What does a management company actually do?

I am hoping to hear from your actual experiences when it comes to using management companies. I found a great cash flow duplex giving me close to $429/month. The problem is that it is a dump; my standards may be too high but there is no way in hell I would drive my BMW but I don’t think I would be too afraid driving my GEO to pickup a check.

Here are some questions I have, feel free to chime in with your experiences!

  1. Does the management company arrange check pickup/processing?

  2. Will they call the tenant if the check is late? How far will they go once the tenent doesn’t pay?

  3. When the tenant calls in a broken AC unit etc…I assume they call the management company? Does the management company arrange the repairs/replacement and get my approval to go ahead with it?

I don’t have a property yet, but I’ve researched management companies. The ones I looked at handled all of that – rent collection and repairs – you are billed for repairs. Typically, they would collect rent and mail or direct deposit your proceeds. Many also offer tenant placement services although this is extra (example, one company charged 50% of 1 month’s gross rent).

Hopefully, others out there with actual experience with management companies will respond.