Property Management: “How Much Do You Know?”

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Sue Carrell & Associates DRE#01386664 MLS#B319655


Property Management: “How Much Do You Know?” 

Many real estate agents today are taking on property management services in hopes of augmenting their sales income during these challenging years of real estate sales. I switched from Sales to Property Management myself in 2007 after spending 6 months shadowing a veteran in the field of single-family residential property management. Little did I know then what I know now about the steep learning curve.

Take a look at these questions. If you feel you can answer even half of them with confidence, than you may be ready to take this crazy business on. If not, give the lead to a professional and collect a referral fee. You will be saving yourself a “heap” of aggravation and liability.

What is even more important! Consider the referral a “safe haven” for your client during this difficult buyer’s market. I am a property management agent; I don’t compete for your sales business. I take care of your client. When the client wants to put the property back on the market, I will be the first to know, and YOU will be the next to know. Think about it.

1.       What is the maximum amount of security deposit you can take for a furnished home? A vacant one?

2.       When does it make sense to post a Three Day Notice? What do you do on the 4th day when rent has not been paid?

3.       Can you take a non-refundable deposit for a tenant who has been approved and accepted a rental placement?

4.       What do you do if a tenant changes their mind a week before their move in?

5.       What is the expectation for “habitability” requirements when you are assessing the condition of a property for rental?

6.       How does the Civil Code distinguish between “habitability” and maintenance issues?

7.       How do you advise the owner about his insurance requirements?

8.       What do you do if the tenant has a caretaker “living” on the premises?

9.       How many days can a non-tenant stay on the premises before it becomes a lease violation?

10.   What do you do if the tenants you are screening have a 17 year old who will turn 18 in a few months?

11.   How do you screen for roommates to ensure that the owner will not be at risk?

12.   What are the two most important criteria that need to be documented when screening tenant?

13.   What do you do if a tenant prospect does not have an SS card but has lived in the country for over 10 years, has a family and a stable job that qualifies?

14.   What is the difference between a rental agreement and a lease?

15.   What if the “owner” has a life estate possession of the property?

16.   What if the tenant leaves the property in the middle of the lease? What recourse do you have?

17.   What are the two most important things you have to do for your owner when managing a property?

18.   When is the tenant responsible for clearing clogged drains and disposals?

19.   Who is responsible for chimney/fireplace safety and cleared rain gutters?

20.   How do you handle the tenancy when the owner decides to put the house on the market?












Comments (5)

Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Well said!  You definitely need to join the Property Management Group and post this there!

Property Management is a unique service.  We have been offering it for 10 years and our knowledge in that time is invaluable preparing us for today!

All the best, Michelle

Nov 22, 2011 02:57 AM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Sue - Come on over to the property management group - we'd love to have your knowledge and insight.

Nov 22, 2011 04:35 AM
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Sue - Ok, I failed!  I couldn't answer half of them (almost though).  However, I am intrigued by property management.  I am currently preparing to transition into real estate sales after nine years in the mortgage biz.  I will be focusing on buyers for at least the first year (referring out any listing leads I get) and I will also be working with renters.  Our rental market here in Los Angeles & Ventura counties is probably hotter than our real estate market. 

I will be working with a seasoned Realtor (who's actually a broker) as my mentor and I have a business plan with established goals that she has indicated is a good plan with some great goals.  Whether or not I will eventually transition into property management remains to be seen but, like I said, it interests me and I definitely want to learn as much as I can about it.

Nov 22, 2011 05:18 AM
Sue Carrell
Sue Carrell & Associates - Santa Rosa, CA
Santa Rosa Property Manager

Thanks for responding to my blog. I will definitely join the PM group. In fact, I thought I had! Sue

Nov 23, 2011 04:48 AM
Sue Carrell
Sue Carrell & Associates - Santa Rosa, CA
Santa Rosa Property Manager

I am having trouble finding the property management group(s). What are they listed under in the Groups section?

Nov 23, 2011 07:25 AM