Starting a property management company is like starting any other business. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, as well as having the right skills. Below we’re going to share with you some of the most essential ingredients you need to build a successful property management firm. Read on for more.
Checklist Before Starting a Property Management Company
Choose the right office location
Getting an office in an office plaza is the fastest way to lose your identity as a business. That’s because these spaces don’t allow for much creativity in terms of appearance. They also make it difficult for people to find you because you’re buried in a sea of uniformity.
For best results, we recommend you look for a street front office. Make sure you have a dedicated door and signage that’s visible to passers-by. This will increase your exposure and improve your ability to attract walk-ins.
Build a website
Nowadays, having a website is an essential part of running a business. It gives your company credibility and functions as a 24/7 salesperson.
You could hire a web developer to build the website for you or use our website builder. Both are easy for the average person to use and don’t require any technical skills.
Make sure your website has a property management-specific landing page, a form from where a customer can contact you, and a working phone number. Basically, your website should be easy to find, great to look at and easy for your customers to get in contact with you.
Joint relevant associations
Another great way to build credibility and attract clients is to join property associations in your area. A few examples would be organizations like:
- The Building Owners and Managers Association BC
- The Association of Condominium Managers Ontario
- The Professional Association of Managing Agents
- The Real Estate Institute of Canada
- The Real Estate Council of Alberta
Invest in marketing
Besides investing in a good website, make sure you use tools like Google AdWords and SEO marketing. This’ll make it easier for people to find your business online.
You should also invest in Google my business listing because it’s one of the most effective tools for property managers to attract clients. The goal is to achieve maximum visibility in your area and make yours the go-to property management company.
Brand your business
It’s important to brand your property management company from the beginning to set yourself apart from the competition. This includes creating a logo and some tagline for your business. You’ll use this in all of your branding materials, including your website, banners, social media pages, business cards, flyers, and stationery.
The key to success in the property management industry is getting to know as many people as possible. The best way to do this is to involve yourself in property management networking groups and make industry-related friends that you can do business with. You can’t sit in your little corner of the world and expect your phone to ring. Get out and meet people. Plus, networking will also help you stay up to date with best practices in your area.
Take relevant courses
If you want to work in the property business, you must be knowledgeable about the industry. This involves gaining qualifications such as:
- The Certified Property Manager certification
- The Residential Management Professional (RMP®)
- The Certified Manager of Community Associations certification
You should also find a good mentor to help you along the journey. You can pick up a lot of valuable wisdom from an experienced property manager who’s been there and done it all.
Gone are the days when property managers had to file everything in massive cabinets. Now, you can manage your property from your computer or smartphone. You don’t have to completely rely on technology if you don’t want to, but you can always use it to simplify your life.
With our mobile app can help you manage maintenance and administration tasks from anywhere. Using tools like this can also save you money because they minimize your staff requirements while allowing you to manage multiple properties efficiently.
Take care of your tenants
If you want to manage someone else’s property, it’s important to keep their tenants happy. This means handling requests in a timely manner, staying on top of maintenance tasks, and communicating with them regularly. Once you take care of tenant needs, your occupancy rates will go up and you’ll build a positive reputation.
Build a team
Most property management companies start out as one-man shows. This will probably be the case with you too. Unless you can afford to hire staff from the get-go, you’ll be responsible for all aspects of your business, including leasing, maintenance, management, and inspections. The only problem with being a one-man-band is that you’ll eventually cap out. Once you reach a point in your business where you’re no longer able to perform all the tasks on your own, it’s time to bring help on board. You might start out with a maintenance manager who’ll handle inspections and maintenance requests, or a leasing manager to handle leases.
You need excellent interpersonal skills because you’ll be dealing with all kinds of different people daily. From the landlord to maintenance contractors and tenants- every one of these people will come to you with varying needs and expectations. You need to communicate with each party in a clear and effective manner.
Part of your job as a property manager is to put out fires and handle unexpected occurrences. You’ll experience a lot of tough moments and challenges, especially with your first client. It’s in moments like this that you need to stay calm and adopt a focused mindset. When facing a tough situation, try to break it up into its finer details and tackle it accordingly.
Set a budget
There are a lot of costs involved in setting up a property management company, and you can easily overspend if you don’t have a proper budget in place. The most important things to budget for in the beginning include:
- Office premises – Depending on your budget, you could lease, rent or buy office premises. Just make sure they’re in a visible area that makes it easy for people to find you.
- Marketing – You must apply a high-level marketing strategy that includes a website, social media presence, signage and all the other aspects we touched on in the above section.
- Administration – Factor administration costs into your budget because proper admin is the foundation of any successful business.
- Insurance – You should purchase business insurance from the beginning so you’re prepared for
whatever might happen. The last thing you want is to pay out of pocket for expenses that could’ve been covered by an insurance provider.
- Printing and mailing costs – Luckily, you won’t have to spend much on printing and mailing costs thanks to technology advancements. Property management software like Condo Control Central could save you a bundle in printing costs alone, because of features like cloud storage. Even if you have a mountain of paperwork, you’ll find that it’s super easy to access it and keep it organized.
Do your research
Before you do anything, do some research to determine if there’s demand for a new property management company in your area. Perhaps there is, or maybe people are just looking for letting agents at the moment. Either way, the data you collect will help you figure out which services to focus on and how much to charge for them.
What does a property manager do?
When you start your property management company, your job will be to manage other people’s property portfolios. There’s a wide range of clients that you can serve, from landlords who own one property to investors who own multiple buildings. Your role will include completing tasks such as:
- Finding tenants and screening them
- Drawing up lease agreements and other relevant contracts.
- Performing regular inspections to make sure each tenant is looking after their property
- Responding to maintenance requests and taking care of repair problems
- Managing leasing and financing between the landlord and the tenants
It’s important to note here that you should document everything that happens in your business. From the first contact you have with a prospective tenant, to the termination of tenancy; the more documentation you have the better.
Owning an investment property is a lifelong commitment that requires a lot of work. You must manage tenants, collect payments, do regular maintenance and take care of a million and 1 tasks every day. Without the right expertise, managing such assets can be tough. That’s why an increasing number of property owners and investors are hiring property management companies to take care of their properties.
Property management is good business because there will always be a property owner or investor that’s in over their head and in need of some help. If you’re passionate about property and think you have what it takes to run a property management company, be sure to apply the tips provided in this article. We hope this guide has provided you with all the information you need to start your property management company.