A rental property is an investment that requires constant care and attention, and one that comes with more than its fair share of challenges. As a result, it’s not hard to see why so many landlords turn to a professional property manager to handle the ongoing maintenance and management of their properties.
We cannot overstate the importance of choosing not just any property manager, but the right one. Let’s take a look at how to find a trustworthy, responsible, and skilled property manager that provides the services you need. It all starts with knowing what to look for, and what questions to ask.
How To Choose the Right Property Manager
Talk to your real estate agent and your fellow property investors about any property managers they’ve worked with. Chances are, they’ll be more than happy to refer you to property managers they’ve had a great experience with… and warn you about any you should steer clear of.
Meet in person
When you’re getting in touch with potential candidates, try to meet with each one in person, and make a note of your first impression of both the manager and their office. In all likelihood, the way a property manager interacts with you will be a good indication of how they’ll interact with your tenants.
Look for local experience
Generalized experience is all well and good, but you need a property manager who also has specific experience managing properties in your neck of the woods. Local experience means that your property manager can:
- Better market and advertise your property thanks to their knowledge of the local rental market.
- Make sound decisions based on local laws and ordinances.
- Draw from an established list of local contractors and other vendors for maintenance and repairs.
Focus on communication and organization
Two of the most crucial skills a property manager can bring to the table are strong communication and organizational skills. Look for someone who understands the importance of clear, ongoing communication, and who will keep you updated as well as communicating well with your tenants.
Organizational skills are also important because, as every landlord knows, managing a property involves keeping a lot of spinning plates in the air. Look for a property manager who can keep detailed records, stay on top of maintenance and tenant complaints, and offer an online portal for organizing important data.
Ask about strategies for filling vacancies
Filling vacant units is one of the most challenging aspects of being a landlord, and this is one of the areas where a great property manager can help the most. Ask questions related to filling vacancies, such as:
- Where and how do you advertise vacant units?
- How have you dealt with vacancies in the past?
- What is your average length of time to place a tenant?
- Do you have your own website where you list available rentals?
Verify licenses and certifications
Ask each candidate which licenses and certifications they hold (requirements vary locally and by state) and then verify them. For example, you can check with the state real estate commission to find out if a property manager’s real estate broker’s license is current.
Carefully read the property management agreement
The property management agreement is the contract between yourself and your prospective property manager. It should outline the services the manager will provide and the fees they charge, as well as your responsibilities as the owner of the property. Read it carefully, ask any questions you may have, and be sure you understand it before signing.
With the right property manager, you can rest easy knowing that your rental property is in good hands. Contact us today to learn more about how a professional property management company can make life easier for landlords and rental property owners.