Rental agencies vary greatly in the type of rentals they offer, and the services they provide. They may offer services that are so inclusive that they are property managers. They may also just be a liaison between the property owner and the potential tenant, with limited services to both. Knowing the prospective tenant is important no matter what type of rental property they are interested in.Types of Rentals Offered
Most rental agencies deal in only one kind of rental. Whether they are experienced in commercial or retail rentals, they usually only deal in their particular rental speciality. Potential tenants expect the rental agency to know many different things about a property that they want for a business and the information varies greatly from residential rentals. Owners of commercial properties usually want to distance themselves from all the small details associated with the rental process.
Rental agencies that deal with residential properties may have a list of apartment buildings, and single family homes. Apartment buildings may be within a large complex or be as small as a duplex. Some online rental agencies never see the renter in person, but just point them to a suitable property in their price range and location desired. Other agencies perform many duties for the property owner and allow that owner the freedom to do other things.
Vacation rentals are unique because they usually rent by the day, week, or month and are not usually for renters who are interested in long-term rentals. A homeowner may be the agent for these rentals in an attempt to limit costs and personally interview the renter. However, with all the activity associated with these rentals, the homeowner is much wiser to contract with a rental agency.Types of Services Offered
Occupancy - Keeping a property rented is paramount. Whatever type of real estate is involved, time is money. Taxes do not cease, utilities must still be paid, and revenue is lost on a vacant property. Rental agencies are skilled in advertising and attracting renters. A homeowner who runs an ad must be available to show the property at all times. Placing this burden on a rental agency frees the homeowner's time.
Regulations - The regulations involved in rentals may change periodically so rental agencies always keep abreast of current legislation. Even the wording of a rental agreement may cause a problem if the rules are not followed. When rental agencies handle the paperwork, they will keep it current.
Cleanup - Cleaning between tenants is often offered, especially when the agency is handling apartments or vacation rentals. The agreement with the renter may state that they must clean the apartment before vacating, but there are always details to finish.
Maintenance - Small repairs are often handled by rental agencies, especially if they are a property management company. Bad plumbing at three in the morning is not a pleasant call for a homeowner to receive. Having a rental agency that looks after this is a definite advantage.
Rent Collection - Collecting rent is another advantage agencies offer. Help with eviction when this rent is not paid is also a help to an owner. A conscientious agency will check out the person or business in an attempt to assure the property owner of desirable, responsible renters, but even checking may not foresee future defaults.Licensing
Some states require that a property management company be a licensed real estate broker if they are offering services such as rent collecting, rental property listing, or lease negotiation. This is designed to assure the renter and the property owner that a person educated in real estate is handling their rental.