Running a property and letting it out for short-term rentals can be incredibly rewarding, yet it can also be time-consuming if you don't know how to run it properly.
You may find you have other properties to run, personal commitments may arise, or tenants may face too many queries, and it could be hard to address them in time.
Because of this, getting a property management company to handle your lets is one of the best things to consider.
There are many benefits to working with a property management company, such as time and money saved and a less stressful experience managing a property. But, these are just a few benefits out of many that you can reap when teaming up with a property management company.
To know more about why you might need a property management company and how to look for one, keep on reading.
What is property management?
To break it down, property management involves overseeing and managing real estate under the commercial, residential and industrial categories. Most of the time, property management happens by a third-party company that looks after the real estate. Typically, property managers work solely to help maximise each property's investment by dealing with the daily operations of apartments, private homes, condominium complexes, shopping centres and parks. Their goal is to help generate additional income and maintain their income. Some of the typical roles of a property manager involve the following:
● Make sure the property runs well
● Help organise, supervise and coordinate maintenance and repairs
● Undergo cleaning work or arrange it to happen
● Deal with tenant concerns and complaints
● Help with advertising
● Help with leasing vacant lots
● Collect and deposit rent
● Regularly communicating with the property owner about the property
● Addressing any issues, there may be about the property
● Helping with viewings
● Arranging legal certificates and inspections
● Helping with accounts and taxes
Not all property management companies offer the same services; however, they generally have basic features. When they have additional services or extras, they tend to have pricing plans to suit them.
Why do you need a property management company?
Property management companies can be highly beneficial for property owners; they can help with the following:
They can help you promote your property on different booking portals, social media advertisements, Google ads, newspaper ads, radio stations and more. Their knowledge of advertising, network and experience in marketing can help attract the right type of corporate customers.
Property managers save you a lot of time by dealing with enquiries about potential bookings, existing bookings and general information about your property. Similarly, they can also handle your social media profiles allowing you to maintain a strong online presence and securing potential bookings.
Greater tenant screenings
A property manager saves you the hassle of relying on first impressions by conducting sufficient property screenings. Often they undergo credit checks and review references to ensure you get the right type of people into your property.
Property managers help get you, tenants, in your accommodation as quickly as possible. Moreover, these companies are experienced with checking out tenants once their time is up. This means they can leave your property in excellent condition and quickly brought back up to standard if needed.
A good PMC also helps with the marketing of your property, as they know how to write ads during their career, what to say, and how to get affordable rates for both online and offline ads. They also know how to sell, as they regularly take tenants on showings with agencies and home rental companies.
Property managers can help you gain more money by providing invaluable advice on the market. They can let you know your property's existing value and provide advice on how to gain more money from your rental income. For instance, they may suggest what areas to decorate, repair, etc. They can even arrange plumbers, electricians, tradespeople and more to do this for your property.
What are the different types?
When it comes to property management, there are different types. All of them vary based on their benefits and payments. The main types of property management based on payment are the following:
Percentage of rent
Many property management companies take a percentage of your monthly rent. This is most often the case when you find high street property rentals. The percentage rate varies based on your property type and the service level they offer. For instance, they charge different amounts to find a tenant than fully managed properties. When asking for a quotation from a property management company, you should always check if VAT is included in the percentage or added on top.
Another type of property management is when they operate at a fixed fee cost. Usually, the property management company dictates it outright each month and is not related to the rental amount. If you own a property with high rent, this might be cost effective as you'll have more money left over.
Rent to Rent
This is when the property company has entire control over your property. When this happens, the company will hire out your property, pay your full rent, and then sublet it for a higher price. Any price difference they use to manage your property. Compared to other property types, this option is best suited for landlords who don't want any involvement in running their property. Often when they receive their rent in this type, it tends to be lower than the market price.
What should you look for when choosing a company?
When looking to choose a property management company, you should consider the following:
Before deciding which property management company to pick, you must look at your own time first. When managing your property, you'll want to see how much time is being used up and decide what time you want free. You should consider your lifestyle, i.e. are you retired, a student or have other work commitments? Based on this, you can decide how much time you can have to maintain your property and the type of service that is required.
Before considering a property management company, you must consider how much you can afford to pay them. To have a better idea, you might want to list all the services you need for your property and then compare the prices. Similarly, look at your time and see if you can save money doing it yourself.
Amount of service
When looking at hiring a company to manage your rental property, you should think about what are the hardest tasks. Once you look at the services and see which is the most difficult, make a list. This will give you an idea of what type of services might be needed and the level of service involved. You should also consider your existing contacts before choosing the level of service.
For instance, if you know local plumbs, electricians, maintenance people, or you're good with DIY, then you might want to do it yourself. Because of this, you might save a bit of money and want a service which takes less time. Once you know what services you need, you can look at the different payment options and compare them to other property management companies to make a decision.
It's also important to think about how much control you have over your property and tenancy when selecting the company. For example, if you want a bit of control over the maintenance, rent etc., then you should not look for a rent to rent option. To better understand the type of involvement, always read the terms and conditions first to see what decisions can be made.
While you can do many things to help make the right decision in choosing a property management company. One of the best things to do is to find out about the company's reputation from the customer's perspective. You should look at reviews on Google and Review Centre when doing this. Here you'll be able to find information from tenants and landlords providing a rating for their experience to help you decide what the best business is for you.
What are the disadvantages of a property management company?
Just like many things, there are certain cons associated with property management; they are:
One of the major downsides of using a property management company is cost. While property managers can be beneficial for your business, they can be expensive too. Depending on the company, the charge percentage rates can be quite expensive. Sometimes they even add a lease fee on top of their management fee, which is more costlier. This fee helps with marketing your home with photos, videos and listings. Sometimes they may charge maintenance fees.
Similarly, if you choose services like rent to rent, you may earn less money than you would do renting your property. Property managers' true value is based on your budget and monthly rent cost.
Lack of involvement
Depending on the type of property management company, you might not find you have much involvement in running your property. Some property management companies may have a hands-off approach, leaving you out in many decisions. They might not inform you about minor issues like maintenance problems or issues with tenants. This is because they're equipped to deal with such issues and learn not to communicate with them. On the contrary, if you're someone who's more of a micromanager and likes to be updated all the time, then hiring a company may be difficult for you and self-managing may be better.
How to pick a property management company?
When picking the right property management company for your let, you must consider your property type and lifestyle.
When looking for a Property Management Company (PMC), you may be presented with several options. These companies make themselves distinct by sticking to a specific brand identity amongst their property portfolio. Unlike hotels, where owners can showcase their brand identity through logos, colours and booklets, it's different for PMCs. Only PMCs can showcase their branding through consistent values and customer service.
Therefore if you're looking for a PMC to manage your let, you must conduct thorough checks and review their portfolio to see if their brand identity and consistency of properties align with yours. Before hiring, you must ask relevant questions and research to understand their USPs. If their USPs match your PMC, you'll likely have a greater chance of securing bookings for your property from your target market.
Typically, Property Management Companies have their own USPs, brand identities, and more to look out for; they are the following:
These types of PMCs place a strong focus on reviewing energy and water management for your property. They're always looking at ways to become greener in gas and electric, saving you money. Many of these PMCs help you meet the standards for certain sustainable accreditations by ensuring your energy is renewably sourced, and requirements are reported. They can help with recycling, rainwater harvesting, reduced paper consumption and coming up with ways to help reduce the carbon footprint for both them and you as a property owner. Some examples of sustainable PMCs are ALTIDO, Bampton and more.
If you have a high-end property that's either an aparthotel, hotel or serviced apartment, you may want a luxury PMC. These companies often hire fully vetted professionals to work in your accommodation, from cleaners, chefs, receptionists and more. These PMCs tend to provide round the clock assistance and top-tier security services. Alongside this, they use top-tier technology to help with your monthly expenditure and account reporting. Most of the time, luxury PMCs provide bespoke and customised services for their guests. Some notable luxury PMCs in the U.K are Vertus and OneFineStay.
Corporate PMCs are focused on helping you land more corporate bookings. The services of these PMCs are also personalised and help with your cleaning, property tunning errands like bills and locating reliable contractors. They also look to reduce your operating costs and find ways to advertise our brand to the corporate sector. Some examples of corporate-focused PMCs are Vertus and HybridResi-Screens provided.
This PMC helps co-living spaces, a form of communal living where people work and live in the same space. They tend to share ideas together, and network and typically are found in urban markets and are great for short term flexible lets.
PMCs who run colivings tend to help arrange contacts with tenants, arrange viewings, report maintenance issues, find repairments for maintenance, help with applications and payments, sign digital agreements, send community announcements, access buildings and help maximise your profitability. They also help plan and budget for lifestyle events within the coliving space. Some examples of PMCs that specialise in the co-living niche are Mason & Fifth and the Quarters by BRAVO.
Duty of Care
If you're looking for PMCs to cover a duty of care, then there are companies like our partners and accredited companies, such as Week2Week, Hurford Salvi Carr, UTD, Flying Butler and Host&Stay, that can do this. They tend to cover the necessary tasks such as administration, maintenance, marketing, collecting rent, covering taxes, reviewing overheads and complying with laws. However, check with the PMC first, as some offer more services than others.
There are PMCs that specialise more in helping rentals that are situated in urban environments, especially busy neighborhoods. They tend to help with apartments, condominiums, penthouses and more in big cities. Often urban PMCs tend to focus on maximising income, helping control expenses, enhancing property value, dealing with contracts and tenants and develop long term relationships with tenants. Some well-known urban PMCs are Veeve, Town & Country and GuestReady.
If your property is situated in a rural area, then you may want a PMC that specialises in this. These PMCs have specialist knowledge and skills to help manage agricultural and residential properties in rural areas. They also help with dealing with commercial tenants, tenancies, serving notices, reviewing rent, changing tenancies, and helping with re-lets. Some PMCs in this niche to check out our Host & Stay, Skyes Cottages, Travel Chapter and QF living Ltd.
Overall, property management can help save you valuable time and money if you let your property out for those in business or leisure. Simply creating a checklist of what you require will help narrow down your search and find the company best for you. Generally, property managers will help with your advertising, viewings, maintenance issues, repairs, marketing, accounts and taxes.
You might want to search for property managers based on your niche i.e if you own a coliving, apartment, property in a rural or urban area, a property tailored towards corporate customers and more. Once you've found the right company, you could gain a greater reputation, more tenant screenings, faster bookings and more; the benefits are truly endless. If you're unsure what type of property management company would suit you best, contact us today, and we can help connect you to one of our partners.
Gain access to bookings from corporate and government professionals, outside of the typical holiday seasonality.
Quality short term home rentals for government staff, key workers & professionals.
All property partners are independently accredited by the Short Term Accommodation Association.
Safe, clean and secure accommodation for employees during work trips and relocations.
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