How To Find A Property Manager – A Complete Guide
A good property management company should have a commitment that can equal that of the property owners themselves. From your decision to begin real estate investing, to your initial search for a rental property, to your property management – every decision should be calculated. As a property investor, a good property manager is one who will make sure your needs are being met and make the process a smooth one.
A property management company should take over the screening process, handle middle-of-the-night phone calls for maintenance requests, and even evict a tenant for you. If you are thinking the costs of a good property management company will eat into the profit money of your rental property investment, the expense may be worth it! So, let’s dive a little deeper into the world of property managers. We’ll take a look at what they can do for you and discuss exactly how to find a property manager that can benefit your investment.
A Good Property Manager Will Save You Money
As a real estate investor, if you are not interested in being a full-time landlord with a hands-on approach – including the baggage that goes along with it, then you’ll want to find a company that fits the job description and does a great job for you.
This includes avoiding costly pitfalls like losing money on a tenant because of simple things like not verifying an individual’s email address, last name, and phone number. It also means making sure they haven’t skipped out on rent before. If you are in a relatively small area, (a small zip code), a good property manager will make sure to keep in touch with other rental property managers and stay on the same page with info such as the last name of tenants known to “scam the process”.
Good property management companies know how to do this while still staying within the rights reserved for tenants under the law. Rental properties are regulated and real estate investors and landlords have to take into account the needs of the tenant regarding his rights. This is where knowledge of a specific location and zip code comes in handy.
How To Find A Property Manager
While finding a property manager may not be the easiest process, there are some important steps and ideas that you should keep in mind that can help. Make sure you get referrals, do your own research, check out some online sites, and finally don’t forget to interview your top choices. Below we will take a closer look at each of these key aspects and how they can help you find a property manager.
Careful vetting here is key. Start by asking friends, family, and colleagues about their experiences with real estate agencies or property managers. Gather this information and call them to narrow down the list.
Do Independent Research
Search online to make sure the property manager has been certified. The groups you are looking for include IREM (Institute of Real Estate Management) and NARPM (the National association of Residential property managers).
Visit Online Sites
There are websites geared towards helping you find a great property manager. Put in the size of your property and your location and lists of managers should pop up. An example of one of these sites is Allpropertymanagement.com.
Interview Your Top Choices
Before you hire a property manager you want to interview them since they work for you! Be prepared with a list of questions. You want to ask about specific fees and their level of responsiveness. Find more detail about this below.
Tips For Finding The Right Property Manager
It’s not just about finding a property manager, it’s about finding the right property manager that fits your needs. You must find a property management company with the knowledge and experience to handle your business with the utmost care. Your investment is a small business for you and while it would be best to find a property manager that is close-by, this is not an absolute must.
Customer Reviews Are Important
People who take the time to write a review about a past experience with a property manager has probably had a very bad or a very good experience. Read reviews from a trade organization online. Have there been complaints about long wait times while repairs are being made? This is what you should be looking for in a review.
Look At The Fee Structure
The amount of money the property manager wants to charge for their services can vary greatly (which can have a significant impact on the profit you make on a rental property).
Look for a company that charges 10%. This is a good rule of thumb. Many companies charge 10% but this can depend on the rental market in your area, so be diligent in finding out a manager’s specific terms. This includes a finders fee added to the amount for finding a tenant. Some property managers charge a full month’s rent for this so be aware.
Look For A Certain Level Of Responsiveness
You must be sure that your tenant will be able to speak to a live person. Tenants will be left feeling disillusioned and frustrated that their problems might go unaddressed if there is not someone they can talk to. It’s important to remember that some of your best renters are ones that are able to buy a single-family home, but they choose to rent so they don’t have to deal with taking care of a home. These are tenants you don’t want to lose. Make sure your property manager is responsive by calling as if you were a tenant yourself and see what happens.
Look For A Property Manager In A Real Estate Company
I have heard negatives in terms of looking for a property manager in a real estate office. The complaints I’ve heard are worries that just because an agent can buy and sell real estate, doesn’t mean they can manage a rental. However, I disagree. Some of the best property managers come from real estate sales companies and their connections cannot be beaten.
Benefits Of Using A Property Management Company
A good property management company will add significant value to your investment. Below are a few ways using a property management company could benefit you and your investment.
Higher Quality Tenants
Once you get a bad tenant in your rental, it’s very hard to get them out. A thorough screening process by your property manager will ensure that the tenants pay on time, rent longer, put less wear and tear on the unit, and just cause fewer general problems.
Fewer Costly And Time-Consuming Legal Problems
You don’t want to be left vulnerable to a potential lawsuit. Avoiding one lawsuit can more than pay for property management fees in the long run. Some lawsuits that may come your way are security deposit issues, lease addendums, rent collection (not being paid), and of course, evictions.
Shorter Vacancy Cycles
A good property manager will help you fill your vacancies fast by suggesting the right cosmetic improvements, determining the best rent rate – (too high and you wait too long for a tenant, and too low and you lose money every month), and effectively marketing your property. Advertising should be easy for a professional manager.
To Sum It Up: Finding A Property Manager
Whether you’re investing in real estate or rental property, a solid property manager can provide a plethora of benefits in regards to your time, money, and tasks. If a property management company is competent, trustworthy and a good fit for your location, you’ll have the ideal scenario. Use the suggestions above to find the right property manager for your real estate, and start reaping the benefits they can provide!