Having a property is a great opportunity for a real estate investor. However, owning it comes with an added responsibility. For some people, becoming a landlord and managing tenants can be a daunting task. Most of them find hiring a property manager as the best solution.
A good property manager ensures the property is in good condition and the tenants are happy. However, a bad property manager can cost the property owners both money and time. They can also mishandle tenants with rental arrears, regular inspections, and renewals, leading to decreased retention of tenants.
Who is a Property Manager?
It is essential to understand what a real estate manager or property management company does. A property manager is an individual who takes responsibility for the daily rental operation for a certain fee.
Property managers are responsible when the owner is not around to do the landlord's responsibilities. Some of these responsibilities include property management, rent collection, tenant communication, applicant screening, maintenance coordination, and much more. Here are the tips for finding a good property management company.
Tips to Find the Best Property Manager
Rental managements involve challenging tasks of handling the rental property, tenant's communications, and protecting the property. Finding the right property manager or a good property management company will help in protecting your investment. So, how do you find a good property management company? Let us look at a few tips below.
1. Interview Many Candidates
Reviewing websites and asking questions are essential. Finding good property managers involves gathering a lot of information. The objective is to find a property management company that you can trust and feel comfortable with when handling the responsibility of managing your property.
Interview property managers as you would interview an employee. After you hand over the responsibility of handling your property, they will be working for you. Do a lot of research, including asking questions before hiring a property manager. Conduct a 30 minutes' interview and have questions to ask prepared.
Ask similar questions to different candidates and make a comparison of their responses. The questions asked should include the management fees, the size of the staff, how much will be the cost of the service and much more.
2. Ask for Referrals
Making a careful selection and being patient will help you find a reliable property manager with whom you can work for the long term. Begin searching for a property manager by asking family members and friends for referrals.
Technology has also enabled people to get massive amounts of information. Therefore, through Google search, you could find a property management company and reviews from their clients. Then from your selection, take a look at each of the company's property management websites. What are the key things to look for? Check their list of services they offer, rent collection and tenant screening, property management fees, contact information, client testimonials.
Consider asking about the amount of money required for emergencies, who will keep the security deposit, and if a tenant is evicted, will the property manager handle the court proceedings? Different states have different rules on whom to keep the deposit. Some property managers keep the deposit, while others ask the property owner to keep it.
3. Read and Understanding the Contract
There is a contract that is required to be reviewed when working with a property manager. Review the contract before signing and understand all the terms. You can contact the manager through phone, email, or in any other way.
Do thorough research and get fair management fees for all the services offered. However, don't select property managers because they are charging the lowest fee. Read the entire contract and understand every detail before making your final decision. Property managers have a policy on how they will inspect a property.
4. Do Evaluations Annually
It is essential to evaluate the services of the property managers every year. Decide if you want the property manager to stay or go based on how they managed the property in the previous year. If the person did a good job, then you can keep him.
Every year a property manager should give the property owner a notice of fee and rent increase. However, before the rental fee is changed, the property manager should discuss it with you some months before. He should not wait until the last minute to discuss the rent increase with tenants. Tenants should be given at least a few days to decide to move or pay the rent.
5. Asking Whether Your Property Will Be Advertised
As a property owner, one of the things to ask is about advertising. Consider how a property manager will advertise to find new tenants for a rental property or commercial properties when vacant. They might place signs on the property or advertise on various platforms. Ask whether they will advertise the property on websites, newspapers, or other places. Can they get the right tenant to fill the vacancy? For instance, if the property manager manages a small-sized property, can they fill single-family homes?
Selecting a good property management company or person for property management is vital for the success of your investment. The listed tips above will help during your research for the best property manager. You can also consider a Better Business Bureau that will assist you in finding a property manager or local property manager.