Otto B. Isong 4 mins read 31/05/2023

It is very common to have Property Owners handover the management of their estates to Law Firms in exchange most often for 10% of the rent collected. While this practice is rampant, it has left many people to confuse between the functions and services of a Property Management Firm like Genie Capital with that of a Law Firm. And most often, they want to approach the relationship of a Property Management Firm like that of a Law Firm.

Where does a Law Firm come in?

When it comes to the business of a guest house, residential or commercial real estate, Law Firms most often come into play mainly at the level of the Agreements. From advising on what clauses to include, drawing up the Agreements, notorising the Agreements and most importantly, guiding when there are breaches, to serving the required legal notices and following up the legal processes. For most other activities needed for the full functioning of the property, the Law Firm is predominantly inert and inefficient. This is not a deliberate act, however, they do not have the required competencies to execute on all the other functions and services needed to operate a successful Guest House, Residential or Commercial Building. A Property Management Firm on the other hand will most often use the services of a Law Firm to sort out the legal issues while providing the other functions and services, delivering the best results for the Property, Tenant and Owner. 

The Dilemma...

Most often, Property Owners start thinking of Professional Property Management mostly when they get into legal complications with the tenants or leasees. What most Property Owners fail to understand is that professional property management firms work towards eliminating the need of legal complications. Why? Because it is expensive and the Property Management Firm is about maximizing the value of the Property for the Property Owner (Landlord/Landlady) while ensuring the Tenants or Leasees have a safe and comfortable environment to live or carry out their business. 

What does a Property Management Firm do?

A Property Management Firm like Genie Capital has a mandate to  maximise the value of the Property for the Property Owner while ensuring the Tenants/Leasees have a safe and comfortable environment to live or carry out their business. In order to deliver on this mandate, the Property Management Firm carries out the following functions and services: 

Common Services:

Property Assessment and Maintaining Property Data

Before taking on the management of any property, the Property Management Firm starts by assessing the property, collecting as much data about the physsical, operational and financial state of the property. Once the assessment is done the report and recommendations are presented to the Owner. As the contract is ongoing, the Property Management Firm updates the Property Data to reflect the state of the property at every point in time. 


The Property Management Firm advertises the property whenever the need arises so as to get the widest reach. While advertising for residential and commercial buildings happen mainly when there are vacancies, that for guest houses is an ongoing process. 

Coordinating Repairs and Maintenance

The Property Management Firm identifies repairs and maintenance needs, hires technical services providers to diagnose and resolve the issues and coordinate their work. 

Recording and Reporting

The Property Management Firm keeps record of all transactions pertaining to the property. On a periodic basis, the Property Management Firm provides reports to the Property Owner as well as on-as-needed basis reports to the Tenants. 

Cleaning, Waste Management and Security

The Property Management Firm provides cleaners and coordinates the disposal of waste from the property to the main heaps. The Property Management Firm coordinates the work of the Security. 

Liaising with Utility Providers

When there are issues with utilities like water, electricy and TV cable, the Property Management Firm is in the best position to liaise with the providers to get the issues resolved as fast as possible. 

Services for Guest Houses only:

Pricing and Revenue Management

The Property Management Firm uses its understanding and insights of the market to set price and manage the revenue of the Guest House. 

Customer Relationship Management

The Property Management Firm manages the ongoing relationships with the guests. 

Services for Residential and Comercial Buildings:

Tenant Screening and Placement

The Property Management Firm uses publicly available and propreitary data and methods to Screen potential tenants and leasees. Once a decision is made on who to accept as the new tenant or leasee, the Property Management Firm places the tenant or leasee.

Tenancy/Lease Agreement

The Property Management Firm educates the tenant/leasee on the Agreement and signs the Agreement with the tenant or leasee.

Tenant/Leasee Relationship Management

The Property Management Firm follows up for payments, coordinates notifications and addresses issues with regards to the stay of the Tenant/Leasee.

Complaints Management

The Property Management Firm puts in place a system to receive and address complaints from the Tenant/Leasee with regards to the property, neighbours or any other inconveniences. 

Law Firms are not Property Management Firms

It is a good thing for Property Owners that Property Management Firms are doing a lot more than Law Firms with regards to the long term value and proper functioning of their Properties. Owners who are wise already work with Property Management Firms like Genie Capital. Those who are stuck in the past still insist on forcing Law Firms to do magic where they can not. Lawyers are some of the smartest people in the world. However, given that there is a depth to property management, Law Firms can not deliver as much as dedicated Property Management Firms. 

Author -- Otto B. Isong

Otto is a smart, creative and hard working man in his late 30s. He is trained in the scientific method, economics, finance and accounting. He is good at leading people, developing products and markets. He is a visionary and strategist with interest in digital technologies. Otto leads Genie Capital with empathy, passion and conviction.