There are TWO TYPES OF PROPERTY MANAGERS
Which do you need?
Property Manager roles differ vastly, depending on the type of licensing. Make sure to search for and hire the right type of property manager! Sometimes one person may say they can perform both functions... but there could be conflicts of interest in those cases. Do your research on which type of expertise and licensing you want to have working for you.
Property Manager (CAM License):
Deals with associations and their Board of Directors. They handle buildings, complexes, budgets and attend monthly association meetings. This type of property manager is VERY DIFFERENT from residential property managers (below).
Property Manager (FL real estate license):
Deals with rental/investment property (buying, selling, renting, managing) including filling vacancies, tenant screening, issues, maintenance, bookkeeping, year-end tax statements and 1099s, evictions etc.
However, be careful... many real estate agents will call themselves 'property managers' but are without any experience. Unless they have worked for a property management company, have taken classes, and have years of experience managing lots of different types of property and tenants... they won't be equipped to manage your property successfully.
Residential property managers in Florida
must be a currently licensed real estate agent.
There is no "property manager license" for Florida. Instead, because managing rentals involves real estate transactions, commissions and handling aspects of residential properties, leases and FS Landlord/Tenant Act legalities... residential property managers (also referred to as residential rental agents) must hold a current Florida real estate license.
Does a license make a good Property Manager?
Just because someone has a license, it does NOT make them knowledgeable, experienced or competent! Most real estate agents haven't had enough experience with rentals to manage them. They may be able to find tenants, and prepare a common Florida lease. But what happens when your tenant subleases? Stops paying rent? Moves in more people not named on the lease? Brings a bunch of big scary looking (unauthorized) dogs? What happens when your tenant moves out early? Will they know how to deal with Florida landlord/tenant law in relation to these curable versus non-curable lease infractions? What will an inexperienced manager do when it's January and they have to issue you a 1099, by law?
Do they have the network of tried and true professionals to call upon to fix AC issues, plumbing issues... and negotiate the best possible pricing?
Do they know the laws? Will they advise you on how to hold security deposits or have the accounts set up to hold it correctly for you? Do they have the legal knowledge necessary to provide all applicable and required addenda and legal notices?
Are they charging a hidden fee on top of all of YOUR repair bills?? Most are!! (we don't!)
EXPERIENCE: Managers will have years of experience in the field, and have managed hundreds of rental properties. This means they have a broad base of experience - no two tenancies are alike. No two problems are the same.
With experience comes the ability to know how best to solve problems. They'll provide the best tenant screening and risk assessments... will know how to market your rental property to the highest quality tenants, and so much more!
ASK QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU
HIRE A PROPERTY MANAGER!
Most real estate agents, unless they have been in rental management for a long time... will not have the understanding and experience to provide you with the service you need. Florida's Landlord / Tenant Law is long, complicated at times, and NOT black & white like you might think! Experienced managers have been through more ups and downs, have learned how to navigate around potential pitfalls and problems, and will know how to maximize your investment (instead of bleeding it dry).
KNOWLEDGE: good managers MUST HAVE a solid understanding of Florida's Landlord/Tenant laws and associated case law. They will know the legal aspects of potential courses of action when solving tenancy issues. They will have been through the eviction process multiple times, from multiple situations, and will know how the system works, the costs involved, and how to avoid getting to that point if possible. They will know how to help you achieve your highest Return on Investment. They will treat your rental investment as if it were their own.
INFRASTRUCTURE: managers will have specialized attorneys, handymen, licensed professionals, bookkeepers all available to draw upon. Through experience and knowledge, your manager will have set up the infrastructure needed to provide you with the best service possible. Added bonuses: do they offer direct deposits (electronic deposits of rental income for faster, more reliable receipt), an online portal giving you 24 access to your account?? Ask for what they can offer you!
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