Do I Need an Onsite Manager? Grand Rapids Property Management Expert Answers

May 27, 2022 | Owner Education, Property Management Education

Investors in Grand Rapids who own large or even mid-size apartment buildings or condo communities are sometimes unsure whether they need an on-site manager to collect rent, work with tenants, and take care of issues at the property as they come up. 

This might be a good option for older buildings that may be in constant need of repairs and attention. Otherwise, a professional Grand Rapids property management company that remains offsite can typically take care of any work, communication, or coordination that’s necessary. 

An on-site manager comes with pros and cons. Here are some things to think about when you’re considering an on-site manager for your building or rental property.

Evaluate your Community Size 

The first thing to consider when you’re making this decision is the size of your apartment building or community. When you own a smaller multifamily property with 10 or 15 units, you may not need someone there full-time. Many of the investors we work with have found that even larger buildings – with 100 or 200 units can be easily managed by an offsite company. 

When you approach numbers like 500 or 1,000 rental units, you might find there are benefits to having a professional manager on-site. There’s going to be a lot more happening on a day to day basis, which will require oversight for tenant move-ins and move-outs as well as maintenance emergencies or disputes. 

In addition to size, you have to consider the age of your property. If there’s a lot of wear and tear or things are beginning to deteriorate, you may be facing some large capital improvements. It could be helpful to have someone there every day to supervise the progress and provide access to the vendors and contractors who are coming and going. 

Do Amenities Need Attention?

Amenities in your building can sometimes make on-site management attractive as well. One pool is easy enough to take care of with an offsite manager or a qualified pool expert, as long as it’s cleaned and maintained regularly. But, if your community has a dozen pools and a clubhouse with a fitness center and tennis courts, you might need some coordination and supervision from someone who is there around the clock.  

Leverage Technology to Replace On-Site Management 

House Management TechnologyOne of the reasons that on-site management is less necessary now than it once was is the increase in technology. Managing rental homes, and even entire buildings is a lot easier to do now than it was 20 years ago. 

A good Grand Rapids property management company will automate what they do and keep things organized and efficient with a great property management software platform. Unless your property is exceptionally large or in need of special attention because of its age or amenities, you will likely find that you don’t need an on-site management solution. An experienced property manager doesn’t have to be at the building all the time. It’s easy enough to check up on how things are running and systems are performing without being there physically. 

Typically, it’s more cost-effective to keep your property managers offsite. You’ll have to think about liability as well. An on-site property manager effectively becomes your employee. That’s going to require extra management and trust on your end so you can be sure the job description is being followed and your property and tenants are being served the way you expect.

We can evaluate your specific investment properties and tell you what you may or may not need in terms of on-site property management in Grand Rapids. If you have any questions, please contact us at Short South Management and Development.