As a Property Management Company in Gwinnett County, we have narrowed our focus to 5 key areas to be an effective Property Manager.
Whether you are an “accidental landlord” or an investor, this rental property can either be a cash cow, future goldmine, or an anchor around your neck. While providing Property Management Services involves many areas, the owner is directly affected by these 5 critical segments.
First and foremost, proper screening is priority one. However, the first step in screening is marketing. Spending your money and time in the right place can help locate the ideal resident. Instead of blanket advertising, think about your ideal resident and market to them. We have found marketing to colleges, office parks, and hospitals are proven ways to find excellent candidates. Once you have an applicant, don’t take the short cut and choose the inexpensive way. Hire a credit agency to do proper screening and do your research on the internet. The credit agency can typically help you with Fair Housing Laws to keep you out of trouble. We use a scoring system so all applicants are treated the same.
Once an applicant is accepted, a discussion and agreement needs to be reached between the resident and landlord. We prefer to have this discussion before a lease is signed. By setting proper expectations and standards, there is little room for confusion. While an understanding may be in place, a well-written lease is worth it’s weight in gold. I personally have not found a better Lease than the one written by our GAR. We have used many leases over the past 12 years, but I believe the lease provided by the Georgia Association of Realtors to be the most comprehensive and fair document we currently have today.
One of the biggest expenses an owner will face are maintenance request. While most request are valid, there are times when the request are frivolous or damages that were caused from neglect by the resident. By establishing effective online maintenance request, we can track maintenance issues to ensure completion and to keep cost down. One critical step in keeping cost down, is to work with contractors who can help detect the reason for the maintenance or damages. If the hardwoods are damaged because of water, a contractor should be able to determine where the water came from and how long it’s been a problem.
By providing periodic inspections, you can prevent many problems from occurring. A clogged gutter left a for an extended period can do thousands of dollars in damages. A new addition to the family such a “sweet golden retriever” can do some interesting things to a hardwood floor. These are potential problems that need to be discovered while the family is there and not after they have moved.
The Landlord Tenant Laws are very specific concerning Move Outs at the end of the lease. Violate one of these and the Magistrate Judge will slap your wrist before you write a check. By having an effective system in place, the owner is assured damages will be fixed, past due balances will be paid and the resident will leave happy.
Managing Rental Properties is not extremely difficult, but can become very expensive if you fail to do the basic Property Management. By hiring a professional Property Manager, you limit your liability and prevent many of the mistakes landlords make.
By hiring 4th Avenue Property Management, you get all of the above with 12 years of Property Management experience all for the price of a cup of coffee and a biscuit a day.