What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a property manager during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Ask the property manager if they can set up a virtual consultation or remote appointment using a phone or video chat. It’s best to avoid as much in-person contact as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If they can talk virtually, ask any questions you have about the work that needs to be done. Ask about their system for handling payments, and see what kinds of precautions they have in place to ensure safety and social distancing.
If you're hiring a property manager to look after a property that you own, consider the safety implications of in-person visits. Due to the CDC’s social distancing guidelines, it may be difficult for the property manager to collect rent in person or complete certain maintenance tasks. Check with your local government guidelines and consider implementing extra safety measures -- such as wearing a mask and gloves -- if you have to meet with them in person.
Contact the property managers near you and ask if they offer remote or virtual services to accommodate the recent social distancing guidelines. For example, some property managers may be able to collect rent by using digital payments and deal with maintenance issues over the phone or via video chat.
Some property management services accept digital payments such as PayPal, Venmo and Zelle. Check with the property management business near you to see what kinds of payments they accept. Remember that digital payments are typically considered safer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as it requires virtually no person-to-person contact.
You will need to check with your city or state government to see if a property manager is considered an essential service provider in your area.
For more information on a national scale, refer to CISA’s document on critical workers. However, keep in mind that some -- not all -- jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.
In most cases, a property manager should not have to enter your home or apartment unless there is a maintenance issue that needs attention. If you are hiring a property manager to look after your property, refer to the CDC’s social distancing guidelines and check on your state or local community rules. Ask the property manager whether they can collect rent through digital methods such as PayPal, Zelle or Venmo, and see if they can communicate with residents through video chat or phone call for maintenance issues.
The licensing requirements for property managers vary from state to state, but many states require property managers to have a real estate broker’s license and in some cases be a legal resident of a state. Property management may not be specified in a state real estate statute, but according to the Institute of Real Estate Management their activities may include advertising the availability of a rental property, discussing a property management agreement with an owner, negotiating leases, showing a rental property and collecting rents.
A property management company can be a landlord’s greatest asset. As a neutral third party, the property manager handles the day-to-day operations of a real estate investment, from a single vacation home to a large apartment building or several rental properties. A property management company can be especially helpful to landlords who own several units and can’t manage each of them individually, or those who live too far from their investment properties to meet with renters and oversee maintenance. Property management is particularly important if your rentals are part of an affordable housing program. To receive financial assistance from the government, the landlord must comply with a complicated set of rules; property management companies should have both experience and expertise in complying with the rules specific to each housing program.
Property management companies manage the rental of residential homes, apartments, condos, commercial spaces and retail spaces. Property managers can oversee just a single unit or many properties, whether those sites are inhabited full-time or are vacation rentals. A property management company helps a property owner or landlord find tenants; collects rent; takes care of accounting, property maintenance and repairs; handles on-site management; and manages vacation rental check-in and checkout tasks. Although many property owners or landlords successfully manage their own rental real estate, a property management company can help you handle tenant issues and maintenance problems, especially if you are not located in the same city or state. Most property management companies deal with tenants directly, and their tasks include:
- Marketing the rental property
- Collecting rent
- Handling repair problems
- Responding to tenant complaints
- Evicting tenants
A property management company may be a good choice for property owners who have several investment properties, live far away from the rental property, or don’t have time for hands-on management.