Whether an investor has one property or many, the same strategies apply in order to operate a property management company successfully.
Organisation is the order of the day and separate files must be kept for each individual property along with every receipt and relevant scrap of information. Office space will be needed for the paperwork that will inevitably accumulate but it is quite possible to run such a business from home due to its purely clerical nature. A phone line and a computer will be the most frequently used equipment in the daily running of any property company.
The most important aspect of property management is being able to establish a reliable team of workmen who can make themselves available at short notice to rectify any problem that will arise. Reputable plumbers and electricians are worth their weight in gold and it helps to have several lined up in preparation for every eventuality. You will require skilled workers like roofers, double glazing repair men and gas engineers on a regular basis so it pays to establish a good working relationship with several in your area.
Once you have built up a good working relationship together you will appreciate their swiftness and reliability and they will be pleased of your prompt payment for work done. Of course you must check their credentials beforehand to see that they are qualified to do the work they say they can – this is vital in all aspects of gas and electrical repairs and installations.
Getting people to respond in a crisis is never easy so having a number of different workmen to contact is paramount. Leaks invariably get worse and water can cause as much damage as a fire if the problem is not addressed rapidly.
The other main hurdle to overcome in managing property successfully is tenant communication. If your tenant is not easy to contact then this will most certainly cause trouble with workmen not being able to gain access to the property and will cause a whole load of other problems too. You must have up to date contact numbers for all your tenants and you should make certain they will also be able to contact you at all times in the event of an emergency. Texting is an ideal way to do this wherever you are in the world so even if you are on a beach in the Bahamas you can still attend to that leak!
In the event of complete breakdown in communication with a tenant it is wise to have contact numbers of neighbours who can perhaps enlighten you and alert you to any serious problem.
In your file pertaining to each of the properties you manage, you must have all the details concerning the utility providers and other relevant information concerning phone and internet connections, insurance details and mortgage documents. Keep all guarantees of electrical and gas appliances and do not dispose of any paperwork such as receipts for work carried out that must be kept for tax purposes.
Regular inspections of the properties you manage at periodic intervals will help the property manager to gauge whether there is vital work that needs doing. However reliable the tenant, sometimes problems are not noticed or overlooked and if the property is not checked regularly, the expenditure in rectifying the situation will increase. Just one missing tile from a roof can cause major defects if neglected.
Tenants who often keep the house spick and span at the start of a tenancy often do not continue that way so it is wise to check every few months or so and do not leave anything to chance.
If you run your property management company along the same lines as you run your own household but on a grander scale, you will not go far wrong. Address problems swiftly, keep concise records and maintain a good working relationship with both tenants and workmen and your business will be more likely to be a success..