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What Do the Fees for Bradenton Property Management Cover?

Many Bradenton landlords falsely believe that property managers merely collect rent and do little else for their property management fee. The reality is that rent collection is just a small part of the overall services provided to rental property owners by a good property manager.

Support Comes in Two Flavors

A great property manager provides Bradenton real estate investors with two types of invaluable support: tangible and intangible. Let’s discuss these in further detail so that you know what you stand to gain from expert property management.

Tangible Support

Tangible support encompasses the physical activities required to be performed on behalf of property owners with respect to the leasing and management of their rentals. These tangible activities may include:

In the Leasing Phase:

  • Initial property inspections and reports.
  • Coordination, verification, and completion of required “make-ready” items (cleaning, repairs, vendor access).
  • Prepare marketing videos and photos.
  • Create and distribute advertising.
  • Respond to telephone and email inquiries.
  • Coordinate prospective tenant showings.
  • Prepare, deliver, review, and coordinate the tenant application process:
    • Prepare, deliver, review, and coordinate the tenant application process:
      National eviction database background check.
    • National criminal database background check.
    • Credit Report/financial history check.
    • Income verification that supports the applicant’s ability to pay rent.
    • Prepare approval/disapproval letter based on application process outcome.
  • Following tenant approval, create new tenant records in property management software for ongoing tracking and support.
  • Prepare lease documents.
  • Schedule and meet for lease signing.
  • Collect certified security-deposit funds at lease signing.
  • Schedule tenant move-in once security deposit funds clear.
  • Verify utilities have been transferred to tenant’s name.
  • Property walk-through with move-in checklist signed by tenant: 
    • Point out main water shut-off valve to property and explain operation.
    • Point out circuit breaker box and explain operation.
    • Point out air-conditioner filter access.
    • Explain how to properly operate/maintain existing equipment (garage openers, pool, lighting, refrigerator water filters).
    • Communicate garbage collection day to the tenant.
    • Explain association rules, if applicable.
    • Maintenance call procedure explained.
    • Rent payment procedure and expectations reiterated
  • Video walk-through showing the move-in condition of the property.
  • Collect first-month rent before turning over keys.
  • The tenant must sign for all remotes, keys, fobs.

In the Management Phase:

  • Ongoing rent collection.
  • Serving late notices as per statute (when applicable).
  • Rent collection calls, emails, texts (when applicable).
  • Eviction file preparation (when applicable).
  • Maintain “live” maintenance support-center:
    • Staffed seven days per week.
    • 24 hours per day.
    • 365 days per year.
  • Dispatch vendors as needed (electricians, repair staff, plumbers).
  • Work-order follow-up to ensure satisfactory completion.
  • Record vendor invoices.
  • Distribute vendor payments for completed work-orders.
  • Bank reconciliation of all property income and expenses every 30-days.
  • Generate a monthly financial statement prepared/published to the online owner portal.
  • Scan and upload vendor invoices to the online owner portal (in conjunction with owner statements).
  • Respond to all tenant inquiries.
  • Coordinate property access as needed (e.g., insurance inspection).
  • Perform semi-annual, visual, property walk-through inspections:
    • Provide a room-by-room condition report.
    • Provide a room-by-room 360° photo documentation of walk-through.
  • Email inspection report and photo documentation to the owner.
  • Address maintenance/tenant issues revealed by walk-through.

During a Standard Move-Out:

  • Thirty-days prior, email tenant a move-out checklist and overview of move-out inspection requirements.
  • Conduct and document a thorough move-out inspection to ensure the property is clean/damage-free.
  • Draft security deposit disposition letter:
    • Return deposit to the tenant if property left in acceptable condition.
    • If required, withhold funds for damages/extraordinary cleaning expenses.
  • Close the tenant’s account in the database.
  • Prepare unit for renting (as needed):
    • Cleaning
    • Painting
    • Maintenance
    • Lock re-key
  • Prepare new marketing photos and video.
  • Marketing and show property to prospective tenants.

If Eviction Is Required:

  • Prepare eviction file for an attorney (rarely required, but an included service).
  • Meet sheriffs at the property on eviction day (rarely required, but an included service).
  • Meet locksmith at the property on eviction day.
  • Supervise or monitor the removal of the tenant’s belongings (rarely required, but an included service).

Intangible Support

Intangible support includes the ‘behind the scenes’ activities carried out by the property manager on behalf of the rental owner. Intangible support activities may include:

Acting as a Limited Liability Shield

Savvy property managers increase their value to landlords by acting as “stand-in landlords” with respect to leasing. Tenants actually enter into a lease agreement with the property management company as landlord, not the property owner. This added layer of protection means the property owner has no direct legal connection to the tenant. While this arrangement in no way guarantees complete shielding from legal disputes resulting from the tenancy, it can help to mitigate any risk to the property owner.

Aggravation Barrier

Most people not involved with property management would be astounded by the number of crazy calls property managers receive. The things tenants call to report can range from legitimate to downright disturbing—and sometimes, hilarious. A true example:

Tenant: “Please send someone out immediately—my bathroom smells funny.”
Property Manager (PM): “What exactly does it smell like?”
Tenant: “There’s a musty smell.”
PM: “When was the last time you cleaned your bathroom?”
Tenant: “Probably a few months ago.”
PM: “Try cleaning your bathroom and let me know how that works.”
Tenant: “Okay, I’ll let you know.”

Tenant:  “My oven is broke.”
PM: “So sorry to hear that, please tell me exactly what’s going on with it?”
Tenant: “My cookies aren’t browning evenly.”

Needless to say, after twenty minutes spent on the phone, we explained why we would not, and could not buy her a new oven.

There are hundreds of stories like this! As a property owner, you shouldn’t underestimate the time, energy, and expense that goes into dealing with tenant issues. Not to mention the around the clock (no holidays off) nature of the job. A competent property manager will “uncouple” you from your property, both physically, and emotionally. This is an invaluable service by its own merits! When you hire a professional property management company, you get the financial rewards of investment property ownership without the hassle and personal toil.

Final Thoughts

Professional property management companies handle the entire leasing and property management process, thus freeing up your time, and helping to shield you from legal liability. You simply check your monthly statements and make sure your direct deposits hit your account on time. The property manager handles all day-to-day hassles on your behalf, which frees you to live your life apart from your investments.

About the Author

John Michailidis, JD, is the broker/owner of Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee, a Sarasota, FL based residential property management company providing both Full-service and Lease-Only services to local area landlords.  If you own residential investment real estate anywhere in Manatee or Sarasota counties, do feel free to reach out to our team at 941-216-0005, or through our website.

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