Every Charleston property management company is different. They’ll offer different services and different price points with different structures for how those services are provided.
Before you contract with a professional Charleston property management company, you’ll want to know what kind of services you can expect from your management partners.
Generally, it will depend on the type of property you own and the company you decide to work with. It will also depend on the unique needs of your property. Maybe you’re only looking for leasing services. Or, maybe you need full-service management.
The services need to match the pricing. You might find a management company that offers different service tiers and pricing plans. You might also find management companies that charge a little more in management fees monthly but cover everything pertaining to your property.
While all the services you receive will depend on these variables, a few things should be consistent from company to company. Whichever management team you choose to work with, you want to make sure you’re getting outstanding leasing, management, and maintenance services for your Charleston rental properties.
When you’re interviewing potential management partners and you’re about to sign a management agreement, make sure you have a clear understanding of what will be included.
We’re sharing a brief list of services that you should always expect from your Charleston property manager. This is not an exhaustive list, but it highlights the general responsibilities of any good management company.
Charleston Leasing Services
You should expect a solid leasing process from your management company.
Some management companies will separate leasing services and management activities. This is because some owners seek help with leasing only; they don’t require full-service management and are only looking for help in screening and identifying qualified tenants.
If you’re looking for full-service management, you’ll still need a comprehensive set of leasing services. You should expect your property manager to market your property, conduct showings, answer questions, and follow a thorough screening process.
The result should be a well-screened, highly qualified resident who can be trusted to pay rent on time, take care of your property, and follow the terms of your lease agreement.
Generally, you can expect leasing services such as:
- An established rental value that’s based on local data and a comparative market analysis.
- Recommendations on improvements or updates that may bring in higher rents and attract better tenants. This is called getting your property rent-ready.
- Professional-level photos and a detailed listing against the backdrop of a solid marketing plan.
- Sharing and syndicating your rental listing onto several popular websites.
- Showing the home to prospective tenants.
- Tenant screening services.
- Lease negotiation and execution.
- Collection of security deposit and move-in funds.
- Move-in inspections and inspection reports.
Part of the services any property manager will provide is legal compliance. You need to know your property manager is screening and leasing homes in compliance with all state, local, and federal fair housing laws.
Charleston Property Management Services
Those leasing services are brought to you by your property manager any time you have a new tenant moving in. Management services are ongoing. You can expect them to include:
- Rent collection and lease enforcement
Any property manager will include the rent collection policy in the lease agreement, which tells tenants when and how rent should be paid. The property management services you receive should include timely collection of rent from tenants. You should then expect that rent to be deposited into your own account. Your property manager should also enforce the lease agreement, holding tenants accountable if they violate it in some way.
- Tenant communication
Don’t worry about responding to your tenant’s questions or complaints. One of the services your property manager will provide is all tenant communication and correspondence. Your property manager will be the tenant’s point of contact and responsible for the entire relationship with your renters. They will field phone calls, messages, and emergencies. Look for good communication services, updated technology that allows for online platforms, and a responsive approach to working with your residents.
- Tenant retention
While we’re on the topic of tenants, there needs to be a focus on tenant retention. This should be one of the services your management company provides; lease renewals. Tenant retention should be an important goal for you and your property manager, and the relationship they form with your tenants will dictate how likely they are to renew their lease agreement.
- Rental property accounting
Rental property accounting is also a service provided by many property managers in Charleston. Most management companies will provide financial reports on a monthly and annual schedule. These statements will reflect your rental income, operational costs, and net profits. You should expect tax forms at the end of the year as well. Some property managers will also take care of any bills associated with the property, such as HOA fees.
Maintaining Charleston Rental Homes
We’ve covered leasing and management services. There are also maintenance services you should expect from a property manager.
This is where things can get very specific. Some management companies will provide their own in-house vendors. Others will use outside vendors and contractors. Some will charge you only what the maintenance vendors charge you. Others will have an upcharge. You might need to provide a maintenance reserve.
Maintenance services will include:
- Responding to emergency repairs 24 hours a day
- Conducting walk-through maintenance inspections before and after a tenancy
- Establishing a list of preferred vendors and contractors or employing their own
- Maintenance invoicing
- Preventative maintenance services including HVAC servicing and inspections, landscaping, and pest control
Talk about the process for tenants when they report repair needs. Ask about how invoices are paid. Will you be able to see those charges and repair requests in your owner portal?
Questions about our services specifically? We’d love to tell you more. Contact us at Meridian Residential Group and we’ll tell you how we work.
Meridian Residential Group in North Charleston provides both single-family and multi-family property management in the Charleston, SC area, including in North Charleston, Summerville, Goose Creek, and Moncks Corner, among other cities.