5 Tips for Managing Your Properties

Managing commercial properties requires handling multiple jobs, including janitorial services, negotiating contracts with garbage collectors, grounds keeping, and addressing tenant concerns. Effective property management can help streamline everything from rent collection to tax compliance and groundskeeping. The way a property owner or realtor manages a property can break their success chances. Effective rental property management can lead you to a successful financial future, while improper management will make everything fall into shambles. In Australia people often confuse the terms ‘property manager’ and ‘strata manager’, however, they are very different jobs. While property managers mainly deal in managing rental properties for investors, strata managers manage strata title properties (a building with devised ownership – commonly apartments). While the roles are similar, there is a clear distinction, mainly due to the shared ownership of buildings managed by strata. If you struggle to grasp the difference, look at insurance to help you out. A strata manager will organize strata insurance that covers the shared spaces in an apartment building; think about hallways, gardens, garages, gyms, etc. While a property manager may help apartment owners with home and contents insurance, think about personal belonging and damages inside an apartment. While both roles are important, you need to know the difference when looking for a property manager so you can understand what duties they will and will not perform. The following five property management tips will help keep everything running smoothly.

Consider Hiring a Property Manager

Being a landlord is undoubtedly a tough job. Roles such as negotiating with garbage collectors and addressing tenant concerns can sometimes be time-consuming and overwhelming. However, landlords can get rid of this burden by hiring a property manager. Competent property managers can handle everything from groundskeeping to rent collection on your behalf. They will also vet all tenants to ensure only the best ones stay on your property. Realtors will also ensure that your property is always in its best condition. Hiring a property manager is a worthwhile investment, given the financial gains of doing so. Hiring the right property manager is equally essential, so landlords should take time to screen them just as they would vet potential tenants.

Follow the Law

Laws that guide landlords and their relationship with tenants vary across states. Understanding laws that govern your state’s real estate industry is key to your success as a property owner. With any tenant disputes, you need to make sure you follow the law. A landlord can only understand matters regarding security deposits by following their state-specific law. You will understand how to collect the deposit, where to keep it, and when to return it. You will also understand how to handle lease violations.

Ensure Regular Inspection and Maintenance

Keeping up with renters’ maintenance requests can help lower the turnover rate. It is easier to find and keep reputable tenants if an apartment is well-maintained. Long-term tenants want to commit to a property that meets their expectations. The law also obliges landlords to ensure their property meets industry standards, including health and safety standards. After all, no renter would want to stay in an apartment infested with pests or one with electrical or plumbing issues. Ensuring regular property inspection is also key to the success of a rental property owner. Assessment will help spot unreported damage and point out lease violations. Move-in inspection can help assess the condition of a property before a new renter moves in. In contrast, drive-by inspection lets you evaluate the exterior state of the property at any time. You don’t have to brief tenants before conducting a drive-in inspection as you won’t get inside their houses.

Lower Tenant Turnover

Lowering tenant turnover can contribute to your success as a landlord. High tenant turnover translates to low income and increased expenses for the landlord in uncollected rents, redecorating, and advertising. A fully occupied apartment means the landlord won’t always spend money on advertising and renovations. Property owners must make tenants feel satisfied with their life quality to stick around for a prolonged period. Finding and placing reputable tenants on your property through a thorough screening process is the first step to lowering tenant turnover.

Tax Compliance

Property owners have to meet their tax obligations if they want to succeed in their endeavors. Any asset that depreciates, including vehicles and properties, attracts some property tax deductions. Property owners can consider deducting their home office expenses to reduce their taxes. It is highly recommendable for a landlord who isn’t skilled in property tax law to enlist a certified accountant’s service. A professional accountant will help ensure a property owner adheres to IRS’s legalities and property deductions requirements.

Brett Sartorial

Brett is a business journalist with a focus on corporate strategy and leadership. With over 15 years of experience covering the corporate world, Brett has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, analytical and insightful journalist. He has a deep understanding of the business strategies and leadership principles that drive the world's most successful companies, and is able to explain them in a clear and compelling way. Throughout his career, Brett has interviewed some of the most influential business leaders and has covered major business events such as the World Economic Forum and the Davos. He is also a regular contributor to leading business publications and has won several awards for his work.