Managing a property is a lot more than simply choosing a tenant and collecting rent. Between maintaining the building, managing relationships, and ensuring tenant satisfaction, there’s a lot to manage on a day-to-day basis.
In this post, we’ll offer some tips for managing a property. This will be helpful for anyone managing a property, be it a single property you own or multiple you’re managing on behalf of an organization.
Set aside time for each of your different hats
When you’re managing a property or properties, there’s a lot of work to be done. Everything from listing properties and tending to tenant concerns, to hiring contractors — it all needs your full attention and requires completely different skill sets.
We recommend blocking off time to ensure each of these tasks receives your full attention. For instance, having a consistent time where you post listings will help speed up the process and make sure this task gets your full attention.
This will not always be possible (tenant maintenance requests may need to be addressed immediately, for instance), but this structure will help your property run smoothly.
Know your properties well
A property manager that knows their property inside and out is good for everyone. When you know your property well, you’ll
- Easily answer questions potential tenants bring up when showing the property
- Know the benefits of the space, aiding in the sales and marketing process
- Answer maintenance requests more easily, as you’ll have a better idea of what your tenant is referencing
- Know potential “problem areas” of the property, allowing you to address these issues between tenants
Having this knowledge will help you save time, money, and hassle down the road.
Know the law well, too
Unless you’re a lawyer by trade, it will be impossible to have a full understanding of rental and real estate laws in Oregon and Washington. We still recommend you develop a basic understanding of the laws governing rentals in Oregon.
Knowing the basics is useful for three reasons:
- You’ll be able to answer questions asked of you from tenants. Not knowing the answer to some of these questions could give the tenant the impression you don’t know the law, and could cause them to be lackadaisical in their relationship with you as a property manager
- You won’t be taken advantage of. Whether they intend to or not, your tenants may attempt to do something they aren’t allowed to do. If you don’t know the rules they could attempt this under your own nose.
- You’ll know your rights as the owner or an agent of the owner. Bad tenants happen to every property manager at some point. Luckily, there are a set of protections that allow you to warn and evict bad tenants. In order to take advantage of these laws though, you need to know how they work.
Make sure to keep a paper trail. Given the many different laws governing rental agreements, a good filing system to keep track of all paperwork could save you a major headache down the road.
We recommend scanning all important documents to create a digital copy of all major files in the cloud. This ensures that even in the event of the loss of physical copies due to a robbery, fire, or flood (or just misplacement), you’ll still have the files somewhere.
Be available and dependable
As a property manager, you should take an “open door” philosophy to management. This means making sure to always answer a tenant phone call and be there to answer questions or respond to maintenance requests.
Also, when scheduling a meeting with a current or potential tenant, always get there on time and stay on track. To do this, we recommend scheduling realistic meeting times.
While you may not work or live on the property, your tenants do. Making sure they feel like they can be heard whenever they reach out will go a long way towards gaining their trust.
Make timely repairs
Another great way to build this trust is through following up on maintenance and repair requests as soon as you can.
Not only will this increase the likelihood that these tenants will stay long term, it will ensure your units are kept in good condition and do not fall into disrepair. If units are not fixed in a timely manner, tenants may lose respect for the space and not keep the unit in as good of condition.
Develop relationships with your tenants
One of your chief responsibilities as a property manager will be to communicate effectively with your tenants and potential tenants. A great way to do this is through developing a good relationship with them.
While you don’t need to be best friends (and they probably don’t want that, either), make sure to get to know them, ask about their business, and say hello when you see them. This goodwill will go a long way when it comes time for them to renew their lease and when communicating about repair or maintenance issues.
Keep your building clean
Clean buildings equal happy tenants. People simply do not like living and working in dirty environments and can only take so much before finding a new solution. This means keeping your property clean and in good order will keep good tenants around.
Clean properties also need less serious maintenance, meaning clean apartments will lead to less maintenance request. This will lead to less time you need to manage the requests and less money the building owner will have to pay to fix the issues.
Other benefits to keeping a clean property include:
- Fewer injuries: Messy floors and work spaces could lead to slip and falls or workplace injuries. Slippery stairways or poorly maintained railings could lead to even more serious injuries.
- Better respiratory health: Without proper air filtration, dusts and vapors will circulate, reducing the air-quality and creating a potentially unhealthy situation in the space.
- Germs won’t spread as quickly: Particularly during flu season, making sure a space is sanitary is crucial for good health.
- Better light: When light fixtures or windows are dirty, light cannot get into the property.
- Less cluttered work spaces: When properties properly dispose of recyclables and trash, spaces will be less cluttered and dirty.
- Better productivity: In offices, clean spaces equal better productivity. Employees like clean spaces and are more productive when they are working every day in a space they feel proud of.
Hire a janitorial service that will make your job easier, not harder
Cascade Building Services has been cleaning offices and commercial spaces for over 5 decades. We offer service 24 hours a day, 365 per year, so you know we’ll be dependable and can provide service that can help your property strive.
Contact us today to learn how Cascade Building Services can help make your property all it can be.