Did you know that the property management market was valued at $15.1 billion in 2021? This figure may double in the coming years as the real estate market steadily returns to its pre-pandemic value.
After all, property managers are property owners’ best assets. Without the property management firm, chances of your property registering high returns are pretty low.
So, how do you choose the right property manager in a market? Simple: Do your research. Find out what qualities good property management firms have.
Sure, this may seem like a lot of work. But the results are worthwhile.
Read on to learn some of the best tips for choosing a real estate manager.
These days people leave reviews on everything on sites like Yelp and Foursquare. These sites are an excellent resource for assessing prospective managers’ reputations.
Usually, people only leave reviews when they have extremely good or bad experiences. So, reading reviews will highlight all you need to know about the firms you’re considering.
Let’s face it, you cannot get this information from the firm. They’ll never talk about the mistakes they’ve made.
You can also join your local property owners’ association if there’s one. Here, you’ll meet other landlords who have worked with various agencies. They’ll direct you to reliable ones.
Ensure you learn from other landlords’ mistakes. If many ask you to avoid a particular rental property management firm, do it.
Experience is an essential quality in a rental agency. Property management is quite complicated. A firm is bound to make some mistakes in its early days.
But many learn from their mistakes. You’ll want to work with a company that’s been in operation for at least one year. This period is enough to understand the basics of property management.
If you can, find a firm with even more years of experience. The more their experience, the better they’ll handle arising issues.
For instance, a company that’s been operating for, say, ten years will have networks of contractors. So, they’ll get you the best services and prices when your building needs maintenance and repairs.
Such a firm will also know how to navigate housing regulations and tenant laws. So you can rest assured that all your ducks are in a row.
You’d be surprised by the number of lawsuits that emerge from non-compliance. Don’t risk losing your money by hiring an inexperienced firm.
Consider Communication Skills
Have you ever had a building super who took weeks to reply to your complaints? Not the best experiences, right? Chances are, this may have contributed to your ultimate relocation.
Imagine putting your tenants through a similar situation. You can rest assured that you’ll have more tenants moving out than into your property. So, ensure you hire a firm with proper communication skills from the beginning.
Assess how they communicate with you during the hiring process.
A firm that doesn’t listen to you won’t listen to your tenants. Chances are, they’ll have it worse. So, protect your investment by hiring a rental agency with good communication skills.
Discuss Routine Procedures
Ensure you assess how a firm plans to handle routine procedures. How well they run the most straightforward procedures can make or break you.
Routine procedures include inspections, maintenance, and rent collection. Don’t be afraid to ask how your new property management firm plans to handle these things.
The right company will conduct regular inspections. They’ll also upgrade features where necessary to make your tenants more comfortable.
The right company will have a network of reliable contractors to handle maintenance. Ask for names of the companies they plan to work with and check their reputations. If they’re sketchy, chances are, the property management firm may also be a wrong choice.
You’ll also need to ask how the company deals with late rent payments. Ensure they understand how to deal with problematic tenants. Their measures should be efficient and legal.
Discuss Tenant Vetting Procedures they Have In Place
A considerable part of a property manager’s job is screening new tenants. Sure, finding tenants is good. But finding good tenants is even better.
You don’t have to worry about late payments or noise complaints with good tenants. You’d be surprised by how much tenants affect empty houses’ turnover. People are not willing to move into buildings with problematic neighbors.
Vetting will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. But you’ll also need to ensure that your manager’s vetting standards are not discriminatory.
Avoid a company if it appears to discriminate against some groups. This is still a significant issue today. It can ruin your building’s reputation and affect turnover rates.
Look at the Pricing of the Property Management Firm
While pricing should not be the main factor you consider, it should determine your choice. You’ll want to get the best possible pricing.
The secret lies in comparing different agencies’ charges. Don’t settle for the first good property manager you find. There may be better-charging ones around the corner.
But do not compromise quality for the price. It’d be best to consider pricing after all the other factors in your checklist. Pricing should help you choose between equally-qualified alternatives.
A property manager will either charge a flat rate or a percentage of the rent. A flat rate will remain constant. But, a percentage rate will vary with tenant occupation.
Do your research on occupancy rates in your area to determine the most convenient option. Be wary of companies that avoid discussing pricing during the hiring process. Chances are, they may have hidden charges that’ll affect your investment’s net returns.
A Reliable Property Manager Is Your Best Asset
Your property will realize great returns under the proper management. Ensure the property management firm you hire isn’t only good but great.
Considering the factors discussed here will help you make a killing in real estate. After all, your property’s returns are dependent on your property manager’s efficiency.
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