Landlords, have you ever felt like you’re spread too thin? Like you are struggling to keep up with everything on your plate? Or are your tenants worried about maintenance issues going unaddressed?
We don’t blame you. Property management can be a lot to handle, especially if you’re a self-managing Landlord. There’s a lot to deal with, from mortgage payments to property taxes and a lot more.
And that’s not even including the day-to-day tasks like finding tenants to avoid vacancy periods and dealing with repairs & maintenance issues of your properties. But don’t worry – Lofti has a solution for you.
Our all-in-one property management software is designed to make your lives easier. We help agents, landlords, and tenants streamline their property management processes, so they can focus on what’s important: their property portfolio.
If you’re just taking off in property management, go through this article and understand the basics of property management. With our property management software’s help, you’ll be able to confidently take on property management while saving time on your daily operations.
What Are Property Management Companies?
Owning and renting properties can be a full-time job. As a landlord, among the different duties, you must maintain the building, keep track of security deposits, and ensure the rent is paid on time. In addition, you might have to deal with maintenance issues or noisy neighbours if your tenants have such complaints.
While some people are born natural handymen or handywomen and love nothing more than fixing a leaky faucet or a broken window, most of us would rather leave these, and other, tasks to someone else. That’s where property management companies come in.
A property management company is a firm that handles the day-to-day tasks of running a property. These companies are valuable assets to businesses that own multiple properties (also known as property portfolios) and don’t have the time or resources to manage them independently.
Property management companies, such as Cozee.properties, offer the following services:
- Find tenants by advertising and marketing your vacant units
- Screening potential tenants
- Collecting rent
- Dealing with repairs & maintenance issues
- Comply with safety and health regulations
- Prepare financial reports
But you can’t hire just any property management company. You need to find a reputable one who has experience with properties like yours.
How to Find a Good Property Management Company?
Property management is a billion-pounds industry. It means there is an abundance of companies to choose from. So how do you find the right one?
Here are some tips:
- Get referrals from other landlords
- Check out online reviews
- Check whether the company is licenced and insured
- Interview several property management companies to get a feel for their services
An ideal property management company will have your best interests at heart. They should be responsive to your needs but most importantly the needs of your tenants.
If you feel that your small business can’t handle the expense of a property management company, you can look for individual property managers.
How to Find a Good Property Manager?
Your property manager is your property’s face. They’ll be dealing with tenants’ issues on a daily basis. It’s therefore important to choose someone who is:
- Friendly and Personable: they should be able to build good relationships with tenants
- Responsive: they should be quick to respond to tenant requests
- Organised: they must keep track of multiple properties and tenants
- Licenced and Insured: they should have the proper licences and insurance to operate in your country
- Experienced in the Industry: they should have a good understanding of the property market and the laws that govern it
Can Property Management Courses Help You Become a Good Property Manager?
As said, property management is a process that encompasses many different activities, all related to the maintenance and administration of residential or commercial buildings.
But, is every landlord or agent cut out to be a property manager? The short answer is no. Unfortunately, not everyone has enough time, energy, interest or passion to deal with the tasks of being a property manager.
However, if you love the challenge of keeping things organised and running smoothly, then being in property management is for you. A practical way to find out is to take some property management courses.
Luckily, there are community colleges and universities that offer property management courses. These courses address details, including fair housing laws, marketing rental properties, and how to conduct background checks on potential tenants. For instance, the Certified Apartment Management course can give you a nice overall introduction to the field.
Additionally, property management companies offer in-house training for their new employees.
If you’re self-employed or a self-managing Landlord, there are plenty of online courses and resources. These can help you learn the ropes of property management.
What matters the most, though, is to have the right attitude. You must be patient, organised, and detail-oriented to succeed in this field. It’s not easy finding the perfect tenant or dealing with a clogged sink in the middle of the night.
On a more positive note, there are PMSs (property management software), such as Lofti, that will help you stay organised and efficient.
Lastly, if you’re up for the challenge, property management can be a very rewarding career to pursue either as a private landlord or as a letting agent.
What is PMS (Property Management Software)?
Property management software is a digital solution that empowers landlords and Property managers along with their tenants to deal with the various aspects of renting and managing one or multiple properties. PMS is also used in other industries like hospitality and event management.
The software is designed to make your life more efficient by automating tasks such as rent collection, maintenance requests, and creating financial reports while streamlining communication with your tenants.
Some functions that you can expect from property management software include:
- Telephone Systems Integrations – Automated call answering and voicemail
- Work Order Management – Create, track, and schedule maintenance requests
- Online Payments – Tenants can pay their rent online
Is a Property Management Software Different from a Property Management System?
It is good to specify that more and more property management platforms embed both property management software and systems functionalities.
But yes, property management systems are different from property management software. A system is a digital solution that helps you automate various tasks, while software is a program you can use to perform certain functions.
For example, property management software will take care of tasks like rent payments, vacancy management, and lease tracking. In comparison, a property management system will address bigger areas like property contract monitoring, profiling clients and agents, and scheduling maintenance.
How Important Is Data Protection in a Property Management?
Data protection is crucial in any industry, but it’s especially important in property management. This is because you’re dealing with sensitive information like people’s names, addresses, phone numbers, and credit card details.
When choosing a property management platform, ensure that it has robust security measures to protect your data. The last thing you want for your tenants is to have their personal information fall into the wrong hands.
The key features to look for in a property management platform are:
Data Encryption: make sure that the data is encrypted when it’s stored on the cloud (or servers) and when it’s shared across different stakeholders
Access Control: only allow authorised users to access the platform
Two-Factor Authentication: an extra layer of security that requires users to enter a code that’s sent to their phone
Does Having a Property Management App Make a Difference?
In today’s tech-savvy world, there’s an app for almost everything. So, it’s no surprise that there are also property management apps.
While a property management app can’t replace a human property manager, it can be a valuable tool to help Landlords and Agents with their day-to-day tasks. Ensure your app is easy to use, provided by the same company as your other systems and that it comes for free.
If you’re a small business flapping your wings for the first time in the property management industry, hiring a full-fledged company or working with a property manager might not be the best idea as this solution will decrease your margins and relative rental yields of your portfolio.
In this case, you can turn to Property Management Platforms.
Who is a Letting Agent?
A letting agent is a professional who helps landlords find tenants and manage their properties. Letting agents typically work with multiple landlords and therefore have a vast network of potential tenants.
Some landlords prefer to work with letting agents in order to lessen the burden of finding tenants and managing their properties. If you’re thinking about working with a letting agent, research to find one that’s reputable and has experience in your area.
What Are the Key Aspects of Tenant Management?
Tenant management is one of the most, if not the most, important aspects of property management. After all, your tenants are the ones who are paying you rent and, hopefully, keeping the property in good condition.
Some of the key aspects of tenant management include:
1. Screening Tenants
Your business’s success depends on your tenants, so you need to make sure that you’re renting to the right people and that you are minimising vacation periods. Start by screening your tenants and don’t underestimate the importance of conducting extensive tenant referencing processes.
Tenant referencing includes running background and credit checks to get valuable information about your tenants. This will help you reject the bad apples and find tenants who are more likely to pay rent on time and take care of your property as their own home.
2. Collecting Rent (possibly on time)
Have you had to chase down a tenant for rent? It’s not a fun experience. To avoid this situation, set up automatic rent payments and give your tenants the option to pay rent online.
Lofti automatic rent reminders were created exactly for this reason.
3. Dealing with Repairs & Maintenance Issues
Maintenance issues are inevitable, but you can make dealing with them a lot easier by using a property management system. With a PMS in place, tenants can submit maintenance requests online. You can then track and schedule the requests to get them fixed promptly.
4. Enforcing the Lease Agreement
Your lease agreement is there to protect you as a Landlord/Agent (and your tenants). So, if a tenant breaks the rules, you need to consider if you’ll want to enforce the lease agreement and its relative section 8 and section 21.
With all these key aspects of tenant management, you will keep your tenants happy and live stress-free through their tenancy period.
Why is Tenant Referencing Important?
Tenant referencing is a process that either self-managing landlords or letting agents perform to ensure that a tenant is who they say they are, has the right to rent in the UK and can realistically pay the monthly rent. It’s important to reference your tenants because it allows you to protect yourself from fraud and ensures that you’re renting to the right people.
You will typically run a background check and credit check when you conduct a tenant referencing. It is also a good idea to get references from your tenant’s employer and previous landlords.
Tenant referencing can take some time, but it’s definitely worth ensuring you are renting to a responsible tenant.
What is PPM in Property Management?
PPM stands for “Planned preventative Maintenance“, it is also called planned or scheduled maintenance.
PPM helps landlords and property managers to anticipate repairs and maintenance jobs. It’s an essential practice for property managers juggling multiple apartments simultaneously and helps you prevent serious damages such as water infiltration, and relative, justified, complaints from tenants, due to dry leaves stuck in the gutter
Read more in our dedicated article on what is PPM.
Some Essentials to Consider
Property management is a vast and complicated industry with many different facets. However, if you want to ensure your business’s success, there are a few questions you must know the answers to.
What is the Notice Period in Property Management?
The notice period is the amount of time a tenant must give their landlord before moving out.
In most cases, the notice period is 30 days. However, it can vary depending on the lease agreement between the parties. The notice period is important because it gives the landlord time to find a new tenant.
If you’re a landlord, ensure you’re familiar with the notice period and that you always include it in your lease agreements.
What Does Private Landlord, No Agent Mean?
Private landlords with no agent mean that the landlord is renting out their property without using a property management company or agent therefore he/she is a self-managing landlord.
How to Get Contractors On-Board?
Contractors are an essential part of property management. They will help you with everything from repairs to renovations. You must know how to get contractors on board if you’re a landlord. Create a list of contractors and start contacting them.
After contacting several contractors, you will have a clearer idea of the price range for maintenance jobs and you will be able to make informed decisions on which one you want to work with.
What is Block Management?
Block management is a type of property management that involves managing multiple properties in a single block. This arrangement is common in apartment buildings and other types of multi-unit properties.
As a landlord, you must know the basics of block management. It includes understanding the different types of contracts and how to manage them. You also need to be familiar with the different service charges.
What is Prime Property Management?
Prime property management is a type of property management that focuses on high-end properties. It requires a higher level of expertise and experience. You need a strong understanding of the market in order to provide a high level of service that reflects the high level of rent those tenants will pay.
As a portfolio landlord or letting agent, you must understand the different aspects of property management. There’s a lot to keep track of.
Luckily, you won’t have to depend on a property management company to handle everything yourself, either through spreadsheets and emails or by using property management platforms. With enough knowledge and a bit of passion, you will be able to successfully manage your properties on your own.
Lofti has just the right solution for you. With our innovative software, you will be able to efficiently manage your properties.
Sign up for free and get to try the Ultime Property Management Software or visit our Pricing page for more details on the different packages we offer!