For many property owners in Nigeria, asking a professional property manager to manage a property is like spending money like a drunken sailor. Most property owners don’t believe a professional property manager does anything special, so why employ one?
There’s so much a professional property manager can do to that residential rental property or commercial property that would bring immense value to that property; a lot more than just getting the right tenants to rent your property because no matter how good a tenant once was he/she can eventually turn out to be a bad tenant due to mismanagement.
You would be lying to yourself if you ever think you won’t be needing the services of a professional property manager for that rental property.
The notion in this part of the world that professional property managers are an inconsequential lot in the real estate sector is quite ridiculous.
It has become the norm for property owners especially those who reside in the property they have converted to a rental property to manage such properties on their own. The belief is that there isn’t so much to do after all other than listening to tenants complaints, paying bills and probably collecting rents when due.
The only duty they seem to outsource is the job of finding tenants to acquire the property. That part of the job is usually handled and administered by agents who most often than not serve as middle men in the transactions between a landlord and tenants.
For other landlords who are preoccupied with other business and especially for those who don’t live on the property or even close to their property, they usually look for someone, like a friend or relative to manage their property.
But is that how minor the work of a property manager is that just anybody can do their work?
Truth be told, most of the properties managed by every Tom, Dick and Harry do not yield as much profit as expected because management of a property is a key factor to the value the property will command in the comparative market.
There’s only little a friend or relative can do especially when that friend or relative only has little understanding of what it takes to be a property manager.
There has been instances where the property owner has incurred a lot of debts and faced a lot of litigation due to mismanagement. This is what happens when you hire just anybody to manage your property.
It even becomes worse when you decide to do it yourself. As a property owner there are a lot of things you can do yourself but definitely not the management of your property.
The role of a ‘professional’ property manager with emphasis on the word professional goes a long way than just finding people to rent your property
One of the first reasons to consider hiring a professional property manager is that they help provide a buffer between you and your tenant. If there are any problems with late payments or damaged property, the property manager deals with these issues so that you can avoid any unpleasant confrontations.
It becomes a problem when a landlord becomes too familiar with a tenant. Like most people in working relationships and otherwise, there is an abuse of a direct landlord-tenant relationship because familiarity breeds contempt.
Ordinarily, a professional property manager should know all the ins and outs of the tenancy laws that relate to rental properties and can advise you about your landlord rights and when to take action on an erring tenant.
Again, a professional property manager does far more than just rent your home and collect your money for you. They can also facilitate mediation in the event of late payments, providing a debt-collection service if necessary, as well as organising emergency repairs, maintenance and even handling the payment of various bills.
The property manager helps provide a complete management service, to help you avoid wasting your own time and money.
Some of the duties that you can expect from a good property manager include:
- Advertising and marketing your property
- Sourcing and screening potential tenants
- Managing your financial accounts
- Completing inspections on a consistent basis
- Organising and sourcing tradespeople for repairs and maintenance
Professional property managers are specialists at multi-tasking and are highly qualified to prioritise and perform any or all of these duties. You can expect your real estate agent to help you with matters of communication, negotiation and conflict resolution.
A professional property manager can help you find suitable renters to help you avoid periods of vacancy and income loss. They will be able to employ all the necessary marketing methods to ensure that your property is high visibility to potential tenants.
The property manager can then show the home to prospective tenants with open inspections that showcase the property in the best possible light.
They also make regular inspections to ensure that the tenants are keeping your property in proper working order.
The property manager relates appropriately with the tenant who is the reason why he remains in business. They clear up misunderstandings and resolve issues.
Also, there’s a remarkable amount of paperwork that can be involved with managing a rental property, including: property rules and regulations; lease agreements; and contracts for repairs and maintenance, among others.
Professional property managers are able to keep these files well organised, ensuring that nothing slips through the cracks. Experienced property managers will also keep tabs on the federal and state laws, property values, tenant and landlord rights.
They will watch rental prices for your region closely, staying up-to-date on the current market conditions in order to best advise you when it comes to your investment. With this attention to detail, they will help you decide if it’s time to raise the rent or make key repairs.
There is a great deal of work that goes into managing a rental property. If you don’t have the time or the inclination to deal with repairs, tenant problems and marketing a vacant property, you’ll probably want to hire a property manager.
The percentage of your rental income that pays for a property manager will pay off because you can sit back and relax.
The alternative is to risk lost income if your property sits vacant or if you have trouble with your tenants.