A property management company can be an excellent tool for landlords. There are so many skills needed to manage a property, and asking for help is never a bad thing! If you’re a Delaware County landlord choosing a property management company can seem like a daunting task. Keep in mind the following information when searching for the right property management company for your rental property.
How to Find a Delaware County Property Manager
Take these first steps to find a Delaware County Property Management Company:
- Research: This is the first step before making any major decision for your property or small business. Do your research and a lot of it. There are plenty of good companies out there, but also a fair share of illegitimate or unlicensed ones as well. Use social media, online review sites, and task other landlords if they can recommend property management companies. Take your time and do not skip this step.
- Narrow Down Options: Now that you’ve taken your time and done plenty of research, pick at least three property management companies based on what you’ve learned from research.
- Interview: After narrowing down the choices, start interviewing companies! Ask all the property-related questions and know what to look for (we go over this below). Eliminate any companies that don’t fit your requirements.
- Reference Check: After interviewing, you likely have a couple of options to choose from, but don’t go on the word of interviews. Interviews can be deceiving. Check references! Follow-up with other landlords that have worked with them in the past and ask questions about their service, timeliness, and any other items to be sure they’ll be the best fit.
Things To Consider When Choosing a Property Management Company
Now that you’ve narrowed down the search, keep these items in mind:
- Technology: A vital thing to consider is he uses of technology and property management software. If so, which ones and what are the benefits? Whether you have one property, ten properties, or a multi-family building, it’s essential to stay organized. In addition to using software to stay organized, it allows tenants to pay online and request maintenance help. The ease of online payments is a massive bonus for tenants right now when choosing a rental. So, go with a company that has robust software and builds it into the price as opposed to asking you to purchase it separately.
- Earning Potential: What is your earning potential with this specific company? To come up with a ballpark number, study their previous or current clients and the profit margin they’ve made for them. Criteria to keep in mind include; how can they improve property value, will this company limit vacancies and eviction rates, and do they have a proven track record of doing so.
- Fees: What is your budget for a property management company? Don’t be cheap, but also don’t stretch your budget too far. In general, property management companies charge a percentage of the gross monthly income from your property as a management fee. The rate can vary, but the average ranges from eight to ten percent of collected rent. Keep this in mind!
- Licensing: Finally, do they have the licensing to be considered a valid property management company? Like any other business, they must be a registered LLC. Choose a property management company that is fully compliant with Pennsylvania licensing requirements. Also, do they require their property managers to be educated and have a property management certification? Sure, a certification isn’t always needed to be a property manager, but it should be to verify they have the proper experience and education.
- Marketing & Leasing Strategy: A good property management company can strategically market properties for you. Check out the listings of current units they are marketing and analyze the marketing strategy. Are the photos of high quality? Do they know how to optimize content? Are they cross-posted to high-traffic rental websites?
- Screening Procedures: Screening is a necessary task to include in the contract with a property management company. They need to have a sound screening procedure in place and the essential software to run background and credit checks on prospects. A lack of proper screening will open your property up to trouble tenants. Property managers should have procedures in place to check for criminal background and previous evictions to minimize risk.
- Retention & Renewal Rates: Keep retention and renewal rates in mind. A property management company with high renewal rates is a good one. This means they keep tenants happy and avoid vacancies at a higher rate than the competition.
- Delinquency & Eviction Rate: A good sign that a property management company is doing something right from the start is a low delinquency and eviction rate. These low rates indicate a quality screening process to ensure they are finding the right tenants for your property. It’s also a sign that they have a highly trained staff with proper rent collection procedures in place.
- Property Inspections: How do they go about property inspections? A property management company should handle move-in, move-out, and routine inspections. If they don’t do all of these, then they should not be the company you choose. Also, what is their policy on each of these inspections? Make sure they have one!
- Maintenance and Repairs: Does the property management company have a reasonable turnaround time for getting contractors or staff out to units quickly to handle maintenance and repairs? Also, are they known for keeping properties well-maintained? They need to be.
- Staff: Another thing to keep in mind is the kind of team that comes with the property management company. Is it a very small company with just one person? If so, you need to be sure they can handle all aspects of property management. It is better to hire a company with a full staff of property managers, leasing agents, financial advisors, and contractors to handle maintenance.
Tips and Bottom Line
The bottom line is that a property management company can be a great asset to you as a landlord. They handle all tasks, from screening tenants to maintaining well-run properties, collecting rent, handling finances, and everything in between. With that said, keep these last few tips in mind for managing the company you choose:
- Stay in Communication: Don’t just hire a company and disappear. Remain in close contact with the property management company and provide input as needed. The best way to assure your tenants are happy is to stay in touch with the property management company and make sure all is going smoothly. Ask feedback from tenants when needed.
- Be Upfront about Expectations: Finally, be upfront about what you need from the property management company. What do you want your retention rate to be? What should their priorities be? What are your budgets for marketing and maintenance? These are all things you need to discuss with the company ahead of time.
Need a property manager? Bay Property Management Group Delaware County provides full-service property management with cutting edge technology. Our team of highly skilled professionals handles all of the details from marketing and leasing to rent collection and eviction services. We offer property management services in Upper Darby, Newtown Square, Haverford, and surrounding areas.