A property manager is a group or person that you hire to handle the day-to-day operations of rental real estate, such as single family homes, apartments, or commercial real estate assets. Typically, a property manager will find and fill a property with tenants, collect monthly rent, oversee the legal paperwork, and facilitate repairs.
A property manager is likely to bill you anywhere between eight and ten percent of the gross monthly rent you charge your tenants. For many, this is a worthwhile cost (especially if you manage property out of state).
Still, upwards of ten percent is no small chunk. So you’ll want to make sure their service is every bit as valuable as they say it is.
Below, let’s explore four tips that will help you hire the most efficient property management firm.
1. Do a Deep Dive Into Their Services
Managing property is not a one-size-fits-all deal. For example, some property managers are great at staging and listing properties.
Others run thorough credit and background checks or draft detailed, comprehensive leases.
Others excel at handling maintenance problems and getting repairs done for a great price. Others might prove to be valuable by being skillful at handling late rent payments or troublesome evictions.
If you’re able to handle any of these processes on your own, then you won’t need to grill the potential company about their history of handling these issues.
But, if you’re looking to hire a property manager to handle all o the day-to-day requirements of your property, then you will want to clearly understand the range of services that they offer and their experience to date.
2. Find Out How Many Properties They Manage
Some real estate investors acquire a portfolio of properties, either single family homes or multi-family apartment complexes.
Other people simply move into a new home and rent their old condo or townhouse as an income property instead of selling it.
Which category do you fit into?
If you choose a property manager with a lot of experience and a huge portfolio of properties, that’s great. But, will they be able to manage your small condo downtown?
Finding the right fit is important.
Occasionally, you’ll come across firms like Sold By Shannon that can manage both large and small ventures. Regardless, you will want to know how many properties your prospective property manager manages and if they will be able to make you a priority.
3. Ask About Maintenance
This is one of the most valuable assets of a property management firm, especially if you live out of state. Have an in-depth conversation with the potential firm to find out how they handle maintenance issues.
For example, if you opt for a property manager that oversees a multitude of properties, they may have their own maintenance team that will get deployed when needed repairs come up.
If, however, you select a smaller firm for that personal touch, make sure you understand the maintenance process when tenants call in to report a new problem. For example, do they outsource the work? If so, how much quotes do they collect? How fast can they get repairs handled?
Price, timelines, and quality are all important considerations when it comes to executing property repairs, because your tenants deserve to live in a safe, well maintained property with working appliances.
4. Consider Their Technology
Managing property (and people, to some extent) requires open, active, and prompt communication.
Consider whether the property management company you are considering has a systemized process to handle all of this communication.
Do they have an online portal where they house important paperwork like leases and upcoming events? Is there a streamlined process for tenants to reach out with inquiries? Can you monitor that, as well?
In today’s ever-increasing technological sphere, you want to make sure that you hire a property manager who can offer clear, prompt, and efficient communication.
The Best Property Manager for You
The best property manager for you is out there. The key is to do your due diligence before hiring a property manager and select the company that can offer you the greatest value.
For more tips and tricks on investing in real estate, read the Finance section of this blog.