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10 Habits of Successful Property Managers

If you are lucky enough to be working as a property manager, you’re responsible for the well-being of your tenants and their property, as well as keeping the home owner happy. It can be a rewarding career, but like any job, it comes with responsibilities that can be overwhelming at times. So what does it take? Well, here’s my list of 10 habits found to be most beneficial working as a property manager.

10 Habits of Successful Property Managers

Knowing the correct procedures for handling tenant and property security deposits.

As a property manager, it’s important to know the correct procedures for handling tenant and property security deposits. You should be familiar with the law, how to properly handle disputes and what to do when there is damage.

  • Security Deposit: A security deposit is generally paid by a tenant at the beginning of their tenancy, which acts as insurance against damage or unpaid rent. The deposit can be returned at the end of a tenancy but must be returned within a certain amount of time depending on your state’s law (for example, 30 days).
  • Tenant Deposit: The tenant deposit is similar to a security deposit but differs because it covers unpaid rent due by tenants rather than damages caused by tenants during their stay. It also differs from an advance payment since it does not include any nonrefundable fees like cleaning deposits or pet fees that might apply at move-in time.

Have a process for screening tenants before accepting rent.

  • Don’t take rent from tenants without first having a clear understanding of how much money they make and what their job is. If you don’t ask these questions before collecting rent, you can be left with a tenant who doesn’t have enough income to pay their share of the monthly expenses.
  • Ask for proof of employment when screening tenants. This will help you figure out if they are reliable in paying their bills on time and if they’re responsible enough to be taken seriously as a tenant.
  • Find out if they have any rental history before renting your place to them again. This will give you an idea of what type of person they are as well as whether or not there were any problems during previous stays at different properties that may warrant further investigation before giving anyone permission access your home again (and potentially damaging those walls).

Ensuring that you are up to date on all laws pertaining to tenant laws and zoning in your area and following them.

  • Ensuring that you are up to date on all laws pertaining to tenant laws and zoning in your area and following them to the letter.
  • You should have a good understanding of all regulations related to property management and renting out your property. You need to know what it means when someone says “you need to file for a certificate of compliance” or “you can’t rent out this property until you get a permit.”
  • Make sure that any legal issues or problems do not go unnoticed by you because they could lead to fines if left unresolved.
Ensuring that you are up to date on all laws pertaining to tenant laws and zoning in your area and following them to the letter.

Allowing tenants to know what they should do and expect in the case of an emergency.

  • Fire: If there’s a fire, call 911 and then immediately let your tenants know.
  • Gas Leak: If you smell gas, get everyone out of the building immediately. Call the gas company from outside or at a neighbor’s house. You can also call 9-1-1.
  • Flooding: Be sure to check for flooding if you have weather-related issues such as rainstorms or hurricanes, but don’t wait until it happens—be proactive! Make sure your property has proper drainage systems in place so that it isn’t prone to flooding during heavy rains, especially when your basement is finished into living space (as many basements are).
  • Broken Window or Door: It’s important that your tenants know what to do if they need repair services immediately, like changing a blown fuse or fixing a broken window or door lock.
  • Medical Emergency: Your tenants should know how to contact an ambulance should someone in their household require medical attention onsite at home rather than being taken away in an ambulance (which could delay critical care treatment).
Allowing tenants to know what they should do and expect in the case of an emergency.

Constantly keeping up with maintenance, so that problems are fixed when they arise rather than waiting until they get worse.

  • Don’t wait until a problem gets worse.
  • Always be on top of maintenance, so that problems are fixed when they arise rather than waiting until they get worse.
Constantly keeping up with maintenance, so that problems are fixed when they arise rather than waiting until they get worse.

Keeping track of utility bills and the common areas of the property.

The property manager is responsible for the maintenance of common areas. This includes keeping the lawn mowed and trimmed, repairing broken windows and doors, replacing light bulbs, and cleaning gutters.

The property manager will also be responsible for billing tenants for utilities such as electricity, gas, water and trash removal. Utilities are usually included in rent but if not it’s important that you keep detailed records of when they are used so you can charge them accordingly. You should also make sure that your tenant has correct account information with their utility providers before moving into your rental properties so there aren’t any surprises when bills arrive at your doorstep!

Being upfront, fair, and honest with your tenants so they know what you expect in return.

Being upfront, fair and honest with your tenants so they know what you expect in return.

Being a good property manager involves being upfront and honest with your tenants. You should make it clear to them that they are expected to pay rent on time and be respectful of other residents in the building. In exchange, you will provide them with a safe place to live while they pay their rent on time (and humanely clean up after themselves).

At the same time, as a tenant yourself, this is what you can reasonably expect from your property manager:

  • The property will be kept up well by their staff or contractors. You shouldn’t have any problems with leaking roofs or broken appliances if these items aren’t properly maintained by staff or contractors hired by your landlord/property manager company.
Being upfront, fair, and honest with your tenants so they know what you expect in return.

Adhering to any rules or guidelines written into your lease agreements so there is no confusion about them later on if things don’t go as planned.

Make sure to adhere to any rules or guidelines written into your lease agreements so there is no confusion about them later on if things don’t go as planned. Your lease should be well-written, concise and clear. You should also have a lawyer review the document before sending it out to potential tenants. And make sure that you keep your lease up-to-date with current rules and regulations – this will help ensure that both you and your tenants are in compliance with all legal obligations.

Providing a receipt for all money you receive from your tenants, either by check or electronic payment, into an account that is separate from personal funds.

It’s important to keep all money received from your tenants, either by check or electronic payment, separate from personal funds. This can be done by setting up a separate bank account that only receives rental income. If the tenant pays you via an online payment processor like PayPal or Venmo, make sure that the account is also set up as a business account rather than a personal one. You’ll have less chance of making mistakes and losing track if it’s set up correctly right away!

Providing a receipt for all money you receive from your tenants, either by check or electronic payment, into an account that is separate from personal funds.

Documenting the condition of the property before each new tenant moves in, through photographs or video whenever possible; this will help avoid unnecessary disputes over damage done during occupancy by previous tenants who may have left without paying

Before each new tenant moves in, you should document the condition of your property through photographs or video. This will help avoid unnecessary disputes over damage done during occupancy by previous tenants who may have left without paying.

Take photos of all damage and cleanliness before the current tenant moves in. Take pictures of all appliances, rooms, fixtures, furniture and walls.

If you notice a problem after a tenant has moved in and damaged something (for example: a broken window), then take photos immediately.