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Lease-Only Property Management Services in Sarasota Area

Lease-Only Property Management Services — a Viable Option

Many landlords think there are only two options when it comes to managing their rental properties:

  1. Turn their properties over to a third party property manager who handles all aspects of leasing and management.
  2. Self-manage the property and handle everything themselves, including photos/videos, advertising, answering phones, driving to showings, lease preparation, deposit collection, move-in inspections, etc.

There is a viable, third option — “Lease Only” Services!

Leasing Only Property Management Services — What Exactly Are They?

Many self-managing landlords don’t realize that they can have all of their up-front advertising costs covered for them, as well as have all of the appointment setting, showings, in-depth-tenant screening, lease preparation, deposit collection, and clearing, as well as move-in walk-thru and inspections taken care of professionally.

I am not talking about full property management services – the property owner handles property management functions once a tenant has moved in – I am talking about professional, residential leasing services for landlords.

How Do Lease Only Services Work?

It’s as simple and straight-forward as it sounds — a rental property owner contracts with a professionally licensed property management company to handle the leasing, and just the leasing, on behalf of the owner. Once a suitable tenant is found and placed in the property, all documentation and deposits are turned over to the landlord, and the landlord is 100% responsible for managing the property from thereon in.

What Specific Lease Only Services Should You Expect?

You should expect the following lease only services:

  1. Initial “make-ready” walk-thru, evaluating the property’s readiness for market and suggestions for improvements.
  2. Make-ready assistance by referring vetted and approved vendors — as needed (handyman, plumbers, etc.).
  3. Comprehensive marketing photos and video for advertising.
  4. Expansive advertising designed to blanket the market and target active lookers who are ready to sign a lease.
  5. Posting to Realtor(r) Multiple Listing Service to ensure maximum exposure to all leasing agents and their clients.
  6. Field and respond to all incoming property inquiries:
    • Email inquiries.
    • Telephone inquiries.
    • Website inquiries.
  7. Coordinate and schedule all showings.
  8. Facilitate tenant application process and ensure complete and accurate information.
  9. Comprehensive background checks, including:
    • All prospective residents, 18 years and older included in background checks.
    • National criminal database check.
    • National eviction database check.
    • Credit reporting.
    • Income verification:
      1. Self-employed — minimum 2-years of most recent tax returns.
      2. Employees — last two pay-stubs and employment verification with the employer.
      3. Retirees — various proofs, such as social security award letter, pension award letter, bank statements, etc.
  10. Once approved, Lease Preparation and Signing Services.
  11. Collect security deposit at lease signing — certified funds only, no cash, no personal checks.
  12. Clear security deposit funds through the bank.
  13. Schedule move-in day.
  14. Perform a room-by-room property condition report with written check-list.
  15. Perform video walk-thru of property on move-in day to document move-in condition.
  16. Perform instructional property walk-thru with the tenant to point out critical items of concern, e.g.  water shut-off locations, breaker-box, A/C filter location and size, etc.
  17. Tenant sign-off on condition report, accepting the condition of the property.
  18. Tenant sign-off for keys, garage openers, etc.
  19. Collect first month’s rent (certified funds only) from the tenant.
  20. Hand keys over to the tenant.
  21. Ensure tenant has complete owner contact info for future management needs and rental payments.
  22. Had off leasing paperwork, inspection report, walk-thru video, tenant sign-offs, and security deposit to the owner.
  23. Retain leasing fee.

Those are the 34 services/sub-services that you should expect from a top-notch lease-only property management professional.

Things to Look out for

In choosing a company to handle your residential leasing needs, there are some issues that you need to be aware of:

  1. Avoid real estate sales companies that do leasing and management as a side business. Choose a dedicated residential property management company that only does residential property management and leasing. You want a company with the right tools, contacts, and strategies to get your rental leased as quickly as possible and for as high a rent as possible. This is not the time to hire a part-time player that’s more focused on sales (HINT: out of hundreds who claim to be professional property managers, I can count on my fingers the number of dedicated property managers in the Sarasota and Manatee county markets).
  2. Be wary of companies looking for up-front payments before they secure a tenant. The best, most competent and confident leasing-only companies will cover all up-front costs out of their pocket and collect their fee once the property has been leased and occupied.
  3. Be wary of companies looking to nickel-and-dime you with a mountain of fees: on-boarding fee, admin fee, advertising fee, credit screening fee, background check fee, lock-box fee, bank fee, and finally, the leasing fee. A reliable and reputable outfit will charge you one comprehensive (and reasonably priced) leasing fee after providing their services if they secure a tenant within the initial lease listing period.

In Conclusion

If you have the time and inclination to handle the ongoing property management aspects of rental ownership, you should continue to do so. However, many landlords dislike or find it an inconvenience at the least, to deal with the expense of advertising phone calls and emails, sometimes aggressive or rude applicants, missed showings, legal compliance issues, etc.

Many find that hiring a professional property management company to handle their lease-only needs is the ideal compromise between full-service property management and having to shoulder the burden and hassle of doing everything themselves.

If you like managing your property but don’t like the leasing process, download this free guide.

About the Author

My name is John Michailidis, and I’m the broker/owner of Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee. We’re a full-service residential property management and leasing company with a large percentage of our business dedicated to helping do-it-yourself landlords interested in annually leasing their properties with advertising, tenant screening, leasing, and move-in functions associated with rental ownership.

I’ve been in the real estate game a long time, first licensed in 1990, and am also a licensed attorney (non-practicing at this time — I dedicate myself exclusively to running my property management company) so I’ve been around the block a time, or two. I have a deep understanding of the needs of landlords like yourself. As you might imagine, I personally own rentals, so I “get it.” If you own residential investment real estate that you seek to lease annually, anywhere in Manatee and/or Sarasota counties, from Parrish – Ellenton – Palmetto in the north, to Venice – North Port – Englewood in the south, feel free to reach out to my team at 941-216-0005, or through our website HERE.

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