What does an average day look like for your Merced property manager?
The truth is, there’s rarely an average day. Each day is pretty different, depending on who we have moving in, who we have moving out, where maintenance is needed, and which properties are vacant.
Property managers require a lot of energy. We could spend an entire day attending to a plumbing issue at a rental property or negotiating lease renewals. We could be working closely with investors to determine whether a new acquisition will bring in the desired rents.
There’s a lot that we do which is obvious (rent collection, lease enforcement, screening), and more behind the scenes (tenant relationships, accounting, legal compliance).
If you’re curious about what we’re doing to ensure your Merced investment property is profitable and successful, here’s a glimpse into some of the things that we spend our time doing.
Marketing Your Merced Rental Property
We do a lot of marketing, especially when there are vacant properties in need of well-qualified tenants. If you’re wondering about the day in the life of your property manager, you can expect that at least part of that day involves taking marketing photos of a vacant property, creating a listing, responding to tenant inquiries, and scheduling showings.
Here’s a deeper dive:
- We’ll assess properties and make sure it’s appealing to the best tenants. We might make some recommendations to owners around fresh paint or new flooring.
- We’ll establish a rental value by comparing your home to competing properties in the market.
- We’ll syndicate your listing across multiple rental platforms and list it on our own website.
A major part of our marketing process includes analyzing the progress we’re making. If there’s not a large response to the listing, we wonder if the price needs to be adjusted or if we need to boost its presence online. If there are plenty of showings but not a lot of applications, this might tell us that we need to continue making some updates or create some more impressive curb appeal.
Screening and Leasing Services for Owners and Investors
As interest is generated in your rental property, we’ll have to manage the applications that are coming in.
Part of our day will also involve tenant screening. We’ll be busy creating qualifying rental criteria, pre-screening tenants when they call to schedule a tenant, and working through the data we collect from our automated and objective screening process.
Our job is to verify all the information the applicant provides. We check credit and income, verify employment, and contact rental references. We have access to national eviction checklists and criminal background histories.
We continually evaluate our screening process to ensure it’s consistent, fair, and rigorous. We will approve or decline a tenant based on the information that’s gathered. If a tenant is approved, you can expect us to collect the move-in funds, schedule a move-in condition inspection, and execute the lease.
One of the most important things we can do is ensure all fair housing laws are followed, especially during the screening process.
Lease Enforcement and Rent Collection
Adding to your property manager’s daily tasks is lease enforcement. We’ll keep in touch with tenants, drive by properties, and when necessary, schedule inspections in an effort to ensure your property is in good condition and your tenants are performing as expected.
Regular property inspections will give you the peace of mind that your tenants are doing what they’re supposed to do and meeting all of your expectations and their obligations. If a tenant falls behind in rent or is discovered to be violating the lease in some other way, your property manager will handle everything, from communicating with tenants to serving the proper notices to following up.
We also collect rent every month. It seems like it should be pretty straightforward, but you never know if it’s going to go smoothly or if there are going to be tenants who pay late or don’t pay at all. We have an online portal and the software necessary to track rental payments as they come in. When rent is late, we’ll take the appropriate actions, which include reaching out to the tenant and serving the appropriate notices.
Financial Reports and Accounting Statements
Most of us don’t go into property management in order to be accountants, but you can expect your property management team to at least include a bookkeeper who manages the income and expenses, the financial statements, and the accounting reports.
We’ll spend a lot of time tracking the financial performance of your investment. We’re analyzing where money can be saved and we’re looking at potential ways to maximize what you’re earning.
We’re also constantly evaluating and upgrading our technology. When we can automate tasks such as rent collection and accounts payable, we can spend more time on tenant relationships and property improvements and less time on paperwork. Your property manager is always looking for ways to leverage technology for a better rental experience.
Maintaining and Protecting Your Investment
A lot of our time is spent on maintenance. Every day, there’s going to be a repair request coming in on one of the properties we manage. Sometimes, there’s an emergency.
Responding to routine and emergency maintenance issues will always be part of your property manager’s job description. We will handle tenant phone calls. We will develop fantastic relationships with excellent vendors and contractors who are licensed and insured. We are negotiating better rates, we’re scheduling work, and we’re looking for ways to improve your property so that your rental value goes up. Sometimes, we spend the day working to schedule pest control and landscaping services or preventative measures like HVAC services and roof inspections.
Just as we would never place an unqualified tenant in the home, we would also never send in the quickest and cheapest labor source to handle maintenance and repairs on an asset that needs to perform well. We’ll find the best qualified tenant and use the best qualified technicians. We understand the balance of cost and service, and we use our years of good judgment and experience to achieve that balance.
Protecting the condition of your home with preventative maintenance techniques and excellent tenant communication is essential to property management. We are always looking for ways to avoid deferred and unreported maintenance and emergency repairs.
Property Management Advice and Insight for Merced Investors
We also spend time talking to our owners and investors about the properties we’re currently managing and the properties they’re thinking about buying.
We advise on 1031 exchanges.
We talk about changing market trends.
We discuss rental values and where tenant demographics are moving.
Talking with owners about their investments is part of our day and it’s also part of our passion.
While hands-on management is an excellent reason to hire a property management company, one of the greatest benefits to working with a professional is that you get access to all the resources and tools and knowledge at our disposal. You can count on our experience and our industry connections to handle just about every problem you can imagine. Knowledge of the local market will help you price your property correctly and retain tenants. Vendor relationships will keep your costs down and ensure your emergencies are cared for right away. There’s a lot of advice and support that a professional property manager can offer, and we’re happy to partner with you in creating a profitable and pleasant investment experience.
Complying with California Landlord and Tenant Laws
Not a day goes by that we aren’t working with the legal requirements of renting out a property in California. This is a state with a lot of tenant protections. A day in the life of a Merced property manager will inevitably include one or more of the following:
- Rent control
- Just cause evictions
- Section 8 tenant rights
- Security deposit laws and issues
- Fair housing
- Emotional support animals.
To effectively rent out a property in Merced, understanding the law is essential. Legal mistakes are easy to make, and you’re counting on us to keep you compliant and informed. We do that by attending classes and conferences, following legislation, and looking at which way the court tends to be ruling in cases of landlord/tenant law.
Lawsuits can happen, and they’re usually due to mistakes that landlords didn’t realize they were making. Property managers know and implement current laws and stay educated on what might be coming down the legal pike.
This is a simple snapshot of what we do day to day. It’s obviously more complex and nuanced than this, but we hope we’ve given you an overview of the things we’re doing to ensure the leasing, management, and maintenance of your property is professional and proactive.
Interested in knowing how we’d work with your property specifically? Contact us for more information.
River Drive Properties provides effective and professional property management services in Merced and the surrounding areas including Fresno, Modesto, Tulare, and Turlock. We have extensive experience with both single-family homes and multifamily properties.