What You Should Expect From A Good Property Manager

If you only expect a property manager to collect the rent, you have the wrong expectations. The property manager is the most important member of any investment team for a very good reason. A good property manager provides value throughout the investment life cycle. I listed below the phases of the investment life cycle where property managers add the most value.

Property Manager Value

The property managers we've worked with provided value at all stages of the investment life cycle which we logically subdivide into four phases:

Market Research

The knowledge you gain from seminars, books, podcasts and similar channels is by nature, general information. Little of this applies to any specific property in a specific location. You need detailed local information on a variety of topics and the property manager has the information you need. Some of the market research topics we require includes:

Property Evaluation

How can you be certain that the property you are considering is a good investment? A good property manager will be able to provide the following information for any property:

Also, knowing the estimated rent, time-to-rent and approximate rehab cost will enable you to make an initial go/no-go decision on the property plus you can determine how much you can offer. I can go into more detail on this if you like.

Rehab

Every minute spent in rehab is time the property is not generating income. You want rehab to be as short as possible and as cost effective as possible (however never by cutting corners). And, you need to know which rehab items are required and which are optional. Optional rehab items should only be undertaken if they will pay for themselves in a relatively short time. This is another topic I can discuss if you are interested. So, in the rehab phase some of the key contributions the property manager should make include:

Property Management

When rehab is complete it is time to get the property rented. This is the phase that, to many, is the only value of a property manager. The key duties of the property manager in this phase include:

Some Key Characteristics

In order to achieve the above, some of the characteristics I would look for include the following.

Does not:

Does:

I could go into a lot more detail but the above should get you started. We maintain our own "Property Manager Interview Questions" and if anybody is interested in a copy, send me an email.