As a professional property manager, the Owner Handbook is one of the most important building blocks for your business. There are at least three important reasons you need an Owner Handbook.
First, creating it (or customizing ours) forces you to put in writing exactly how you intend to manage the owner’s property. In building your handbook you’ll have to sit for a while and articulate in detail many of the processes you go through every day. Knowing how you do something is one thing; typing it out in a coherent, organized and precise way is quite another. This document will give you a big head start on this project because we’ve laid it out for you and give you the ability to tweak it to your model rather than starting from scratch.
Secondly, the Owner Handbook gives your client a document to review before they call you with all their questions. We all chafe at the time we spend on the phone answering the same questions over and over but don’t have the time to write out the answer. I’ve thought many times “why don’t I just record this conversation and play it next time an owner asks that question” but of course I don’t have the time to do that recording. A well structured Owner Handbook gives the owner the answer to most of their questions so they don’t have to eat up your time asking.
Lastly, the Owner Handbook holds your staff accountable to answering the question the same way every time and forces your staff to give the right answer and not make one up. Owners get frustrated when they get different answers from different people and “does anyone know what they’re doing over there” is often their response. When it’s all in print, it forces your staff to give the same answer every time. It improves communication and decreases conflict.
An Owner Handbook evolves over time as you grow and learn more about the business. Most property management processes are the same regardless of the part of the country you’re in. We all do rent collection pretty much the same way. Maintenance procedures, move outs, escrow account management and application processing are done about the same in every company. So, a generic Owner Handbook if built with a national mindset, can be tweaked easily to adapt to any company. And that’s what we’ve done in this valuable document.
Before we shaped this handbook we borrowed handbooks from top managers across the country, made up a master list of topics to cover, added our 20 years of experience and rolled it into one impressive handbook.
The handbook is 19 pages of answers to the most commonly asked questions from owners. There are 32 sections and many topics covered, including details on how most aspects of the business is handled. These pages articulate the details of most processes you go through starting with administration and manager compensation through receipt and payment of funds and how our rent guarantee works.
The handbook includes topics like:
- Processing concerns
- Owner portal
- Manager Compensation
- Manager’s Authority
- Emergency Repairs
- Limits on Manager’s Authority and Responsibility
- Brokerage Agency Policy
- Affiliated Business Relationships
- Assumption of Pre-Existing Occupant (Tenant)
- Seasonal Maintenance Options
- Eviction and Abandonment Protection Agreement
- Periodic Property Visit Program
- Positive ID Check Showing Procedure Authorization
- Government Housing Authority Supplement
- Swimming Pool/Hot Tub Policy
- Exception to Policy, Disbursements of Rental Proceeds
- Home Owners Association (HOA)
- Foreign National Landlords
- Ordinary Wear and Tear, Standards
- Tenancy Issues
- Life Safety
- Property Condition
- Liability Insurance
- Limits of Liability
- Prepaid Rents
- Transfer or Delivery of Funds to Manager Indemnification
- Receipt and payment of funds.
- Rent Guarantee
In your effort to inform the owner on all the important topics, we recommend a Current Owner Services Home Page that can be used as a behind-the-scenes web page (or just an outline) that can address even more topics you might want to keep in front of your owners, including this handbook in a digital format (PDF). The idea is that the more fully developed you look as a professional manager, the more owners you’ll win over.
This document we have available is not a PDF document but an editable Word document ready for your revisions. The Owner Handbook is just part of the whole package of topics you need to help your owners see just how your unique management model works.
The cost of this handbook is about the cost of one hour of time with a decent attorney. Just the new revenue streams you’ll discover in this document will make it worth the money you’ll spend and time you’ll save.
Good Luck as you build your Owner Handbook.
Our Owner Handbook is applicable to ALL states in the U.S. as well as many countries.
Forms and documents are Mac and PC compatible and even mobile compatible. Files are in Microsoft Word format for easy editing. If you cannot work with Word files, let us know and we will send you a format that works with what you have.
All forms and documents are fully editable.
All forms and documents are download only.