becoming a landlord/manager of apartment complex

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Dulce in San Diego, California

76 months ago

how do i go about to become a landlord/manager of an apartment complex?
any advice will help

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Surfer in Orange, California

73 months ago

Dulce in San Diego, California said: how do i go about to become a landlord/manager of an apartment complex?
any advice will help

I have seen 3 couples of apt mgrs in 4 years, with no education, neither experience... and manager get a free 2 bdr, + utilities + $100/mo + 2 closed garages (for 26 units)

My experience was: I got the certification as Apt Mgr, but because no experience I received from the other owner of 26 units, just free rent for management + maintenance...

In time owner changed, and have to pay the rent for apt, get 700 for mgmt and 12-15/hr for maintenance work..

What's your experience ?

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dulce in Inglewood, California

73 months ago

Surfer in Orange, California said: I have seen 3 couples of apt mgrs in 4 years, with no education, neither experience... and manager get a free 2 bdr, + utilities + $100/mo + 2 closed garages (for 26 units)

My experience was: I got the certification as Apt Mgr, but because no experience I received from the other owner of 26 units, just free rent for management + maintenance...

In time owner changed, and have to pay the rent for apt, get 700 for mgmt and 12-15/hr for maintenance work..

What's your experience ?

I have no experience and dont know where to go to get be certified as an apt manager either..

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dulce in Traver, California

73 months ago

ok thank you! I know there is a rent a center that is hiring.. I think it also said that starting pay is 12-14$ an hr.. So I'll look into that. Thanks for the advice!!

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Judy in Edmonds, Washington

73 months ago

Yes, that sounds right. They mentioned GPI? is there a way to find this?

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Judy in Edmonds, Washington

73 months ago

How do I figure out what the vacancy rate is?

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T

73 months ago

divide the amount of full units by the total amout of units, then you will know what percent full you are.

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T

73 months ago

Judy in Edmonds, Washington said: Yes, that sounds right. They mentioned GPI? is there a way to find this?

I am not familiar with the term GPI.... sorry.

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Judy in Edmonds, Washington

73 months ago

Gross potential income
Gross potential earnings

How do I find these figures? any idea?

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Judy in Edmonds, Washington

73 months ago

do you have a weekly report spread sheet that you use? could you send me a copy? so I may familiarize myself with this weekly report.

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T

73 months ago

I dont have to worry about that crap, thank God.

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T

73 months ago

Judy in Edmonds, Washington said: do you have a weekly report spread sheet that you use? could you send me a copy? so I may familiarize myself with this weekly report.

Every management company probably has their own format. I'm not in my office, so I cant send you our particular form, and I'm govt subsidized and cant really share forms with you anyway.

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Judy in Edmonds, Washington

73 months ago

I'm seriously laughing!

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T

73 months ago

Judy in Edmonds, Washington said: Gross potential income
Gross potential earnings

How do I find these figures? any idea?

gpe would be what you would get if ALL units were full. gpi would be what you are going to get with the amount of units that are currently full. You would subtract the latter from the former to show how much you are losing this month. I guess? That's what I would do anyways... lol

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T

73 months ago

Judy in Edmonds, Washington said: I'm seriously laughing!

why? But its good to have a sense of humor if you are going to be an apartment manager.

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Judy in Edmonds, Washington

73 months ago

I'm really laughing at myself but what you just said was very helpful. Thank you!

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T

73 months ago

there arent many posts here, I wish more apartment managers knew about this. Anytime you want to ask me anything, go for it.

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Judy in Edmonds, Washington

73 months ago

honestly I will ask. Thank you! I have three jobs and I can't afford to not know what I'm doing.

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ginger in oakdale in Toledo, Ohio

73 months ago

I was an apartment manager some years ago. Now we (husband and I) are managers of a mobile home park. Please someone, anyone, give us a job at an apartement complex anyday. you think managing a complex is tough. Try babysitting a bunch of homeowners that think you sole job is to quite a barking dog. or tell you about a loud party but won't sign a complaint form. I could go on and on but trust me, it's a horse of a very different color. Then just for grins and giggles, toss in the old manager that was fired for doing a lousy job, oh ya. piece of cake... not!!!

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ginger in oakdale in oakdale, California

73 months ago

sorry new to this site. not living in toledo, ohio. living in california.

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HELP in Sellersburg, Indiana

73 months ago

I manage a 60 apartments I only get a part time maintence worker. The apartments are old and constantly need repairs. How many employees should be employed? I am constantly having to hire a maintence person cause they only pay minimum wage no apartment.

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judy in Seattle, Washington

73 months ago

Wow! Looks like you need to have talk with the owner. If the property is in need of constant repairs then you need a full time maintenance person to help out. Managing is a job in itself. I manage a 50 unit and I have maintenance part-time also but there aren't a lot of problems. Ask! It won't hurt.

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Lance in Abbotsford, British Columbia

73 months ago

Just read through the forum. I am an apartment manager of a 3 building, 134 suite complex. Of course this is in Canada and I am not sure what you need in the US. But the work itself is much more difficult than one might think. I definately hear what was said about quieting a barking dog... excessive noise parties. It really is a 24hr a day job. With basic complaints, not to mention emergency leaks in suites, or contractors working in the lobby and dust from cutting the wood sets off the fire alarm. Things with apartment managers is... you not only work for the management company, you also work for the owners of the suites (whether Strata or not), you also work for the tenants. At times it can be a very thankless job.

Now the positives. If you are an onsite manager, you pretty much work from home. You can get up in the morning, grab your cup of coffee, and head to the office which is usually no more than a hundred steps away. There will be days when you have a ton of stuff to do, but then there's days that are pretty relaxing. Income, honestly... is not great at all. I make $2000/month. But that is not taking off taxes. Depending on the management company though, you can usually get other contracts depending on how committed you are to making $$$. Right now, we have the landscaping contract as well as the painting contract. So if you are able to find other sorces of income through the management company, financially (as a whole) it might be worth it.

Given all the good and the bad that comes with the job, it does take someone with quite a bit of patience and people skills to do this kind of job. I am actually looking to get into something else. But it's not terrible.

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Lance in Abbotsford, British Columbia

73 months ago

One last thing... if you do decide you become an apartment manager, make sure you have a good and thorough application/screening process. I have run into a bit of issues surrounding this. Because if you make a wrong choice in giving tenancy to someone. Regrets can soon follow. And the steps you have to take to get them out can be more than you bargained for. If they simply don't pay their rent, in Canada anyways... you can give them a 10 day eviction notice. But if after the 10 days they don't move (you can't move them by force... would be much easier if you could), you have to file for an Order of Possession. That can take up to 2 weeks and cost $100.00. Then if they still don't move after that (you can't change the locks), you (or rather the owner of the suite) would have to order a baliff to come and remove them (at a cost of between $1500.00 and $5000.00). And once they are finally out, if the owner wants to recop the $$$, they would have to go to the Residential Tenancy Branch for a hearing ($50.00 more), which the tenant would most likely not show up for, so the owner would win. But try getting the money owing from someone you can't track down and who really just doesn't care.

We do have some really great tenants here, which does at times makes the job fun and nice. But then there's the ones who are nothing but trouble.

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Ginger in Slayton, Minnesota

72 months ago

I am about to become an onsite manager of a 12 unit townhouse subdivision that is not low income housing, nor based on amount of income, but does have a max income amount for tenants in order to rent these units...for the 'low to middle income family'. Anyhow - my question is, they are only offering me half off my rent and I still pay full utilities. Is thsi fair? I have been offered the job and accepted, but because this is new to me, I have no idea what the norm is....HELP! Everyone is telling me I should at least get all rent free if nothing else, their is no salary unless I want to do some of the work myself instead of contract is out. Also, included in the job description is leasing, evicting, everything inbetween, snow shoveling sidewalks, coordinating all maintenance and groundskeeping, painters, cleaners, etc - and included in my rent I automatically owe four hours of cleaning a month for apartment turnovers as part of my half rent off compensation. HELP! I don't know if I should talk to the manager now, or wait till I have taken over.....

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72 months ago

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Ginger in Slayton, Minnesota

72 months ago

No - you aren't missing anything.
They are offering me 1/2 off my apartment, 3 pages of stuff I have to do for the half off, plus four hours of cleaning per month on apartment turnovers. That's why I was hoping someone would respond as I have yet to take the job AND move in and sign a year lease, and am thinking maybe I shouldn't or I should just ask for no rent. There is NO salary with this, unless I choose to contract any lawn, cleaning, painting, yard work etc out to myself at 12 dollars an hour. And that is only as needed, it is a very small site and has only a dozen OK apartments with NO amenities, and is next door to subsidized housing which is awful.......I did mention to the manager about help with utilities as well, and she said she would let me know, but has been three days and haven't heard from her. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks!

karpdiem2 in San Diego, California said: Jeez, are they PAYING you anything?

I am not an apt mgr so my opinion is not worth a hell of alot, but
I maange a self storage. I get the apartment FREE (for a lower
hourly), I pay my own cable & phone, but not electric; that is in-
cluded in the apartment. But I get hourly, a bonus and benefits.
I could not any circumstances do what you are describing, no matter
how nice the complex is. Am I missing something here? It seems
to me that apartment managers are grossly underpaid and don't get
a hell of alot of respect.

If I'm out of line here, I apologize - don't beat me up too badly.
It just seems like an apartment manager should get alot more money
than they do for all the work you all do. And you do work your
butts off -

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Surfer in Orange, California

72 months ago

You are right. I have some years of experience and I can say it's a kinda slavery, because under paid... (even to half or less for beginners hired directly by owners, or small managements which not "publicized" them salaries... They like to have "separate deals" with all managers of different properties... also with full time maintenance guys.. And consider that not even employed them but "hired" to not pay benefits, as medical, insurance, tax or holidays... Add that you have to be almost all week at the property (no summer holiday) as you have to show the vacancies... It seems that we are in the medieval ev... with (land)LORDS and servants (peasants)... If there are 15-50 apts. employers offer "rent discount" and if are hundreds of apts. free apt + small salary (no benefits)... and they require "couple team managers" as a family (2 people) taken care 24/7/365 for them property.. paying no overtime, and no extra for dirty or hard work, or during the night & emergency situations... They like to have you "full qualified" to save money to not hire HVAC technician or router plumbing companies.. If there is a greater job to be done on property, they even give the job to a vendor paying 1,000 more... but if you do it, will charge you by hour.. and if have many hours will cut them... What about that ...!? I know managers of 17 years experience which was pushed out because they asked for "fair" payment..

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Surfer in Orange, California

72 months ago

In CA have to be on site manager over 14 units... So.. they are not required to have you as manager, but they prefer to do it, to have peace of mind, as it someone there watching the neighbors/tenants. Half rent discount is paid even to 30 or 50 units in some cases (see Craigslist "resident manager" keyword at jobs category - and find some offers in real time there).
Some owners or managements give free rent to 20-30 apts. for managements.
Others require even to do the maintenance included in free rent, especially if no previous experience...
They asked for 2 years experience years ago... Now they want 5 years experience... but still pay poorly..
As you pay rent (even half) you are between the sides.. you are a tenant and manager in same time.. Have to have double mind... speaking with tenants in a way, and with supervisor/staff sharing them views ...
Someday you will hate this position in long run...

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Surfer in Orange, California

72 months ago

To Ginger...
I suggest to not sign the contract but have a deal of 30 days notice, from both sides. If you are desperate, you jump in it, and make your prisoner for 1 year... and in this time may arise a better opportunity for you

Tell them that you want TEMPORARY job or Temp-To-Hire, to see if you and employer go along well. As you said, you are not in the industry, and want (or ask) for a "probation" period...

You have to do this, because you may stay with them few years (unfortunately even it's bad deal, you familiarize/accept the situation) and YOU NEED good references in your employment history. If it's for few months, you may skip this period from your future resume. But are interview questions in the future, and you not want to lie about "previous employers". They ask you even if you was "fired" ever in your career and why...

So I suggest to give them the hope that you are the right person for the job, but you are serious/meticulous person and not want to jump in the "unknown deals".

They like to hire unexperienced managers to pay badly... and they "train you" at work.. to increase them profits.

I suggest to go on CraigsList in your county /state and look for apt mangers jobs, all the time... Go to interviews even you are hired already.. you gain experience + when the opportunity of a good deal come, you may switch (by giving 30 days notice to your actual employer, when you have your foot on the other side. Be carefully that some employers not like disloyal employees... And never speak badly by your employees... )They are on the same side)... Say that you like to make a career in apt. management and look for "career advancement" or to match your needs (let's say 20+ apts is for you, or you look for free rent job, etc.)

You have to balance your expectations with them expectations... and you will fall first interviews... but you will learn better than in a school about "how to get the job".

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T

72 months ago

I would discuss it before you take the job. Sounds like a ripoff to me. Seriously.

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Lance in Abbotsford, British Columbia

72 months ago

karpdiem2 definately hit the nail on the head on this one. It is an underpaying job as well as many times utterly thankless. As for Ginger... again like I said before, I am a residential manager in Canada, so it might be different. But that definately sounds like a terrible deal. The only advice I could give you would be to 100% not take this job and hold out for one better.

As far as the four hours of cleaning apartments for turnovers, it's debatable whether that should be your job. I guess depending on whether it's a strata complex... which I am assuming it's not. If the suites are not individually owned by investors, then I imagine that would fall under your job description. If they are individually owned, it would fall back to the owners. I do the cleaning of the suites around here, but I get $18/hr (payed from the owner of the suite) to do it.

Benefit is... getting to work from home. Some days will be insane busy... other will be wonderfully quite. There's pros and cons to all of it I guess. But this particular opprotunity (or lack there of) for you doesn't seem like it would be great in the long run. Take Surfers advice and check out Craigslist. Try to get into a Strata complex if possible. That way all work done for owners is payable by owners. Good luck Ginger.

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malena sandoval in San Mateo, California

72 months ago

Hi... could someone help me ... !what do they mean about turn overs. ! when it comes to managing an apartment building.

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Ginger in Slayton, Minnesota

72 months ago

An apartment 'turnover' is when one tenant leaves and you 'turn the apartment over' (get it ready) and another tenant starts renting it. Turnover is a start to finish process from one tenant to the next and everything that gets done in the process inbetween the two. Hope this helps.
Good luck.

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Ginger in Slayton, Minnesota

72 months ago

An apartment 'turnover' is when one tenant leaves and you 'turn the apartment over' (get it ready) and another tenant starts renting it. Turnover is a start to finish process from one tenant to the next and everything that gets done in the process inbetween the two. Hope this helps.
Good luck.
It may also reference comments like 'apartment managers have a high or fast turnover rate' which can mean that the job has a short timeframe for employment and one employee doesn't stay too long (highly extended period).

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jasper_raven in Abbotsford, British Columbia

72 months ago

I think that when it was mentioned in an earlier post it was refering to the manager turn over rate. So how many managers come and go. Just like turn over in any job. But that's not always the case. My parents have been managing the same 134 unit complex for 12 years now. I am starting to get into it now too. I have been doing for a year now. Has it's good and bad. The tenant turnover is actually what is concerning most of the time. It's rare that we have all the suites filled with tenants. Some tenants just skip out over a weekend and don't pay rent. The working on the suites is another thing that can be a pain. Simply because if the owner of a suite put in new carpet and new paint costing a couple thousand dollars. Then a tenant moves in and is there for only 6 months and moves. Depending on how clean the were or if they had kids that draw on walls, which you see alot more than you would think. Then it is difficult cause you have to do what you can to avoid the owner having to put more $$$ into the suite. Always remember... you work for the owner (if Strata and individually owned) or for the management company. You don't actually work for the tenants. It's almost like babysitting in a sad way. You work for the parents (owners)... not the kids (tenants). Don't get me wrong, we have some amazing tenants who we have good relationships with. But respect gains respect.

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T in Modesto, California

72 months ago

Turn overs means how fast you rent out an empty unit, and/or how many units become empty during the year. A lucky manager has few turn overs.

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judy in Seattle, Washington

72 months ago

Everyone is right! You should AT LEAST be given a townhome. Managing is hard work whether it is a 12 unit or a 250 unit complex. Everyone has problems and who do they come to? The Manager. So you may want to consider all your options.

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judy in Seattle, Washington

72 months ago

It's very important when interviewing for a position, to interview the person hiring you. Simply because you will be working for that person. So go in thinking you own it know it and really have confidence in yourself. This always helps. I've made a lot of mistakes but the one I will never forget is when I accepted this assistant manager position when I am a alpha female and like to deligate. Well the apartment manager must have felt as if I were a threat. Anyhow, she wanted me to carry her bags out to her new 750 BMW. Yeah, get this, this lady was seriously like legally blonde but at age 50. I explained that I normally do NOT carry peoples bags on request-that I would rather offer from time to time but no one should expect another person to carry their 15 ft. to a car and be walked out. Needless to say it didn't work out. Go figure*

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judy in Seattle, Washington

72 months ago

Have you heard of slum lords----companies that don't respect their employees will use you in every way possible and you will be so burned out you won't be able to see straight. My opinion, there should be a cleaner & an onsite maintenance or part time maintenance help plus you should receive at least an apartment included in your package (benefits,bonus,etc.) Utilities are always tenants responsibility so why not ours you know? Now if you are working at a 420 unit complex I would ask for utilities too.

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judy in Seattle, Washington

72 months ago

Rip OFF!!

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judy in Seattle, Washington

72 months ago

Redoing a resume is perfect and can really draw in what you are looking for-trust me I did this and work for a great company who appreciates the work I do.

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judy in Seattle, Washington

72 months ago

when an apartment is turned from bad to good. Like having maintenance do all the repairs fix light bulbs burned out etc.Painter too whatever is wrong, calling in the cleaner and then calling the carpet cleaneror replacing per your company----- you have just turned an apartment

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Andy in Denver, Colorado

72 months ago

Lance in Abbotsford, British Columbia said: One last thing... if you do decide you become an apartment manager, make sure you have a good and thorough application/screening process. I have run into a bit of issues surrounding this. Because if you make a wrong choice in giving tenancy to someone. Regrets can soon follow. And the steps you have to take to get them out can be more than you bargained for. If they simply don't pay their rent, in Canada anyways... you can give them a 10 day eviction notice. But if after the 10 days they don't move (you can't move them by force... would be much easier if you could), you have to file for an Order of Possession. That can take up to 2 weeks and cost $100.00. Then if they still don't move after that (you can't change the locks), you (or rather the owner of the suite) would have to order a baliff to come and remove them (at a cost of between $1500.00 and $5000.00). And once they are finally out, if the owner wants to recop the $$$, they would have to go to the Residential Tenancy Branch for a hearing ($50.00 more), which the tenant would most likely not show up for, so the owner would win. But try getting the money owing from someone you can't track down and who really just doesn't care.

We do have some really great tenants here, which does at times makes the job fun and nice. But then there's the ones who are nothing but trouble.

It's the same way here in Colorado as far as the eviction process. I have been an apartment manager for 4 years now for the same company but this is my third biulding. I am as they call me the *Clean up woman*. Any who thank you for sharing your info.

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Andy in Denver, Colorado

72 months ago

The eviction process is almost the same except we give a 3 day notice (Demand to pay rent) all the rest are the same here in the USA Colorado. I agree 9 times out of 10 the tenant does not show up for court. I have had the resident there when the sheriff is over seeing the eviction and cry while we are putting all of their belongings on the lawn in front of the biulding which becomes free/anyones property. I am as compassionate as I can be through the whole process. I'll cover up their stuff if it's raining. I'll try and watch over it till they get a uhaul. I even provide homless information for our city if they are really in trouble. Fortunately I have not had to evict someone with children. In 4 years I have had 10 evictions between 3 biuldings which is not too bad. Non are easy and it is very draining on your body.

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Andy in Denver, Colorado

72 months ago

judy in Seattle, Washington said: Have you heard of slum lords----companies that don't respect their employees will use you in every way possible and you will be so burned out you won't be able to see straight. My opinion, there should be a cleaner & an onsite maintenance or part time maintenance help plus you should receive at least an apartment included in your package (benefits,bonus,etc.) Utilities are always tenants responsibility so why not ours you know? Now if you are working at a 420 unit complex I would ask for utilities too.

I get free rent in a nice 2 bedroom apartment. All utilities paid. 1 free parking spot. 1/2 of my cable paid. $30 in laundry money. $200 bonus per rented apartment and a $500

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T

72 months ago

judy in Seattle, Washington said: Have you heard of slum lords----companies that don't respect their employees will use you in every way possible and you will be so burned out you won't be able to see straight. My opinion, there should be a cleaner & an onsite maintenance or part time maintenance help plus you should receive at least an apartment included in your package (benefits,bonus,etc.) Utilities are always tenants responsibility so why not ours you know? Now if you are working at a 420 unit complex I would ask for utilities too.

My husband and I are a team, I work the office and he does the maitenance. We get 2400 a month salary, free 3br apt, free utilities. 60 units. We have a gardener that does the mowing and such. We hire contracters for things that are over our head in the maint area.

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Judy in Everett, Washington

72 months ago

Being an apartment manager has its benefits and its hardships. I've been lucky and have only had to do 1 physical eviction in the past 5 years. Now I have had a homicide below my apartment, my car stolen on my birthday, tires slashed and a fence popper but only one physical eviction.

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jasper_raven in Abbotsford, British Columbia

72 months ago

Haha... I really don't get anything for free. :-S You guys are doing good. I get $2000/month (Canadian mind you), and that's about it for the management contract. However, there are always opprotunities to make more money here. Like T said about the contracting out. I do that to. But darn sure... if I can take care of it, then I will. Cause I get paid for it. We also have a seperate cleaning contract which is like $500 a month for vacuuming and cleaning the laundry rooms. We have been contracting that out, but I am pretty sure we are going to start doing it our selves. Every extra bit helps.

Break-ins into the underground are rediculous sometimes. Seems mostly here to be in the summer months and during spring break. Guess there's nothing better to do with the free time. Those are hard ones. Tenants are so upset... and it is really out of anyones control.

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Esther in Los Angeles, California

72 months ago

I manage 20 unit apartment for about 8 months now. I get one bedroom unit free, half UTbill and $50 each unit rented. I collect rents also clean outside including all the common areas,stairway and even the streets. Well my question is... the area that I live in, the neighbor apartments and people are just way too dirty. so many trash out on the streets and I am the one who have to clean every morning and night since it is our side of streets. Do any other managers clean streets??? I was just wondering.....Since city trash comes only once a week, they don't pick up trash on the street only where cars are parked on the street., I have to pick up all the trash flies from next door neighbor becauase their managers don't clean or pick up the trash.....!!!!
Its making me very upset everyday to see trash on the street.

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