Are you not sure whether you need a property manager or a real estate agent when you’re buying an investment property? What about when you’re renting it out?
Real estate agents and property managers work in the same industry, but their roles and areas of expertise are dramatically different. It’s rare that you’ll need one or the other. If you’re an investor, you’ll need a relationship with both a property manager and a real estate agent.
Luckily, there are some companies like ours at California Pacific Realty that provide both services (and much more).
When it comes to property managers and real estate agents, a lot of owners we talk to are confused about where the work of one starts and the other begins. So today, we thought we’d break down the different roles of each professional. We’ll also tell you why you should hire an Oakland property management company that also offers real estate services.
Property Managers in Oakland and Real Estate Agents: Who Does What?
Property managers and real estate agents have different responsibilities when it comes to helping you acquire and manage your real estate investments.
Property managers take care of the leasing, management, and maintenance of rental properties for the people who own them. Real estate agents help with buying and selling properties. Some real estate agents will also help with renting out properties.
There is plenty of overlap between the two roles, of course. Both property managers and real estate agents are involved in identifying potential acquisitions and studying market data. They have different areas of expertise when it comes to Oakland and the properties that are available for rent and purchase.
Here are some of the basic responsibilities of each professional:
Oakland Property Managers:
- Help prepare your property for the rental market
- Accurate price your rental property based on the market, competition, and location/condition of your property.
- Advertise and market rental properties online
- Show properties and collect applications
- Screen tenants
- Draft and negotiate lease agreements
- Set and collect rent
- Enforce the lease agreement
- Provide routine, emergency, and preventative maintenance
- Communicating with tenants and maintaining positive tenant relationships
- Provide accounting and financial statements
- Adhere to all state, federal, and local rental laws
- Manage the lease renewal or turnover process
Oakland Real Estate Agents:
- Make recommendations on updates and improvements before a home goes on the market
- Working with homebuyers on identifying listings in their budget and preferred location
- Design ads and listings
- Showing homes
- Distributing promotional materials to other agents
- Accepting offers and negotiating terms
- Navigating the closing process
- Working with investors to identify opportunities for acquisitions
Those are the different duties (over-simplified) that a property manager and a real estate agent handles for you, as an investor.
How Property Managers and Real Estate Agents Work Together
Where does the overlap show up?
Here’s an example. If you’re an investor who needs a real estate agent to help you see potential properties, you’ll rely on that professional to organize the showing, gain access to the property, provide suggestions on a potential offer price, and negotiate with the seller on your behalf.
A property manager can help while you’re looking for a property, too. Your property manager won’t negotiate the purchase price, but they will tell you how much rent you can expect to earn. They can also let you know what kind of maintenance might be needed before it’s ready for the market.
If you are in the process of hiring an Oakland property management company or you find you’re ready to invest in a property that you’ll rent out and you think you need a real estate agent, we have a recommendation for you:
When you really want to leverage a professional’s experience, resources, and network, you’ll find a company that does both property management and real estate buying and selling.
When you work with an Oakland property manager who can provide both services, your investment lifecycle will stay with the same partners throughout every step of the process. Real estate agents on their own will help you buy and sell property. Property managers on their own will help you lease, manage, and maintain that same property.
Doesn’t it make more sense to work with a team that does both? It’s more efficient, more rewarding, and all the accountability lands at the same place.
Let’s take a look at how these benefits really work in your daily life as an investor or a landlord.
Saving Time and Money as an Investor in Oakland Properties
The real estate market is competitive, especially now. Interest rates have ticked up and there’s a slight easing when it comes to inventory, but finding a property isn’t as easy as it was two years ago. When you’re looking to grow your portfolio or invest for the first time, prepare for a lot of competition.
As an investor, you’ll want to move quickly through the steps of acquiring an investment property, preparing it for the rental market, and leasing it to good tenants.
With a consistent team of professionals helping you through every part of the process, you save yourself a lot of time and money. There’s less vacancy, fewer surprise expenses, and a single commission to pay to one company instead of several.
When your property manager also helps you identify investment opportunities and negotiate favorable details, you’ll be able to transition seamlessly from one step of the process to the next. Your property manager will know the rental home and what it needs even before you close. All the necessary work can be planned in advance and you’ll save money by getting that property on the market faster – with less vacancy.
Saving time is more valuable than it seems. When you’re moving quickly through the investment cycle with a professional who has done every part of this many times before, you’re going to have better results. You’ll run into fewer roadblocks and there will be much less waiting around for options to be explored and decisions to be made.
Essentially, you have a competitive advantage in a busy real estate market.
Customized Oakland Property Management
Another benefit to working with an Oakland property management company that also does real estate is that your management team will really get to know your property.
There won’t be a huge learning curve when it comes to that home’s neighborhood, rental value, maintenance needs, and marketing strong point. You’ll already have seen the property with your management team, so they’ll know what’s needed to lease and manage it right away.
This leads to a customized management plan that meets the needs of your investment goals and your investment property.
Instead of introducing a new property manager to the rental home that you’ve already purchased, you’re moving forward seamlessly with the renovations, maintenance, cleaning, and landscaping that your team identified as being needed during the acquisition.
This helps when you get to the point that you’re ready to sell the property as well. Instead of bringing a new real estate agent up to speed on the strengths and potential challenges of your property, they’ll know it as well as you do. They’ve been managing that home for years – no need to explain about the age of the floors, the reliability of the appliances, or the potential for a kitchen remodel. They know your house. They know why tenants love living there. They’ll be able to customize your sales plan as well.
Accountability and Communication
What’s more important than customer service? If you have the benefit of working with the same team of professionals as real estate agents and property managers, you can count on a much better experience. This will be a better experience as a buyer, a seller, and a rental property owner.
You can also count on more transparency and accountability.
Property management and real estate businesses are all about relationships. You and your management team will get to know each other while navigating the purchase process. You’ll have shared your expectations and set some goals together. This leads to more accountability and a drive to do better for you and your portfolio.
Your property manager is going to work hard to keep your business. They’ll know that you can go to any other agent when you need someone to help you buy and sell. They’ll provide a higher standard of care during every lease period, tenancy, and lease renewal. They’ll make sure their vendors and contractors are treating you well and offering the best prices.
They’ll want to keep your business.
You’ll also have an experienced real estate agent looking for ways to grow your portfolio. They’ll know when it’s time to sell, where the market is trending, and how you can leverage your current investment properties to grow your portfolio.
We’d love to fill this role for you. As Oakland property managers who also provide real estate services, we’re here to talk about your investment goals and how we can partner with you in achieving them. Contact us at California Pacific Realty.