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Benefits of Using a Property Manager
Q&A with CJ Wells
By Jeff Cornelius - March 15, 2021
For this month's blog, we spent some time with Invalesco's property management expert CJ Wells. In our Q&A, we discuss the benefits of working with a property manager to manage an investment property and some things to keep in mind if you decide to use one. If you have questions for CJ after reading the blog, you can reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How did you get into property management?
CJ: I grew up in southern California touring properties with my parents. This is how I spent many summer weekends. Since then, I’ve accumulated 10 years of experience investing and managing my own rentals. Today, I provide services as a Property Manager to my clients so they are free to do other lifestyle activities and maybe add to their portfolio.
What is it about property management that you’re most passionate about?
CJ: I enjoy managing this asset class that provides steady passive income to my clients. In addition to acting as their property manager maximizing revenue, I am also their professional property advisor and can help grow their portfolio, if that’s what they want. I really love working with people, so the ability to work directly with my clients and tenants is very rewarding.
What are the Top 3 things a good Property Manager offers the property owner?
CJ: Care, convenience, and peace of mind. Care for our client’s tenants, who are their “customers.” Convenience by using technology to standardize management of our client’s properties. And, peace of mind by knowing they have someone constantly looking after their property and tenants, allowing them to spend that time doing other things.
What questions should an owner ask a prospective Property Manager before hiring them?
CJ: How do you maximize my property’s income and value? How do you stay on top of and control costs? Why do you manage properties?
As a Property Manger, how do you handle the fiduciary responsibility you have to owner, along with the caretaking responsibility you have to the tenants?
CJ: As a Landlord and investor myself, I am very serious about collecting, reporting, and prudently managing the revenue and expenses from my clients’ properties. Part of that responsibility though, is also making sure any tenant issues are handling professionally, promptly, and with a human touch. Happy tenants make for long-term tenants, a well-cared-for, and ultimately, more valuable property.
How is technology changing the relationship between building owner, property manager and the tenants? Do most tenants still mail checks, or is that all automated?
CJ: No paper. We use software tools to find, on-board, care for, and retain high-value tenants. Technology tools enable us to digitally find and vet tenants, all the way through to move in. Desktops, tablets, Smartphones, and the specific property management apps in our office make it possible to plan and take care of logistical and organizational issues. This ensures consistent occupancy. Moreover, the technology enables us to easily scale the care and management of a client’s growing portfolio of properties. Regarding the forms of tenant payments, tenants pay via their payment portal.
When should an investor use a Property Manger vs. managing their properties themselves?
CJ: I would say if a real estate investor is looking for more time, freedom or properties to own, that’s the time to consider a property manager. A good property manager will free up valuable time actively managing properties so the investor can look for more properties, or simply do other things. The freedom a property manager offers is also a huge incentive. A lot of my clients like to travel and having a property manager in place to deal with tenants or building issues as they happen, gives them the freedom to travel and do other things without worrying they are neglecting their tenants and investments.
What are some things you do, or tools you use, to increase the efficiency of what you do?
CJ: I nurture long-term client relationships and work with clients as an advisor to get the most out of their assets. This means I use my extensive local knowledge to skillfully anticipate market fluctuations of rental rates and the capital growth of client’s properties. By caring for my client’s tenants and properties I help them achieve their real estate goals. Regarding business efficiency, I love the many tech tools that help me provide a paperless office and organize owner and tenant information in the cloud. This includes providing payment portals for tenants, cell phone tracking apps for maintenance people, and database storage and backup of each properties information. And with all software tools, I schedule and invest in on-going training and development of my skills.
What else should owners think about when hiring a Property Manager?
CJ: I think the biggest thing for investors to think about is the value of their time and freedom from worry. How much is that worth to them? By working with a good property manager, a lot of investors are able to grow their portfolios, income and wealth faster, and to a larger degree, than if they were trying to manage tenants along with their other day-to-day business and personal obligations.