Property management is broken down into three main categories; facility management, investment management and tenant management. If you own and manage your own income properties, you are forever juggling and prioritizing all three.
Facility management pertains primarily to maintaining, repairing and possibly remodeling the physical property. Even if your investment portfolio is only one rental house, there are days when dealing with leaky roofs, broken appliances or stuffed toilets can be consuming. Everything from preparing a vacant unit for rental, getting bids to repaint the exterior of the property or revitalizing the landscaping can feel as though your property is a money pit that eats up time and cash.
Investment management is focusing on the market, determining when is a good time to sell or buy, to exchange or refinance your property. Investment management requires an ongoing knowledge of the resell market, rental market, interest rates and trends in your community as well as the country. Developing a long term strategy based upon your personal needs and market changes means being open to adjusting plans as conditions dictate.
Tenant management, in its simplest terms, means creating and maintaining a cohesive and cooperative plan for dealing with all tenant issues. From finding the right tenant, collecting rent, responding to maintenance requests and, if necessary, evicting a bad tenant are all part of a successful tenant management philosophy. Arguably, of the three responsibilities of property management, how you handle tenants and their needs is the most important. If you are managing multiple properties you may want to consider using a property management software such as ManageZoom to organize tenant files and communicate with tenants. Sign up for a free trial here: https://www.american-apartment-owners-association.org/managezoom
Good tenant management starts with selecting and screening for the best tenant. If you are diligent in the screening process and find caring and conscientious tenants, facility management becomes easier and your investment strategy becomes clearer. If you maintain a policy toward tenants that is respectful and responsive they are more likely to treat you and your property in like kind. Although there has been a perception of landlord/tenant relationships being adversarial, it does not and should not be that way. Remember, tenants are your customers and you need customers to maintain your investment.