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 Property Management
Continued from page 51
manager has a breadth of knowledge on many real estate matters, and could possibly help you to choose real estate investments, preparing leasing terms and conditions, conformity with health, safety and building codes, compliance with rent control ordinances and policies and daily administrative processes including budgeting, accounting and compliance.
An onsite manager can take courses and educate themselves, but they usually are trained in the specific tasks of day-to-day onsite operations of a building and although there will be plenty of different applicants for the position who will have various certifications (Fair Housing Certification is mandatory by the way) you have to keep in mind that managing a property is not just for anyone. An on-site manager must be flexible, patient, meticulous, proactive and have a helpful attitude to manage a property well. Strong communication, organizational and marketing skills is also a must. In addition to that, having basic knowledge of how to advertise. Some owners may require basic knowledge of plumbing, for instance how to turn off water when there is flooding or how to use a tool to unclog a garbage disposal. You have probably as an owner built a strong network of trade contacts but if you have not then you probably need to hire a property management company instead of an on-site manager, or hire a property management company that will provide the on-site manager as their employee, not yours.
Although having an onsite manager or property manager means you no longer have to deal with all
the day-to-day responsibilities of owning a property, checking on your property manager and/or onsite manager once in a while would be prudent for you to do. Even driving by your property would help a great deal for you to find out how your property is doing and if it is being managed well. Doing spot checks with your company and manager is also another proactive thing that you can do to ensure your property is in good hands and lets people know you are keeping an eye on your investment.
Good communication between your manager and your tenants is crucial in retaining your tenants. Also lack of good maintenance is the Number One cause of residents moving. If you do not have the time to keep up with the ever changing laws, the current rent control, Fair Housing and so on which are critical to owning a rental property successfully, you will need to hire a property management company who in turn will hire the onsite manager for you based on the needs of your property. This takes a huge burden off you as the owner and puts the responsibility onto the management company. And, most importantly, hire someone trustworthy who can be your eyes and ears at your property. These characteristics are a good start to making sure that your property is in good hands.
 Kari Negri is the Chief Executive Officer of Sky Property Management and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles. For questions, you can reach Kari at Kari@SKYprop.LA.
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