What is a Property Manager?
A property manager is an individual or company that is hired to oversee the day-to-day operations of a unit of real estate. Property owners and real estate investors typically hire property managers when they are unwilling or unable to manage the properties themselves. The cost of employing a property manager is tax-deductible against the income generated by the property. Apartment complexes, retail malls, and business offices are common types of commercial property that are run by property managers.
Property managers offer an ideal solution for investors that do not live near their rental properties or simply do not enjoy dealing with tenants, toilets and so on. There are many real estate investors who do not wish to be hands-on about the investment, particularly institutional real estate investors.
The property manager's responsibilities might include supervising and coordinating building maintenance and work orders, doing light handyman and cleaning work, resolving tenant concerns and complaints, advertising, showing and leasing vacant units, collecting and depositing rent and communicating regularly with the property owner on the status of the property. The property manager is the owner’s eyes and ears on the property, making certain that issues are being dealt with promptly and the property itself is cared for professionally.
Property Management as a Career
Property managers typically are not required to have any particular educational background or credentials. That said, knowledge of the local property market is critical when it comes to advising on rent levels and tenant attraction and retention. In addition to receiving a salary or hourly wage, resident property managers often receive free or discounted rent if they are living in a building they are managing. Property management companies can be fee-based or paid a percentage of the income from the building.
The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Property Manager
The obvious advantage to hiring a property manager is that it removes the need for the owner to be nearby and actively managing the property. This allows a real estate investor to focus on investing in quality properties rather than managing the portfolio of properties currently owned. The downside is that the level of attention and service given to the tenants—the ultimate source of income—may not be as high as that from the landlord working on their personal investment.
This concern about cost is a feeling that real estate investors need to get over if they intend to scale up their holdings. Large real estate investors depend on property managers and usually work with a professional property management company rather than making any hands-on efforts.