Know your roles as a property manager

Are you thinking of hiring a property manager in Kenya? Or maybe you are juggling property management as a career of interest but you are not sure of the responsibilities and skills you need to have? As a property owner, knowing the responsibilities of your property manager can maximize your profits on property investment. 

A property manager  has 4 areas of responsibilities to make sure that the business runs smoothly:

    1. Administration
    2. Tenancy
    3. Marketing and finance
    4. Facilities

Note that responsibilities differ depending on the type of property they are managing, the monthly payment and the terms of the management agreement. These responsibilities are further discussed in the following tasks 

1. Rent collection

As a property manager, your primary task is to collect rent from the tenants on time. Rental income is the life force in the landlord’s business hence; need for the right measures to make sure the needed amount of money is collected every month. In support of these, you will be required to set rent level, increase or adjust the rent level when it is necessary and come up with a strategy of collecting rent from the tenants.

Note that a property manager has the power to increase or decrease the rental payment each year depending on the market and the location of the property. This is to make sure that the properties have the highest value in the market and keep up with the latest trends in the market. Good communication skills will be needed to handle the tenants that have issues with rental increase. 

2. Tenant management

Checking on all the tenants and making sure they are comfortable is one of the ways to have short vacancy cycles and long tenancy is also a way of attracting new tenants. A  property manager should be well skilled in:

  1. Attracting new tenants

It is the responsibility of a property manager to make sure all property vacancies are filled. Using technology to keep up with the new trends attracting tenants is one of the most common ways to attract tenants. Maintenance and full satisfaction of the current tenants is key to getting new and long lease contracts as mentioned above.

  1. screening potential tenants

A professional property manager should have the knowledge to deal with different customers and research the applicant’s credit records, criminal records, tenancy history and any necessary report. This will make sure there are no cases of tenant turnover. 

  1. Leases

A property manager has the responsibility to protect the owner from making losses by creating suitable lease agreements. The manager should make sure that the lease contract is attractive to the potential tenants and profitable to the business. Setting the required security deposit also falls under this category.

  1. Handling complaints

Tenants’ complaints will always be the responsibility of a property manager. He is also responsible for tenants’ requests and emergencies. This is the reason why a property manager should be always available and within the property.

  1. Dealing with move-outs and evictions

When the lease contract is over, the property manager is responsible for checking for any damages hence determining the amount of security deposit to be returned to the tenant. Also, it is the responsibility of a property manager to issue a letter of eviction to tenants who breached the lease agreement. He has the right knowledge to know when an eviction letter is necessary.

3.  Property maintenance

This includes keeping the property in good condition and making sure it is safe for tenancy by running regular inspections, troubleshooting, and doing repairs. Regular servicing of the property prevents major repairs that drain a lot of money. It is advised to have a specific trusted contractor who will be doing repairs and renovations so that in case of any major issue the contractors can help you deal with the situation with much ease, having mastered the property.

The manager should further make sure there are minimal interruptions on the daily operations on the property during repairs. This could be enhanced by scheduling a specific time that the repairs should be done.

4. Finance report and management

Finance management entails coming up with financial objectives which should be achieved through rental collection, paying bills, preparing budgets, scheduling expenditures, analyzing variances and initiating corrective action. A manager should always operate within a certain limit of finance except for special or emergency cases where he will be required to judge and take actions without concern for the budget.

Besides, a property manager should keep safe records of the property’s income and expenditure. This makes it easier to track money flow and make annual budgets. The records should entail:

  • Insurance costs

  • Inspection cost

  • Records of repairs and cost

  • Maintenance cost

  • Records of rent collection

5. Employee Supervision

Apart from dealing with tenants and landlords, the manager should make sure that work is being done correctly in case there are other employees in the property. The manager can further set salaries and also fire the workers when necessary. 

The manager can also perform background checks and conduct interviews in a landlords absence. He can also act as a link between the employees and the property owner where he gets information or complains from the employees and then he communicates to the boss later.

6. Risk management

Risk management is taking the necessary actions to protect against liabilities.  For example, regular inspection can be termed as property management since it will be preventing future substantial physical damage. Risk management also includes changing influence for possible risk to another party.  To be good at risk management, the manager should have enough knowledge to handle payment receipts, annual budgets, pay monthly expenses, manage funds and contact the contractors when needed.

 Being a property manager is sensitive since you will be dealing with money and tenants on behalf of the landlord as shown above. This means that your daily goal is to keep the tenants and the landlord satisfied and happy.