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Understanding the Difference: Licensed Property Managers vs. Qualified Property Managers

Hi, I'm Jason with SJC Management Group. Today I wanted to talk about the difference between a quote, quote, licensed property manager and somebody that I'd like to call a qualified property manager. Here, I'm speaking specifically about Washington state, which is where I'm a licensed agent and I'd like to think a qualified property manager.

In our state, anyone with a real estate license is technically licensed to do property management, but that doesn't mean that they have any experience in it or specific training in property management. Some of the things that I think you can typically look at and know for somebody who is a qualified property manager is that number one, they understand landlord tenant law. They know the differences in the laws, in the areas, some of our cities have specific laws, some of their counties have specific laws, and they state up to date on these laws, they understand them and they have implemented them in their business.

Key Traits of a Qualified Property Manager:

Let's delve into the key traits that differentiate a qualified property manager from a licensed property manager in Washington state:

1. Profound Understanding of Landlord-Tenant Law:

A qualified property manager possesses in-depth knowledge of landlord-tenant laws, recognizing the variations between different areas. This expertise extends to specific laws in cities and counties. Moreover, they diligently stay up-to-date with these laws, ensuring their implementation within their business practices.

2. Meticulous Trust Accounting:

Qualified property managers handle tenant security deposits and owners' rents with the utmost care. They maintain separate trust accounts and subject them to regular audits. Every cent is accounted for meticulously since they recognize the fiduciary responsibility they bear while handling other people's money.

3. Comprehensive Lease Agreements:

Qualified property managers diligently maintain updated and comprehensive lease agreements. These documents undergo thorough review by attorneys to align with the latest landlord-tenant law revisions. Adapting lease agreements to reflect legal changes safeguards the interests of both property owners and tenants.

4. Extensive Network of Reliable Vendors:

A qualified property manager maintains a network of trusted vendors who offer quality services at reasonable rates. From routine maintenance to emergency repairs, they have a roster of qualified professionals available. Timely maintenance ensures that your investment remains in top shape, preventing deferred maintenance from eroding its value.

5. Effective Rental Property Marketing:

Qualified property managers possess the know-how to market rental properties effectively. They understand how to enhance the appeal of a property, leverage appropriate advertising platforms, and target potential applicants. This expertise helps attract the right tenants while minimizing vacancies.

6. Thorough Tenant Screening:

A qualified property manager excels in the art of tenant screening. They know what to look for during the screening process and possess the skills to navigate it adeptly. This enables them to select highly qualified applicants who are the best fit for your property.

Contrasting Traits of a Licensed Property Manager:

On the other hand, individuals who are solely licensed, without the additional qualifications, may exhibit certain shortcomings in property management. Here are some telltale signs of a licensed property manager lacking the necessary qualifications:

- Limited Knowledge of Trust Accounting: Licensed property managers might not possess a deep understanding of trust accounting. They may inadvertently co-mingle funds or fail to separate security deposits from owner funds. This practice can lead to potential complications and legal ramifications.

- Inadequate Familiarity with Landlord-Tenant Law: Licensed property managers might not stay updated on changes in landlord-tenant law, primarily focusing on sales-related matters. Consequently, they might not possess the nuanced knowledge required to address property management intricacies effectively.

- Lack of Efficient Systems and Online Services: Unqualified property managers may not have streamlined systems in place to handle essential aspects of property management. This deficiency can include the absence of online payment options for tenants, lack of emergency maintenance response systems, and a general lack of efficient processes to handle property management tasks effectively.

In conclusion, when it comes to property management, there is a significant distinction between a licensed property manager and a qualified property manager. While a license grants the authority to engage in property management activities, it does not guarantee the necessary expertise and qualifications to effectively handle the complexities of this field.

A qualified property manager, such as myself at SJC Management Group, demonstrates a commitment to staying informed about landlord-tenant laws, adapting lease agreements accordingly, and maintaining meticulous trust accounting practices. They possess a network of reliable vendors, excel in marketing rental properties, and employ thorough tenant screening processes.

On the other hand, a licensed property manager without the additional qualifications may lack the same level of understanding, potentially leading to issues such as mishandling funds or overlooking crucial legal updates.

By recognizing the qualities that set qualified property managers apart, property owners can make informed decisions when selecting a property management professional to oversee their investments. At SJC Management Group, we take pride in being qualified property managers who go above and beyond to provide exceptional service and peace of mind to our clients.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. I'm Jason, representing SJC Management Group, and I'm here to assist you.