When it comes to business, sometimes it’s best to leave it to the professionals. For investors, hiring a property management company can be incredibly beneficial, especially if they own multiple properties or do not have much time to dedicate to the properties. They take care of all aspects of managing the property; this saves investors time and stress while also assuring them that their investments are in the hands of capable and knowledgeable professionals. To ensure you select the ideal property manager, take the time to research your options. Here are some suggestions to help you find a reliable property management company:
Network and ask for referrals
If you’re looking for a property manager, it’s best to start with your local network. Ask for referrals from people you trust, such as those you know from networking meetings and investment clubs. You might also want to contact contractors and handypersons you’ve previously hired. Ultimately, it’s often better to work with someone you know or who comes recommended. You should also reach out to other investors and your local realtor to see if they have a property management company they are comfortable with. A wide selection of options will give you a better chance of finding someone who meets your needs.
Research Property Managers Online
To continue your search for a property management firm, you should conduct some research online. Utilize sites such as $implifyEm and AllPropertyManagement to find management companies that are active in your area. Simply input the size of your property and location to get a list of names. After compiling a list of potential candidates, look at each company’s website to read their mission statements and look online for customer reviews.
Visit Their Properties
On-site visits can be a great way to evaluate the abilities of a property management firm. Pay attention to the condition of the property and if there is any trash or debris. Make sure to observe any necessary repairs. It is also important to talk to tenants and ask questions about how their complaints are responded to and how quickly repairs or maintenance issues are resolved. Inquire about the noise level, any issues with other tenants, and if tenants plan to renew their leases and why.
Interview Several People
When searching for a property management firm, make sure that you interview multiple people in person to find the ideal fit for your property. Some of these include their education, experience in landlord/tenant law, and how they maintain properties. To find the best fit for your property, it is recommended that you interview multiple managers in person. This will allow you to gather various details about the company and its services. Having a large client base can also be a good indication that the firm has the capabilities to do a good job. Prior to the interviews, organize your questions into three main categories:
- Experience and Education: What is their knowledge of local and federal laws?
- Fee Structure: What fees are associated with their services?
- Services: How are properties maintained, and how is rent collected and managed?
Check Licenses and Certifications
In order to show vacant properties, most states require that property managers/management companies possess a valid real estate broker’s license or property management license. It is important to check with the state’s Real Estate Commission to ensure that the candidate’s brokerage license is active. Additionally, it is beneficial to find out if the manager has received certification from a trade organization. If a manager is willing to invest time and money into attending continuing education courses, it speaks volumes about their dedication to the organization. These certifications are only available after the successful completion of rigorous training programs. Above all, you should trust your instincts when hiring a property management firm. Even if a property manager has taken a course on the subject, there is no guarantee that they are applying what they have learned.
Understand Management Agreement Terms
Before signing a contract with a property management firm, ensure you thoroughly understand its terms. It may be wise to have a lawyer review the contract to ensure your rights are protected. Be sure to confirm that the specifics of the agreement you sign reflect what was discussed during your interview with the property manager and that you are aware of all your responsibilities as the property owner. The role of the property manager can range from broad to more specific, so make sure you are aware of the exact terms. When entering into a property management agreement, it is wise to ensure compliance with fair housing laws, understand the terms of any hold harmless and cancellation clauses, and request an example of the monthly report you would receive. It is also important to ensure that both parties carry adequate insurance, including errors and omissions coverage, general liability, and property-casualty coverage, at a minimum.