5 Things You Need To Know About Lease Management

Sarah Richardson
Founder and CEO, Tru Realty


It sounds simple enough. Place an ad, find a tenant to sign the lease and let the money come rolling in. Unfortunately, there’s quite a bit more to managing a lease than that. The easy part is getting tenants to sign a lease, the hard part comes after they sign. Below are five things every property manager should know before searching for your first tenant.


1. Laws of the land

Even though you can find template lease agreements online, it’s extremely important to hire an attorney to help you put a lease together. Every community has different property laws and it’s vital that each lease reflects the property’s needs for your legal protection.


2. All things maintenance

Even the newest of properties will have maintenance issues. If you’re not an all-knowing handyman, before tenants sign a lease, create a list of people or service companies you can call at a moment’s notice. Be sure to include everything from plumbing and drywall to landscaping and electrical.


3. There’s an app for that

A lot of the work that goes into managing a lease can be accomplished via software that can also be easily accessed on your phone. Paid services like Buildium and Appfolio offer accounting and reporting features as well as renter/owner online portals that can help you manage maintenance requests and receive online payments. Buildium starts at $47 per month and Appfolio offers $1.25 per residential and $1.50 per commercial property and requires a minimum spend of $250 per month. Tenant Cloud and Cozy offer free basic versions of these services.


4. It’s a “people business”

As stated earlier, lease management is not just about collecting the rent. There will be maintenance issues and difficult tenants. Property management software can only do so much before a human element is required. Renters want to know they’re being taken care of and oftentimes that does mean interacting with them during the term of their lease. If dealing with people is not a work skill you enjoy, you may want to rethink this line of work.


5. Personality matters

Along the same lines of the need to be good at dealing with people, there are other personality traits that every good property manager has. They excel in customer service, managing their time, and they’re detail-oriented, good communicators, and resourceful.


If you plan to lease and manage your properties, be sure to understand the rental market in the area before making any investments. The last thing you want is a handful of properties in an area where demand is low. Whether you plan to manage leases for a boss or yourself, network with other property managers in the area to stay in the know. The landscape of business is constantly changing, and you never want to be the last one to hop on a trend train. A good way to get advice and a pulse on the subject is to find an experienced mentor who can guide you in the right direction. Stay dedicated to your craft and the money will continue to roll in.