Whether you’re just getting started as a property investor or tired of managing your rental properties yourself, finding a good property management company in this crowded industry can seem overwhelming and stressful.
Putting your precious investment properties and critical relationships with your tenants in the hands of someone else is a big step – but there are ways to be sure you’ll never end up with a lousy property management company.
We’ve identified the important boxes that that every property manager should check before you even think about working with them! Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through this so you end up with the best property manager possible.
Anyone can start a company and call themselves property managers, but are they experienced? Do they understand the ins and outs of property management? Do they have a deep knowledge of legal and insurance issues, as well as best practices for important aspects of management like handling emergency situations with tenants, dealing with maintenance, and selecting tenants?
With a few simple questions about how a property manager has handled something in the past, their documents such as lease agreements, and best practices can help you to quickly identify an inexperienced or insufficient property management company.
In-House Maintenance Personnel
Does the property management company you’d like to work with have their own maintenance personnel? If not, what is the mark up on maintenance expenses for them to facilitate updates or repairs at your rental property?
Don’t get stuck in a situation where you’ve started working with a property management company and all of a sudden get the bill for some work done on your property and it’s 40% higher than what the actual repairs cost. Ask those questions up front to avoid big surprises later.
Three of your tenants paid their rent late last month and you’re just now hearing about it? This will never happen with a quality property management company behind you. Ask those important questions about your potential property manager’s reporting process. They should have one in place. One step better – it’s all automated and online for you to check at your leisure.
Excellent People Skills
We’ve all met the socially awkward property manager, the timid property manager, the overly aggressive property manager, and the “I’m-too-busy-to-answer-your-calls” property manager. Always be sure to have several conversations with your potential new property manager before committing to a new relationship.
How do they interact with you? Do they seem friendly yet stern? Are they confident in their abilities but not overly arrogant or aggressive? Your property manager is an extension of you and the liaison between you and your tenants. They should be pleasant to work with but authoritative when they need to be.
If you have any trouble understanding exactly what you’d have to pay to work with a property manager after those first few conversations – run. This is a huge red flag and may leave you with a bill at the end of the month that you didn’t agree to.
The expenses should be pretty straight forward with perhaps a few add-ons. If you’re having to pull out your calculator or are trying to remember how to do 6th grade long division during the proposal period, you definitely won’t be happy when the bill shows up.
As a general rule of thumb a great property manager should be able to answer every question you have about them managing your investment property. Because you’re putting so much trust in a property manager to work closely with your tenants and be sure your rental is well cared for, safe, and profitable – it’s not a decision to take lightly. So, make sure you have all your important questions answered!
Alternatively, if you prefer to maintain control over your property, don’t want a full-scale Property Manager, but need some help with tenant phone calls, coordinating maintenance requests, and other administrative tasks, consider Hands On Tap.