When a new property manager takes over the management of a client’s property, they must take full and professional control of it using a handover strategy and process. Every property will have its challenges and some are quite complex.
The transfer process will necessarily cover all current issues with the property, as well as the history of occupancy and financial performance. If the property is large and has many tenants, the process takes time. A checklist will help you stay on track and stay accurate.
So how do you start with all of this? Here are some things to get you started and put into a transfer checklist. This will help you attract new clients and properties to your brokerage portfolio. You can add to this list area factors and things that you know are important for the type of property:
- Ask the previous property manager about the property and the tenants. If possible, make an audio recording of the process on your cell phone or MP3 recorder. The information from the maintenance will be invaluable as you manage the property in the future.
- Obtain a copy of the rental plan. Although you shouldn’t consider it exact (because you haven’t checked it yet), it will give you a basis to work from. Always remember that the rental calendar is only as good as the person who gave it to you. In a transfer process, the precision you hope for may not be there.
- You will need copies of the leases to verify the rental schedule. When you have a lot of tenants in a property, you will have many leases to check, as well as other occupancy documents. It requires personal involvement. Each lease must be read and verified. Potentially, every lease can be different and special. You will need to understand the differences and integrate them into your property management control system
- Obtain copies of up-to-date rent bills. Rent bills should be checked for correct rents and compared to leases for the property. Also pay attention to rent changes and critical dates of these leases which will impact the rent.
- View arrears and aged debtor reports for the status of rent actions and collections.
- Get an up-to-date tenant contact list so you know who to talk to in the tenant mix and how to reach them.
- Get an expense status report and an up-to-date expense report. This will give you an idea of the cost of running the property compared to others of the same type in the same area.
So, now that you have all the basic information about the property, it’s a matter of reviewing the information and making sure you understand the drivers and pressures. You can then inspect the property with some confidence.