps you up at night, you need to work with a property management team who can do the worrying for you. Here at ERA American Real Estate, we’re trained to know the requirements for landlords and tenants, we keep up with changes to local, state, and federal laws, and we will make sure that you stay on the right side of the law no matter who rents your property.

for rent sign

13 Landlord Responsibilities You Should Know Before You Rent

You want to rent your home out to bring in a little extra cash.

The “For Rent” sign is out, and you’ve fielded calls from possible tenants. You’ve talked to all of them, shown the house, and feel like you’ve selected a good tenant.

After they pay their security deposit and first month’s rent, you’re done, right? Not quite.

As a landlord, you are subject to both Florida and federal laws regarding the rental property, how you treat tenants, and what to do if there are problems. Before you rent your home out, make sure you understand all of your responsibilities.

  1. While a written lease agreement is not required, it is recommended. This makes sure everyone understands what the rules and requirements are while the property is rented.
  2. The property must be fit to live in with working plumbing, hot water, and heating.
  3. The property must be free from pests and structurally sound.
  4. You must make that sure the home is relatively secure with windows and doors that work and lock.
  5. If a repair needs to be made, you must schedule it at a time that’s convenient for the tenants.
  6. You may only enter the property to inspect it or to make necessary or agreed upon repairs.
  7. At least 12 hours notice must be given before you arrive at the property. You cannot just “drop by.”
  8. If your tenant violates the lease agreement, you must give them very specific legal written notices regarding the problem and how much time, if any, they have to correct the problem.
  9. You are not allowed to remove the tenant’s property or lock them out, even for non-payment. Only the sheriff’s department can do this and only if they have a Court Order and a Writ of Possession.
  10. Before renting, you must disclose if the property has ever been painted with lead-based paints or other hazards. Typically this is necessary for homes built before 1978.
  11. You must also disclose in the rental agreement if the security deposit will be put into an interest-bearing account.
  12. When your tenant moves out, you have 15 days to return their security deposit in full or 30 days to explain in writing why you will keep all or part of the deposit.
  13. You cannot discriminate against potential tenants based on age, race, religion, familial status, gender, mental or physical disability, or national origin. Reasons you can reject a tenant include employment history, credit report, income, and previous rental history.

When you rent out your property, it becomes the tenant’s home. They have the right to use it, within the confines of the rental agreement, without interference from you. Before you become a landlord, learn what your rights and responsibilities are. If it all sounds like too much to remember, work with a property management team trained to keep up with all of the details – including your legal responsibilities.

For more information about your legal responsibilities as a landlord:

Rights and Duties of Tenants and Landlords, The Florida Bar

Top 10 Landlord Legal Responsibilities in Florida, Nolo


How to Keep Good Tenants

One of the most important parts about renting your property is to get good tenants in place. Tenants who pay their rent on time and take care of a home are the key to any landlord’s future financial success. Once you find good tenants, your focus needs to shift to keeping them — and the income they bring in.

Communicate Early and Often

When you need to come by the property to fix something or check out a problem, give them more than the advanced notice required by law. If the rent will increase at the next renewal, don’t wait until the last minute to tell them. Keep the lines of communication open for the big things, like lease negotiations, and the small things. Your tenants will feel respected and informed.

Keep Your Promises

After you assure them that you’ll install new flooring or fix the dishwasher, make sure you get it done as soon as you can. If you’ve promised upgrades, new paints, new fixtures, or even a price break on the rent in exchange for work done, honor your promise. You’ll earn your tenant’s trust and give them a good reason to stay put when the next lease renewal comes around.

Listen to Tenants’ Complaints

Between noisy neighbors, pests in the kitchen, and a light switch that never works, there are plenty of things that a tenant may notice and be bothered by. When they call, listen respectfully, make a note of their concerns, and empathize with them. Make them feel heard, and remember, whatever you tell them you’ll do about the problems, make sure to keep your promises.

Be Understanding

Have a tenant that has never been late in two or three years but because of a broken down vehicle or death in the family, paid rent a day late? You have to use your discretion on this, but waiving a late fee builds plenty of good will. Feel free to tell them you’ll only do it this once or to create a policy for all your tenants that you’ll waive the fee once a year (for tenants who routinely pay on time, of course). Everyone has a rough day and mistakes happen. Treat your best tenants with understanding, and they’ll stay your best tenants.

Maintain the Property

If certain maintenance tasks are your responsibility, make sure you take care of them. Don’t wait for a major leak in the roof to replace it, especially if you know exactly what shape the roof is in. Don’t let the air conditioner go out on the hottest day of the year before you take care of it. Regular HVAC, lawn, roof, and other maintenance not only keeps your good tenants happy, it helps maintain your home’s value.

Upgrade When It Makes Sense

When the refrigerator finally dies, don’t replace it with the cheapest thing you can find at the home improvement store. If the air conditioner needs replacing, don’t get the smallest one by the worst manufacturer. Upgrading appliances and other parts of your rental property for maximum energy efficiency and better quality manufacturers does a few things:

  • Makes your tenants happy to know they have something nice and reliable.
  • Saves you on future repair costs.
  • Justifies modest rent increases.

Allow Your Tenants to Make Some Changes to the Property

Of course you should approve any changes first and ask questions to make sure you understand what a tenant wants to do. But be glad you have tenants who care enough about the property to want to make it a home and improve it. Feel free to approve paint colors that you know you can paint over later, if necessary, or any changes that raise the value of the rental. Ask to see the plans, know who’s doing the work, or any other details to feel comfortable with the project before giving your approval.

Ultimately, it’s in your best interest to find and retain good tenants for your rental properties. You have less to worry about and, usually, fewer expenses. Over time, they’ll make a home for themselves, and may be willing to pay a higher rent for a nicer house and a landlord who is understanding and easy to work with.

Preparing your property for tenants

Getting Your Home Ready to Rent

Once you make the decision to rent your home, the next few steps aren’t completely different from preparing to sell your home. You want to make sure your home is seen in the best possible light by potential tenants while taking care of any problems that could make your home unlivable or unrentable.

However, there are some key differences that must be done before you find a tenant to sign on the dotted line.

Take Care of Safety Issues

Before renting out your home, you need to know it’s secure from would-be thieves, and so do your tenants.

  • Re-key all outside locks.
  • Change the codes for your garage door and alarm systems.
  • Change or re-key the locks on side gates and mailboxes.
  • Locate any HOA remotes, codes, or keys. You can’t change these, but you’ll want to have them available for your tenants.

You’ll need to go through similar steps with each new tenant in your home. There’s always a chance that someone else will have a key, and you don’t want it to work once the tenants move out.

Clean Up Outside

The curb appeal of your home is just as important when you rent as it is when you sell, especially if you’re asking for a competitive amount each month. What a potential tenant sees when they drive up may be the difference between putting in an application or passing by.

  • Mow the law.
  • Weed flowerbeds.
  • Trim around walkways and sidewalks.
  • Put down fresh mulch, pine needles, or gravel.
  • Pressure wash your home and driveway.
  • Put away lawn furniture and equipment.
  • Make sure outdoor lights work properly.
  • Test spigots, hoses, and other outside water.

If your tenants are going to be responsible for maintaining the outside of your rental, give them a fresh start and make sure everything is in good shape before they move in.

Make the Interior Shine

Clean up the interior of your home before you put it on the rental market and all you’ll need to do before your tenants move in is a quick walk-through and a little cleaning.

  • Change the air filter in the air conditioner/heating unit.
  • Get your HVAC serviced.
  • Change out any dim or dead lightbulbs.
  • Check your ceiling fans to make sure they work properly and dust them.
  • Clean and repair or replace screens on windows and patios.
  • Repair plumbing or electrical issues.
  • Patch holes in the walls and add a fresh coat of paint.
  • Have the carpets professionally cleaned.
  • Clean the windows and make sure they open and close properly.
  • Remove valuable appliances or furnishings, if you’re renting your home furnished, that you don’t want damaged by tenants. Replace these items with something usable in good condition.
  • Schedule pest control service, especially if pests are a common issue in your home.

When tenants move out, you’ll have to assess what needs to be repaired or cleaned, especially in order to refund part or all of their security deposit. Each tenant must start with a home in good repair and condition first. This will also help you ask a higher price and find a better tenant.

Call the Professionals

Many people believe they can put a “For Rent” sign and buy a blank lease, and call it a day. Not quite. There are a few calls you need to make before you rent your home.

Talk to your insurance agent. Depending on the length of time you’re planning on renting, you may need a landlord or rental insurance policy. It will likely be a higher cost than your standard homeowner policy because of the possibility of damage the tenants may cause.

Talk to your lender. Most mortgages require the permission of the lender before you can rent your home. You may also have to pay a fee, too.

Talk to a property manager. Decide if you’re going to use a property management company or handle the work yourself. Interview different property managers to find out what kind of service they offer, if they’re a good fit for you, and what kind of fee they charge. A good property management company will charge you a competitive fee for your market and take on all the hassles of renting and maintaining your property for you.

Don’t be overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done to rent out your home. When in doubt, look for a property management company first so they can walk you through all the steps and help you get your home ready for a tenant. You don’t have to do this alone.

landlord now what

4 Things That Get Landlords In Trouble

Renting out your property sounded great at first.

All the headlines said rents were on the rise and inventory was scarce. There were a dozen applicants for every rental in some places. A quick online ad and a blank lease, and you figured you were set.

You were until a tenant asked about a security deposit, called the cops when you showed up unannounced to inspect the property, and threatened to sue you for discrimination. Being a landlord is a lot of work, and there’s a lot you don’t know. To keep yourself out of small claims court and make sure you have great (and paying) tenants, take a look at the four most common things that get landlords in trouble.

Not Following Fair Housing Laws

The federal Fair Housing laws are pretty clear. You cannot discriminate against a potential tenant on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, familial status, and physical or mental disability (including alcoholism and past drug addiction). You may already know that, but did you know that discrimination can be more than refusing to rent to someone? Asking questions about when a couple will have children, what church a tenant goes to, and what country they’re from can all potentially be considered violations of the Fair Housing laws.

When you question tenants, only two considerations truly matter. Can they pay their rent and where and how will you find them if they don’t? You have to be careful about the questions you ask that don’t determine either. You also need to remember that whatever questions you ask of one potential tenant, you need to ask of all of them, in order to avoid the perception of discrimination.

Violating the Rights of Your Tenants

The on-going argument of who has more rights – landlords or tenants – will likely never be solved with each side thinking they have less. Regardless of how you feel about the amount of rights a tenant has in the state of Florida, you must know them and abide by them. This includes giving 12 hours’ notice before coming to the property, explaining why you’re coming, and only showing up for specific reasons while notifying the tenants ahead of time.

Any violation of a tenant’s rights could be seen as a violation of the lease. In doing so, you may lose the steady rent of the tenant, the security deposit, and any legal recourse you may have had in your lease. Before you rent, you need to know what you can and can’t do on the property.

Misunderstanding Security Deposits

Nothing is more fraught with angst than security deposits. Tenants want to know when they’ll receive it back, and landlords want to know if you have to give it back. Some landlords don’t understand what they can use a deposit for, either. It all adds up to a big mess for everyone, and sometimes, you wind up in small claims court.

A security deposit is to be used for wear and tear on the property, cleaning the property, and any unpaid rent. If there’s any amount leftover after that, it goes back to the tenant. In Florida, you have a month after the tenant moves to send their security deposit back to them, and you need to be able to show how any portion was spent. What you can’t do is use the security deposit for upgrades, remodels, and any cosmetic changes. Refusing to return the security deposit or taking your time in getting it back to them are not allowed either.

Not Fixing Major Problems

As a landlord it’s your responsibility to maintain the property to meet, at minimum, basic health and safety standards. Your property must be liveable for your tenants. You should also want it to be in good condition so you can continue to ask fair market rent and attract high quality tenants. Keeping a property in good shape isn’t just a legal requirement, it makes good business sense.

Some landlords don’t realize their legal obligation and either ignore tenant reports of problems or delay fixing them. You are required to make important repairs for things like burst pipes or broken heaters in the winter to broken down air conditioners in the summer and everything in between. You also have to deal with environmental hazards that can make the property uninhabitable like mold.

Landlords must also respond when your property becomes a target for or is surrounded by crime. In some cases, tenants who’ve had their home broken into multiple times with no response by the landlord have been awarded damages by the courts to be paid by the landlord. While you’re required to do it for the tenant, remember, you’re also protecting a huge financial asset that you want to continue creating an income for you.

Does it seem a little overwhelming? You might have thought renting your property was as easy as putting out a “For Rent” sign and buying a blank lease from an office supply store. There’s much more to it than that. When you become a landlord, you must follow the law to the letter and do what’s right for your tenants and your property. Managing property can be a full time job, and if you’re unprepared, you can end up in court because you were unaware of a single change in landlord/tenant law.

You don’t have to give up on the dream of renting properties and creating a second income through real estate. What you need is a property management company who understands Florida and federal law, will protect your investment, find the best possible tenants, and always work to keep you and your property in compliance. You need ERA American Real Estate.


You Get What You Pay for in a Property Manager

You’ve heard the rental nightmare stories. Maybe you lived a few.

Midnight phone calls that the tub is overflowing. Tenants who don’t pay the rent, and then leave behind hundreds of dollars in damage. Collecting 100 applications for one vacancy. Accusations of breaking landlord/tenant laws that you don’t even understand.

And this was supposed to be an investment and a source of income? After a while, it probably doesn’t seem worth the hassle.

You hire a property manager to take over for you. In your search, you went with the company who offered the cheapest fees. Since this is all about making money, you don’t want to pay too much.

It sounds like a good plan until you have tenants breaking leases and not paying their rent. When you receive your monthly statement, you barely understand it but no one answers the phone when you call with questions.

You know the saying – you get what you pay for.

Take a look at what you can expect when you choose a high-quality property management company and pay higher fees.

Good Tenants

Without tenants in your home, you’re not making any money. When you have a string of bad tenants who don’t pay or damage your property, you’re losing money. A good property management company will do more than the bare minimum to put the right tenant in your home.

Cheap fees get you a rental history which can easily be faked and maybe a credit check. After years in recession, credit checks are no longer the best indicator of whether a tenant can or will pay. Instead you want someone who will look at a tenant’s employment history, their income-to-rent ratio, and their reason for renting as well as rental and credit history.

Fewer Vacancies

No property management company can guarantee you’ll never have a vacancy. With competitive pricing, aggressive marketing, and a thorough and consistent screening process, tenants stay in a property longer. An empty property doesn’t make any money, but it doesn’t pay to put just anyone in your rental.

The cheap property manager may not have the funds to advertise as well as they could. You already know they might not have the most thorough screening process. If they’re a portfolio property manager, they certainly don’t have time to devote to your property. Ultimately, you’re the one who suffers with vacancies that last for months at a time.

Repair Costs that Make Sense

When it comes to making repairs to your property, you want a company that will treat your rental like their own property while understanding that budgets are important. A cheap company will likely go in one of two directions. Either they hire the same contractor for every maintenance job, racking up hundreds of dollars in fees for the most basic repairs or they hire a cheap handyman who may not do the repair well.

What you need is a company that has established relationships with vendors around the area: plumbers, electricians, appliance repairmen, and handyman services. When a repair is needed, the right company for the job with competitive rates will be the one called. If you work with the property management team at ERA American Real Estate, you have the option of doing repairs yourself or allowing us to handle them for you. We communicate with you the entire time so there are no surprises.

Easy Communication

You should expect to receive a monthly statement from your property manager to show you the income and expenses for each of your properties. If you have questions, you should be able to pick up the phone or send a quick email and get answers. When something isn’t correct, you have every right to expect it will be taken care of immediately.

Unfortunately, too often with cheap fees comes little, if any, communication. It’s almost impossible to get someone on the phone, and when you do, they don’t have time to answer all your questions. You may not even receive a monthly statement or when you do, it may not have all the information you need or want.

Fair Housing Law Knowledge

Anyone you hire to manage your property should have a basic knowledge of fair housing laws. They should be able to tell you what the protected classes are and know how to keep up with the different changes that occur nearly every year. They should know that you can refuse to allow pets in your rental but not service animals.

Why does this matter? If a tenant makes the accusation that their legal rights are violated, it’s not your property manager that pays. As the owner, it’s ultimately your responsibility. After you consider the quality of tenants or the amount of rent a property manager promises they can get for your property, you need to make sure they are on top of fair housing laws to keep everyone out of trouble.

The instinct to choose the property manager offering the cheapest fees makes sense. You’re in the rental business to make money. You don’t want to pay more than you have to for anything. We understand that need. However, the amount of time and money you’ll spend in expensive repairs, evictions, unnecessary vacancies, and legal fees for violations of the law will far outweigh any savings you see with the cheap company.

Here at ERA American Real Estate, we aren’t the cheapest in the area, and we don’t want to be. What we want to be is the best. In order to offer you valuable service, peace of mind, and help in achieving your financial goals, we set high standards for everyone we work with – tenants, vendors, and our employees. You pay a higher fee, but you get what you pay for and more.

property management services

25 Services You Should Expect from Your Property Manager

You’ve had enough. Tenants that don’t pay, midnight calls for repairs, showings on your property at all times of the day – it’s enough to make you give up on the idea of renting your property. The stress is too much, and you’re working too hard.

Instead of selling and giving up on the dream of a second income and a more secure future for you and your family, you may just need a property manager to take over for you.

Before you hire the first company or agent with the cheapest fees, take a look at our list of the services you should expect from your property manager. Even if you don’t need everything they provide, make sure the property management company you work with can give you plenty of options and handle all the details for you.

  1. Marketing your property across the internet
  2. Adding your rental to the MLS
  3. Scheduling and showing your property
  4. Taking calls from potential tenants
  5. Screening tenants
  6. Performing extensive background checks – criminal, employment, and more
  7. Explaining lease agreements to tenants
  8. Offer attorney-approved leases that protect you and your property
  9. Taking maintenance calls
  10. Scheduling maintenance and emergency repairs
  11. Maintaining relationships with good, reasonably priced local vendors
  12. Keeping up with fair housing laws
  13. Performing evictions
  14. Accepting security deposits
  15. Online rent payments to make rent collection easier
  16. Paying vendors for services
  17. Management of utility accounts
  18. Monthly financial statements for owners
  19. Answering questions from owners and tenants
  20. Move out inspections
  21. Regular home inspections – at least every six months
  22. Automatic lease renewals
  23. Annual property reviews
  24. Knowledgeable staff
  25. Plenty of options to communicate – email, phone, online portals, etc

When you start interviewing property managers, ask to see a list of all the services they provide. Find out what you’ll get for your monthly fee. If it doesn’t come close to this list, keep looking. Your investment, your peace of mind, and your financial stability are worth it.

The Property Management Roller Coaster

Managing rental property can be a real roller coaster ride for anyone. Whether you are the owner managing your own property or whether you have taken on the business of managing property for others, handling rental property can be a series of ups and downs, highs and lows that can wear on anyone. Your first emotional experience may happen when you purchase your first “investment property” or sign your first management agreement. It is excitement – you have just started your new adventure. Over the next year or so, a gamut of emotions from anticipation to worry, from anxiousness to relief could be felt. Sometimes, an individual finds it all very exhilarating and sometimes, exhaustion is the only emotion a person feels. For most, its a mixture of emotions that might go something like this:

  • Anticipation – When the rental is listed “For Rent”
  • Irritation – When a prospect tells you it’s none of your business what their credit score is
  • Hopeful –  An application was just submitted
  • Annoyance – The grass keeps growing and you have to start paying for lawncare
  • Gladness – A lease was just signed
  • Irked – The tenant thinks it is OK to call you at 11 p.m.
  • Sympathetic – Your tenant paid the rent late, but they had a good reason
  • Mistreated – The tenant destroyed and abandoned the property
  • Relief – You found someone who can help you.

So, whether you are exhilarated or exhausted, at some point you may think to yourself, “Why am I doing this to myself, there must be a better way?”.

If this is you, I may have your answer. Come talk to me about your situation, whether you manage your own property, or another’s.