What does a property manager do?
The property manager takes on the follow-up of the responsibilities associated with owning and running a property and does so acting on behalf of the owner. The specific duties to be carried out are may vary and are specified by contract. There are two categories of property management: commercial property management and residential property management. The services provided by a residential property manager offer many advantages to homeowners, whether they are nationals of the country where the property is located, foreign residents or non-residents.
Property management requirements vary, but as a rule the primary benefit for the homeowner is to be free of the stress - and hassle - involved in the day-to-day management of a property, while having the comfort of knowing that it is being well cared for.
Open Up handles all contingencies efficiently and in a timely way, thereby saving time, energy and money for the homeowner. Our Property management Club is a way to safeguard an investment and to enable investments without geographic barriers. Homeowners not only have the peace of mind that comes with handing over the responsibilities to a competent partner, they can also consider real estate investments in regions of the world where they may not be familiar with the local legal requirements and procedures involved in homeownership.
A private property manager may have a more or less extensive portfolio of responsibilities, and this may be further enhanced by concierge services. Owners of rental properties typically use the services of rental property management companies to handle certain aspects on their behalf. In France the responsibility for drawing up rental contracts and collecting rent is handled by real estate agencies – this is set by law -, while the property manager may provide additional services such as verifying the identity of the tenants, overseeing moving in and when tenants change and taking care of all repairs and general maintenance requirements. This ensures that owners get a better level of service.
At the luxury end of the market, Open Up provides more upscale and personalized services that may be tailored to meet the specific needs of owners, and increasingly offer premium conciergerie services as an add-on. This level of service is especially valued by owners of secondary residences or pieds-à-terre held exclusively for their personal use or made available to their guests.
Our primary duty is to see to it that the property is run smoothly. The range of home property management services covers keyholding, conducting property inspections, handling the mail, maintaining the appearance of the property, contracting for services such as utilities and telephone, hiring and supervising cleaning staff, taking care of maintenance, repairs and renovation, acting as a proxy for the owner with the homeowner's association and insurance agents, providing updates on relevant administrative, tax and legal requirements . Connection with lawyer and notary if necessary.
The Open Up property manager makes sure the appearance of the property is always maintained at the highest level. This may include the caring for and watering of plants on terraces and balconies.
All minor repairs are handled by the property manager, who can find the best service at the right price. The property manager has trusted sources for tradespeople and repair services with a proven track record and be in a better position to get the job done efficiently and on time. A price threshold can be set up by agreement with the owner, whereby all repairs below the threshold are automatically handled by the property manager, and then the invoices are sent to the owner, while all repairs exceeding the agreed amount are submitted to several companies for a quote, then submitted to the owner for a final decision based on the property manager's recommendation. In France, standard practice is to have three such estimates.
Regulars Inspections of properties
The property manager will carry out an inspection of all facilities at regular intervals, to be determined according to the owner's wishes. The property concierge checks to see that everything is running properly, that there have been no changes in the appearance of the property, and generally troubleshoots, anticipating any upcoming maintenance issues, thereby keeping costs down.
Hiring and supervising household staff and contracting for service visits
Open Up may be tasked with finding reliable and efficient cleaning staff, and will then assign specific duties, supervise the work, and make sure payment is made. This can be on a regular basis, or whenever the owner intends to use the property or make it available to guests. The same applies to gardening and landscaping staff. Open Up also makes sure that appliances or machinery that require regular servicing are properly taken care of (for example, gas heaters, individual heating systems and security systems). Open Up schedules the visits and gives access to the property.
Contracting for utilities
For new owners who are taking possession of a newly acquired property, Open Up can assist with setting up the necessary contracts with the utility companies (gas, electricity, water), and with whatever telecommunications and Internet provider is selected. If there is a diversity of choice for gas and electricity suppliers, the property manager may be called upon to research the best deals and submit the information to the owner who can then make an informed choice. The same is true for telephone, TV and Internet service. Providers' coverage and price schedules can be compared, a valuable service for owners who may not speak the language or ,may find it difficult to compare service levels.
Decoration and renovation
The property manager can also assist with renovation work and upgrades to the property. This can extend to all or any aspects of a renovation project, from finding an architect to sourcing materials and arranging for delivery and overseeing the actual work. Renovation can be handled quite literally from A to Z if the owner wants to be 'hands-off' and does not have the time or inclination to get involved. Here the property manager's advisory role can be critical: knowing where to find the best materials, how to handle contractors and deliveries, and generally providing quality control over the whole process.
For renovation projects, Open Up Paris maintains an extensive list of first-rate and reliable suppliers and contractors with whom we have a good working relationship, ensuring quality service at preferential rates. We can oversee the delivery of supplies and materials, monitor the work in progress, set up in situ meetings with contractors and owners via electronic platforms or send pictures to show work advancement ; in other words we can be involved throughout the renovation process to ensure the best possible end result.
Open Up also provides customized interior design services. Working from our client's specifications and budget we develop design proposals and do the necessary research on all of the decorating and furnishing options available. These services can be provided for properties intended as rental investments or destined to be a personal home. They can also be provided in partnership with the client's architect and/or interior designer
Homeowner's association and building management company
When there are several owners in one building, the homeowner's association that makes decisions on behalf of all homeowners by law will hold annual meetings and expect owners to either be present or represented by proxy to vote on all items on the agenda. This can be very important because all decisions that concern common areas in the building (these include roof and gutters, balconies and terraces, stairwells, elevators, ground floor entrances, garbage bin areas, courtyards, shared electric lines, all pipes outside of individual units and garages) must be discussed and voted upon by all homeowners at such meetings. Some of these decisions have heavy financial consequences. The property manager can be given a proxy to represent owners and vote on their behalf, in accordance with their instructions. The property manager is also the best person to explain the in's and out's of these procedures, and what's at stake. In this regard their professional experience can be of great value to an owner not familiar with these ways of doing business, or the requirements that may be imposed by law.
A property manager can assist with moving into a property and oversee the moving company, specifically the packing or unpacking.
Administrative, legal, tax and insurance issues
Here again, the property manager is a source of important information on new or existing regulations, and he/she may help to explain and understand some of the intricacies of the law as it applies to homeowners, the tax regulations that affect non-residents or nationals who own real property in another country being a prime example. These regulations change from time to time, and having a trusted source of information who can signal upcoming changes or consequences for homeowners, can be of tremendous benefit in managing a real estate portfolio or protecting an investment.
Insurance claims arising either as a result of damage sustained by the homeowner's property from an adjacent unit or third party, or damage caused from within the property (this typically involves water damage) can easily be handled by a property manager who acts as a proxy for the owner and liaises with the insurance company. The property manager will have an advantage in dealing with the insurance company because he/she already knows how the law works, and what steps need to be taken from the moment damage has occurred, how to report it and then follow up.
All in all quality property management takes the stress out of homeownership, offers a guarantee that all issues that a homeowner may face at any time will be dealt with not only efficiently but perhaps at a lesser cost, removes barriers that could otherwise hinder foreign homeownership and finally helps to preserve the value of an investment in real property.