You have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a property manager, and the decision should not be taken lightly. Working with the right property management company can mean the difference between a thriving rental business and the possibility of foreclosure.
Every property owner has unique needs, so there’s no perfect manager for every situation. However, there are a few key things that the best property management companies all have in common. Here are the top 10 traits to look for.
When interviewing potential property owners, find out how long they’ve been in the business. Ask for testimonials and recommendations. A good management company should have a list of satisfied clients who are willing to talk to you about their experience.
The right property management company can save you time and money, but only if they have the capacity to handle your business. Find out how many units they are currently managing and how many employees they have.
How easy is it to reach your property manager? If there’s a problem in the middle of the night, will they be available to handle it? A management company offering around-the-clock services will save you some potentially serious headaches.
- Service Options
What types of service does your property management company offer? Look for a company that handles rent collection, tenant services, property inspection, maintenance, and leasing. In some cases, your property manager can even provide you with written reports and financial statements.
- Reasonable Fees
Make sure the fees charged are reasonable. Some companies can charge up to 12 percent of rental income, plus other fees. This can take a pretty big chunk out of your profits. You will always want to ask your property managers to list out ALL of their fees. Many of the fees are hidden in the contract and not disclosed until you are already with that particular management company.
Read your agreement carefully before signing. Property management fee structures can vary widely, and there may be hidden costs. An honest company will disclose everything clearly and ensure you understand exactly what you’re getting into.
Does the property manager offer any guarantees about the quality of their work? How quickly do they typically rent out spaces? Do you have any recourse if the tenant they choose is evicted? Many management companies will warranty their tenants for a certain period of time. If a property management company does not warranty their tenants for a specific length of time, you might want to reconsider going with that company.
These are all important questions to ask ahead of time, so you aren’t faced with unpleasant surprises down the line.
- Company Structure
Find out if you’ll be working directly with the person you’re interviewing, or with a team of employees. Either structure can be fine, but it’s best to understand it before you make a commitment. In many cases, working with a locally owned and operated company can be preferable to a large corporate structure.
Does the company you’re considering have a positive online reputation? Do they belong to professional associations like the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM(R))? What’s their rating with the Better Business Bureau?
Make sure the manager you’re interviewing is a good fit for your personal style. The best manager should listen to you and make you feel comfortable that your needs will be handled. If you’re feeling unsure, it’s usually best to trust your instincts.
Looking for a Great Property Management Company? We Can Help!
At Bay Management Group, we pride ourselves on top-of-the-line, full-service property management in and around Greater Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. With 24/7 service, low monthly fees, and a 6-month tenant warranty, working with us gives you the peace of mind you’ve been looking for.
Contact us today for a free property management analysis.