5 Tips for Property Management Success
By: Marco Vartanian, President and Owner, Sullivan Property Management
Apartment property management is getting more complex. It seems almost daily, there are new laws, regulations and rules to contend with. While the pace of change can be overwhelming, the following are 5 simple techniques to help ensure successful property operations.
- Stay Organized
As an apartment owner, make sure you’re managing your investment like the “business” that it is. First and foremost, maintain pristine property records that are routinely updated, organized and securely stored for future access. On the tenant front, create and save individual files that include all leases, rental payment ledgers, rent increase notices and lease expirations. It’s also important to create and save a written log of all tenant communications over phone, email and text messaging.
- Know Laws & Key Dates
California landlords must stay abreast of a dizzying array of laws and regulations at the federal, state and local levels. To keep pace, it is recommended that owners routinely educate themselves on basic landlord-tenant laws and fair housing guidelines. The AAGLA provides a great service to its members in this area, including best practices for maintaining compliance. Additionally, it’s advisable that an owner create a trusted relationship with a lawyer before any legal issues arise. By hiring a qualified legal professional, an owner can rest easier knowing that potentially complicated legal liabilities can be quickly resolved.
- Embrace Technology
Technology tools for apartment owners have greatly improved over the past several years. Online payment, screening, advertising, maintenance, resident communication and document storage now allow real-time owner visibility into property operations. These tools also allow tenants to easily engage with owners and create a more streamlined resident experience. There are several full-suite property management software providers including Buildium, AppFolio Property Manager and Yardi Breeze.
- Proactive Maintenance & Inspections
Keeping tenants happy and containing maintenance costs are both key ingredients of successful property management. For starters, performance of regular property maintenance and interior inspections insure that property and resident needs are addressed quickly and satisfactorily. Focus areas should include roofs and gutters, common area landscaping and lighting, interior smoke detectors, HVAC and plumbing systems. A basic maintenance and interior inspection checklist is also invaluable for documenting findings and follow-up items.
- Hire A Professional
If you love owning rental property but dislike dealing with the complex nuances of property management, an owner should hire a professional.
Property managers come in all shapes and sizes, from single individuals (usually real estate agents) who also handle rentals to full-service companies that exclusively specialize in property management. A good property manager will act as an outsourced “partner” that ensures property operations match an owner’s wants and long-term property goals. A selected manager should handle advertising and lease administration, resident screening, move-in and move-out inspections, rent collections, maintenance and preparation of monthly/year-end accounting. In a nutshell, a great property manager should make the entire process of apartment ownership transparent, effortless and profitable.
As one of Southern California’s longest standing property management firms, Sullivan Property Management has been providing peace of mind for apartment owners since 1976. Always a call away, we welcome the opportunity to help members of the AAGLA maximize their property investments.
Marco Vartanian’s life obsession is residential real estate. As a SoCal native, his youth was spent tailing his parents around their income properties in the Los Angeles area. After graduation from USC, Marco began acquiring rental property across SoCal and has never looked back.
In addition to apartment investing, Marco is also recognized as an operational pioneer in the formation of the single family home rental industry. As Executive Vice President of Property Management at Invitation Homes from 2012-2018, Marco was instrumental in the company’s rapid growth from 2,000 rental homes to over 82,000 rental homes nationwide.
Today, Marco’s singular focus is assisting everyday property owners manage, lease and maintain their rental investments across Southern California.
Marco holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. He is guest lecturer at the UC Irvine Center for Real Estate and in 2016 received their Rising Star Award.
Sullivan Property Management
2101 E. 4th Street, Suite 200A
Santa Ana, CA. 92705