9 Tips for Property Managers
While purchasing San Diego residential properties can be a great source of income, managing them is often a whole different ballgame. Property management is time intensive and requires a certain set of business skills, as well as attention to detail. When you buy a residential property, it’s time to make a decision as to whether you have the time and skills to manage the property yourself, or if you need to hire a San Diego property management company.
If you do choose to use a property manager, finding the right one is of the utmost importance. Property management is like any other business – it must move with the times and be technologically savvy. Property management technology, as in every other business enterprise, has changed the field with amazing software that helps property managers carry out their daily activities effectively and efficiently.
My company, SoCal Property Management Group, uses software called Buildium. One of the wonderful things about Buildium is it works for all levels of property managers – from mom and pop organizations with just a few properties to huge management companies.
Here are some of the many features of Buildium that makes property management such a breeze:
1. Tenants pay all rent and fees online! In a day and age when everything is digital and few people even carry a checkbook anymore, this is a brilliant and convenient use of technology. It also makes bookkeeping and collection extremely easy.
2. Repair requests are also made online in writing. Once the request is made, the property manager receives it via email. This provides a valuable record of written requests and also protects you from the middle of the night repair calls you may receive from tenants.
3. Buildium also helps property managers working for other owners maintain communication and records with the owners. Property owners have 24/7 real-time access where they can view rent status and maintenance bills.
4. It makes tax preparation easy. In an instant, you can print out yearly profit and loss statements and other reports.
5. Buildium is entirely cloud-based. This means all of your information is held securely online, so you don’t need to install any software or maintain any equipment. You can access it from any computer anywhere.
If you opt to manage your own San Diego property, you can take certain steps to make the job easier and more efficient.
From my personal experience as a San Diego property manager, here are some tips:
6. Tenants who are late on the rent must be served with a “3-day pay rent or quit notice” right away. There should be no exceptions to this! If you give tenants any slack, they will walk all over you. If your tenant consistently has rental problems, move to evict immediately.
7. Always send non-paying tenants a notice when they don’t pay. In the notice, tell them they will be placed in collections, which will permanently affect their credit and rental history. This usually lights a fire under them.
8. There’s no better place in the world to find tenants than craigslist. You don’t need to spend a bunch of money on fancy listings or rental agencies. Also, when you are ready to rent your house, you can easily find comparables on craigslist to set your rent.
9. My experience has shown me that I always include landscaping as an owner’s expense on the lease. As much as you’d like your tenants to take care of the lawn and yard, few do, which often generates telephone calls from neighbors. You can avoid these phone calls and keep the property looking great and move-in ready for the next set of tenants by paying for regular yard maintenance and landscaping.