Managing rental properties doesn’t always start as a challenge, but it can end up that way. As you continue to grow your holdings and experience issues in the future, you may conclude that you need help managing your properties. That’s where a property management company helps.
The good news is that there are more than 310,000 property management companies in the United States to choose from. However, finding the best property manager is easier said than done. Ask the questions below when looking for a property management firm to ensure you find the best one.
What Services Do You Offer?
Not every property management company offers the same services. Some providers have a one-size-fits-all solution for their clients.
They’ll handle everything from payment collection to tenant screening.
Other property management companies are more specialized. They may focus more on the management side of things, leaving you to handle rent collection, tenant screening, building repair, and other tasks.
It’s up to you to figure out how much work you want to give your property manager. The more you want to outsource, the more you will pay your management company.
If you want to test the waters to see if a management company is right for you, start small when outsourcing the work. You can expand a management company’s work once you get comfortable with how it operates. Your provider can also provide you with management tips that will help you figure out what services will work best for you at the start.
How Long Have You Been in Business?
It takes a unique skill set to care for a property the right way. That’s why you need to find a management company that has been doing it for a long time.
An experienced property management firm has been through it all before. They know how to deal with tenants, handle property repairs, and keep the whole operation running smoothly.
While a new property manager may be able to do a lot of the work right, you need a manager that won’t make mistakes. Ask your property management company how long it has been in business. If they’re new to the game, it may be worth looking for another company with more experience.
Do You Belong to Any Organizations?
It isn’t always easy to tell if a management company has what it takes to handle the job. Without proof that they can do the work, you’re making your best guess without any other information.
Luckily, there are some organizations out there that reputable management companies join.
The first is the local association for realtors in your area. People in the real estate industry need all the chances they can get to network. A local association is one of the best ways to do that.
The next option is the National Association of Residential Property Managers. This association is for property managers across the entire country. This organization doesn’t let just any property management company in its ranks, so you can trust that any member has what you need to manage your properties.
What Are Your Fees?
A property management company’s fees are one of the most important things to consider during your search. You’ll find that not all management companies handle fees the same way. Because of that, you’ll need to learn about fee structures and determine which one works best for you.
One popular way to structure fees is a flat rate. You’ll retain a company every month for a fixed amount of money. For that money, you’ll get a specified number of services.
Other companies work by taking a percentage of the rent every month. If you have a full-service management company, this can reduce your fees since you won’t need to pay outright for all the services you need.
Of course, you also need to be aware of additional fees. Some management companies hide service charges, material premiums, and other extras that increase the amount of money you pay.
Do You Have a Portfolio?
It’s one thing to claim you can manage properties. It’s another to prove you can by showing your current portfolio.
Any established property management company should be able to show you the properties they manage. They display those properties on their website to entice potential customers in many cases.
If you don’t see any examples on a property manager’s website, ask if they can provide any examples to you. It’s not a deal-breaker if a management company doesn’t offer a portfolio of properties, but it’s something you should consider.
How Do You Screen Tenants?
Finding the right tenants is one of the most critical parts of being a landlord. Unfortunately, it isn’t always the easiest thing to do. It’s simple for tenants to lie on applications and withhold vital information that can impact your decision.
Having an excellent tenant screening process is one of the most important things to have as a landlord. The same is true for a property management company that manages your rentals.
Ask to see how a property management company handles the screening process. Some companies don’t do enough during this process and are fine renting to subpar tenants. If you want your investment property to stay in great shape, make sure this doesn’t happen.
Don’t Settle for Less Than the Best Property Manager
You have many options when you look for a property management company. However, not every company out there will do enough to take care of your needs and your tenants. Make sure you ask the right questions during your search to find the best property manager you can.
Do you want more tips to help you find and maintain more rental properties? Check out the latest articles on the blog for more information.