I get asked this question relatively often, there seems to be some confusion on what exactly a property manager does for a property owner. And this confusion is understandable; Different property management firms offer various levels of service. In general, though, a property management firm provides comprehensive oversight and execution of the day to day operations of a rental property.
A Property Management Firm handles nearly every aspect of day to day rental property operation, including:
The basic duties of a property management firm are listed above; The actual execution of these duties vary as well between firms. The breakdown of job responsibilities among staff members can vary from company to company. There are 2 primary property management firm structures: Portfolio and Compartmental.
The Portfolio Model assigns 1 person all responsibilities for each property. This person maintains a "portfolio" of properties for which they are fully responsible.
The benefits of this arrangement are:
The downside of this arrangement are quite evident:
For answers to more questions, please visit Sagareus Property Management Services featuring Property Owner FAQs.
The Compartmental Model assigns specific duties to various team members, applying a team approach to property management. Most professional firms will utilize this model to ensure all properties are covered at all times. The benefits of this approach are:
The downside of this approach are:
My opinion is a well organized company utilizing the compartmental model is the best option. If you are shopping for a PM Firm, I’d recommend looking for a firm that fosters teamwork through this model WITH a dedicated account manager who is the point person for property owner AND has the authority to override any other team member when time is of the essence.
Sagareus has created a hybrid of the 2 models above in effort to gain the best of both models while minimizing the downside of each. We assign a primary point person to every owner who is ultimately responsible for overseeing property, the team, and has the authority to override any other team member when time is of the essence.
Below are our team roles and associated responsibilities.
Individual Advisors are assigned to individual owners and their properties. The Advisor's primary responsibility is overseeing Asset Performance and Owner Relations:
The Resident Coordinator is assigned to all Resident Relations from Application to Move Out. The Resident Coordinator primary responsibility is Customer Service and enforcing lease terms:
The Controller is assigned all accounting functions, including Resident Lease ledgers, property ledgers, vendor payments, Owner Reporting and Distributions:
The Accountant is assigned largely bookkeeping, bill pay, and account management:
All of the items listed above list the physical duties of a property management firm. The function of a property manager or property management firm is to execute a systematic operation to ensure quality customer service, regular preventative maintenance, regular rent increases, and regular cost reduction measures. All of this is done to protect the physical property and create an efficiently run asset.
Property Management companies all have different structures but they share the same objective - Maximize the asset's value for re-sale or trade up.