Often, people consider starting a property management firm because it doesn’t require extensive training, education or experience as other types of companies do. Also, a property management company doesn’t require a lot of start-up capital. Another benefit is that you can take advantage of a wide variety of apps that can make this job easier than ever. If you’re thinking about setting up a property management firm, here is what you need to have and do to get started.
Before you can go into business, you’ll need to have some basic equipment.
- Get a business phone number and fax system. You could also use your mobile phone. Consider that several online services offer paperless faxing for a very affordable price.
- Besides a computer, you’ll need to have a copier and scanner. Most modern fax systems include copiers and scanners. Again, you could also use your mobile phone as several online services offer scanning and cloud storage.
- Set up an email account for your business.
- Print business cards.
- Open a business bank account that’s separate from your personal one.
Just as starting any type of business, you’ll need to use effective advertising. This can entail:
- Setting up a professional website that describes your services
- Using the newspaper yellow pages to generate business
- Networking with real estate agents who know of landlords looking for property managers
Popular Apps and Services
Because today’s property managers are becoming more mobile, there are several excellent apps available that help landlords collect rent and keep track of expenses and tenants. As everything is cloud-synced, all your laptop and mobile devices can access the latest data while working from anywhere. Many of these apps are free. A few of the most popular ones are those, such as:
- Buildium is a Web-based property management solution that enables managers of residential and association properties to take complete control of every aspect of their business, including the rent, vacancy and maintenance cycles. Try Buildium Free For 15 Days
- Camscanner –
- Community Buying Group will help you save money on materials — Save at more than 20 nationwide suppliers, including Lowe’s Home Improvement, Sherwin-Williams paint and flooring, Sears PartsDirect, Office Depot/OfficeMax, and Sunbelt Tool Rentals.
- Ruby Receptionists—Ruby is the smart and cheerful team of virtual receptionists trained to make a difference in your day. They handle your calls with care while delivering the perfect mix of friendliness, charm, can-do attitude, and professionalism. Best of all, your callers will think they work in your office.
- Transunion Smartmove — Now property owners can get access to accurate credit, criminal and eviction histories on renters, and receive custom leasing recommendations in order to make quicker and better-informed decisions.
Considerations and Cautions
- Create an effective name for your property management business. To ensure that your company name is original, it can be a good idea to use an attorney. This is especially critical when wanting to incorporate a business.
- Set up an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation)—You can either hire a lawyer or do it yourself by going online to a service like Rocket Lawyer.
- Consider the advantages of getting a post office box, especially if you don’t yet have a permanent office.
- Check to see if you need to have certain permits for operating your business.
- Find out if your state has any insurance requirements for running your business.
- Because having a real estate license is a requirement in several states, find out if your state requires it.
Perhaps you’re just getting started as a landlord and are feeling a bit overwhelmed. Check out the Landlord Property Management Academy. Once you’ve completed our comprehensive course, you’ll gain more confidence as a landlord. Please contact us and learn what we have to offer.