Archive for August, 2009
Sure managing properties means a flexible schedule, a constant change of scenery and a lot of face time with tenants, contractors and interested renters, but what about your presence elsewhere?
Online property management has become a key part of the success of many professional managers? businesses. It?s becoming essential to have a web presence these days, as both the rental market and property management services move more towards online accessibility and ease.
Here are a few ways to optimize your web presence and make your responsibilities as well as those of your tenants, a little easier.
Obviously if you don?t have one, start a website.
If you already have a website, make it more interactive. Add a blog or a forum as a way to connect with tenants and prospective renters. Join a social media site like Twitter or Facebook to make yourself more accessible, or offer online services like bill pay or maintenance forms.
Also, if you haven?t already, look into investing in property management software. Not only can it reduce the stacks of paper files on your desk, but it has a host of tools and options to make organizing and updating information quick and easy.
Finally, get involved in the community?the online community! There are dozens of forums, groups and blogs just for property managers. Exchange ideas, ask questions, even give advice?you never know when you might need a resource to help you with your business, or be one for someone else.
With these simple additions to your online presence, you can make your property management business stand out to tenants and prospective renters alike. Just be sure to follow through with what you started?a Twitter account won?t do you any good if you never check it, and neither will online software if you don?t use it.
Being a landlord or a property manager can be a very challenging job with an overwhelming workload. That is why some people turn to managing agents for help.
A managing agent is not the same thing as a property manager or a management company, instead of setting house rules, interviewing tenants, and handling evictions the managing agent is responsible for the more day to day activities.
You can expect your managing agent to inspect and maintain common areas, perform small maintenance tasks, organize and deal with garbage and recycling collections, administrative responsibilities, acting as a go between for tenants and managers or owners, and other small regular duties in and around your property.
In some situations, like new construction, a property manager is only needed for a short period. Other property owners like to have a property manager on hand at all times for those little things that take time but aren?t very complicated.
There are many managing agents in every region and you can find them online or in the yellow pages, but some landlords have found that hiring one of their best and most trusted tenants as a property manager is a win/win situation. Using a tenant as the property manager you know they have a vested interest as they live on the property too and they?re happy to get a discounted rent charge. But they may not be as biased as an outsider would which can complicate things in the future.
Being sued is obviously something you want to avoid, but suing someone is typically something you?d want to avoid as well. Rather than taking your conflicts to court it may behoove you to try mediation instead.
Mediation is typically a better solution that court because it?s faster, private, and inexpensive and tends to be fair to both parties. This is especially useful if the person who is suing or being sued is someone with whom you?re going to have continued relations in the future. Mediation tends to be a bit more gentle and can help preserve the relationship a bit.
One aspect of mediation that most people forget is the privacy issue. Court events are public record and can be researched by anyone, but mediation is kept confident, which is one way it may help preserve future relationships by protecting reputations.
You can find mediators through traditional routes such as the internet or phone book, or you can contact an attorney and see if they can recommend a mediator to handle your disputes. Remember that while typically being less expensive than a full blown trial, mediation still has a price tag attached so the first step in any dispute is to try to figure it out on your own first and if you can?t come to an agreement, then proceed through other channels.