If you’ve been a landlord for any amount of time, you will realize that no two tenants are the the same. You’ll get some great tenants that you would do almost anything to keep. But you will also get the problem tenants that you can’t evict fast enough.
Just as tenants vary in quality so do property management companies. There are many different property management companies all with varying quality of property management services, and its up to you, as the property owner, to decide which property management company is a good fit for you.
Since, you have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in your rental properties, you really need to be careful who you decide to partner with. Even though a property manager isn’t going to be a business partner per se, they sure will have a big effect on the success of your rental property investments.
So in our mind, you should treat them as a partner, since they will have a big influence on your success over time. You need to find a property manager that has the experience and is willing to bend over backwards to protect your investments.
So, how can you find the best property management company that will do whatever it takes? How can you find the perfect property manager that will ensure the success of your rental investments?
That’s what this article hopes to answer.
There’s a lot more to property management than simply filling your rentals with tenants.
While pretty much anyone could do that, not all property management companies have the skills and the experience to deliver. You need an outstanding property manager/ property management company that is willing to do whatever it takes to tackle all the tasks involved in making a rental investment portfolio flourish.
A good property manager will allow you to rest easy knowing that the day-to-day management of your rental properties are in good hands. With the right property management company, you can be at ease knowing that they will contact you about any big ticket items and major concerns.
With that level of communication for important concerns, you also will be hoping that they take the initiative to solve most of the day-to-day problems on their own; this is the whole point of hiring a property manager. The best property management companies will be able to increase cash flow, reduce expenses, and improve the net worth of your investment… all while filling your rentals with tenants.
All of this could be a headache figuring out yourself. But when you find a property manager that is good, all this will be a piece of cake for you, since it is all being delegated to a trustworthy vendor.
Just like every used car salesman will assure you that they are looking out for your best interests, so will every property manager that you call. A good property management company cannot just “talk the talk,” they have to “walk the walk.”
The hard part is separating companies that “walk the walk” from all the noise. But there are some ways we have found that allows you to find the best property management companies to work with!
When looking for a property manager, you must pick the ones where their actions have to speak louder than their words. The goal here, however, is you do not want to do this by trial and error. You don’t have the time nor the money to hire several mediocre property managers, until you finally find a winner. You need to research their reputation before you put them under contract.
Because your rental property is an investment of considerable value, you would never just rent it out to the first tenant that comes along. You also wouldn’t rent it out based on a nice looking application or a promising interview.
No, an experienced landlord knows the value of doing a thorough background check. So, how does one do a thorough background check on a property manager?
There are two primary ways you can check on a prospective property management company.
Before you even call them to schedule an interview, do some research online. Do a Google search with the name of the property management company and the word “review.” Also check their Yelp and Google Reviews.
Do whatever research you can do, to make sure you hire the best property manager possible. This will bring up plenty of references that you can check. Pay attention to the comments from the tenants as well as the property owners. There are always going to be some negative ones from idiot difficult tenants, but try to look at the whole picture.
A second and perhaps more reliable way to find a good property management company is based on the referrals and recommendations of others. If another landlord is using a local property manager and they are pleased with their performance, then most likely you will be happy as well.
So, ask around. Attend a local real estate investment association meeting and find out who other investors are using. Ask your real estate agent.
Here is another useful tip. When you narrow down the search for a good property management company and start interviewing the top companies, ask for the contact information of a few of their current and past clients. Then give these clients a call to see what they have to say.
There is a fact that perhaps gets overlooked when hiring a property management company. While the company may have had a great reputation in the past, whomever they have as their lead property manager is what matters now. Remember, a property management company is only as good as their property manager.
While you are researching the reputation of the property management company, keep track of any individual names that pop up.
If the same people are working there when you have your interview, then great, you will have all your bases covered. If they recently hired a new lead property manager, then there are some questions that you can ask that will help find the ideal manager for your rental houses and apartments.
Most states require that property management companies are licensed, so this means that they will know the legal requirements.
However, your goal during the interview process is to learn about their company’s management policies. Here are some questions that we recommend that you ask:
What is the maximum amount of units you have assigned to each employee? There is a limit to the number of units that a person can effectively manage, regardless of the technology they use. This range is probably between 30 to 40 units. If the company only has a couple of properties, this can also indicate their performance.
Do you own rental properties yourself? While this may seem good for experience, guess which units they will fill first?
How often do you inspect the units? This is very important and it should be a standard part of their service, not an add-on. Regular rental property inspections equate to better property management and higher tenant care.
How do you handle maintenance issues? You should know what type of people they send out. You do not need a licensed plumber or electrician for every repair. You should also find out if they add a fee on top of the bill and if it is negotiable.
Are you a full service property management company? It is nice when a property management company also has the ability to do maintenance, construction, property management accounting, etc.
Are you using property management software? Using the best property management software available helps the property management company not only scale, but to stay organized.
When will you get paid? Not only should they send or deposit your money early in the month, but you should receive a property financial report of all activity as well.
One critical item that you will want to be conscious of is their communication style.
Do they listen to what you have to say or do they keep cutting you off? How many phone calls or text messages did they take while you were there in their office? What is their preferred method of communication – text, email, phone – and what is yours? Good communication is a critical skillet skill that cannot be minimized.
Finding the absolute best property management company can seem overwhelming to say the least, but it doesn’t have to be.
Take our advice and look for a company that is recommended by others; has good online reviews; and one that can communicate with you on the same level.
Here are six tips to help you find the best fit for your property. Get Referrals From Different Sources. Do an Online Search for Property Managers. Check Out Their Current Work. Interview Several Property Managers. Check Their License and Certification. Examine Their Management Agreement.
To Find A Property Manager that will deliver results, first do some online research for good property managers. Interview many different property managers. Check their legal licensing status. Look over their property management agreement. Learn more.