Are you looking to invest in new rental property? If so, you need a property manager who can take care of your property and bring it to the next level.
A great property manager will ensure your tenants are happy, make sure your cash flow is accounted for, and keep your property in pristine condition. A bad property manager, however, can cost you time and money with things like irregular inspection reports, rental arrears, and low tenant retention.
How can you choose the best manager for your properties? Read on to find out!
10 Tips for Selecting the Best Property Manager
Finding the best property manager to help manage your properties is essential for the livelihood of your business. Here are 10 tips for selecting the best property manager.
- Do Some Research
The best way to start looking for a property manager for your rental property is a simple Google search. This will help you narrow down prospective property management companies near you so you can make a list of the ones you think could work for you. Once you have a list you should look at each property management company’s website for these key pieces of information:
- List of services they offer (tenant screening, rent collection, etc.)
- Management fees and fee schedule
- Staff information
- Their property owner and tenant portal
- Contact information
- Timeliness in their response
A good property management company will have a website that reflects the quality of their service and should lend insight into the kind of company they are.
- Get Referrals
Sometimes the best property managers are the ones referred to you by friends and colleagues. You should ask anyone you know who works in real estate or property management if they know of anyone who may be a good fit.
Word of mouth is very powerful when it comes to finding a quality management company. If a property management company has a bad reputation, chances are that message has spread amongst property owners and industry professionals. Those with a good reputation will also be easier to find.
Next, check the state’s Real Estate Commission and the Better Business Bureau to make sure your prospective property manager is licensed and has no complaints against them.
- Check Out Local Ads
Many local property management companies use local advertisements to share when the rental properties they manage are available for rent. Check out your newspapers, online classifieds, and sites like Craigslist to find these property management companies. Just make sure to do some additional research on any companies you find to confirm these property management options are good for you.
- Check out Their Current Work
The best way to find out if a property manager is right for you is to see them in action. Visit the properties they manage to see if they are clean and well maintained. You should also speak to their current tenants to see what they think about their property and the way it’s managed.
- See How the Property Manager Handles Advertising & Vacancies
An important part of being a property manager is attracting and retaining tenants. You should see how they handle advertising and vacancies to find out how they advertise these properties and how long it takes them to place their tenants. This is also a great way to see the kind of properties they manage to find out if their experience is relevant.
- Only Look for Licensed Property Managers
Most states require property management companies to have a real estate broker’s license or management license. A licensed property manager is one that has gone through an approved property management course and passed a state licensing exam. This means they’ll know important state-regulated procedures that will make them more prepared to manage your property.
- Interview Multiple Candidates
Picking the best property manager for your property is about more than just experience. It’s about finding someone you can trust. You should interview several property managers and management companies and compare them to find the one you feel most comfortable with.
Here are some of the kinds of questions you should ask:
- How much are your fees? Is it based on rent collected or rent due?
- What’s your management style and approach?
- What are your practices for returning security deposits?
- How do you perform property inspections?
- How would you handle a possible eviction?
- Do I have one point of contact?
- How long have you been in business?
- How many units are you managing?
- What kind of credit checks do you run when screening a potential tenant?
- Do you have an online portal for tenants and owner?
- Do I received monthly and annual financial statements?
- How do you handle emergencies after hours?
By asking these kinds of questions to a few different candidates, you can get a better feel for who would be the best property manager for you.
- Test Candidates With Very Specific Questions
An ideal property manager is someone who is flexible and experienced enough to handle a wide range of property issues. That’s why you should test candidates by asking them specific questions that assess their skill set. Ask them how they handle after-hour emergencies, how they plan on filling vacancies, and how they would deal with sudden property damage.
- Get a Commitment Outline
The best property managers often manage several properties, so it’s important to know how they plan on prioritizing yours. You can determine this by asking for a commitment outline that will highlight how they plan on managing your property. This plan should outline how often they’ll visit your property, how they’ll screen tenants, how they’ll do lease renewals, and other important parts of being a property manager.
- Pick the Right Property Manager for You
Beyond experience and management approach, it’s ideal to find a candidate that you click with on a personal level. Try to get to know any potential candidates on a personal level by asking them about their lives, interests, and any other details that may influence how they approach their job.
You’ll be working with this person often on small issues and big problems, so it’s important that you know how to communicate and collaborate effectively. If you have two different communication styles, you run the risk of not talking to each other and not being on the same page for important issues.
Final Thoughts on Picking the Perfect Property Manager
Picking the right person or company as your property manager is essential to your property’s success. By following these tips, you can find the best property manager in an easy and efficient way.
Are you currently looking for a property manager in Philadelphia or a neighboring area? Contact us to learn more about how you can find the right one!