You did it! Your hard work has paid off – you finally saved enough money to invest in the property you have been eyeing. Now comes the difficult part, finding a property manager that you can entrust with your hard-earned investment. We understand what a struggle it can be vetting potential property managers and want to provide our first-hand expertise to help you streamline this process. In doing so, we have compiled best practices to keep top of mind when selecting the best fit for your property.
Do Your Research
The best referrals typically come from word of mouth – so it is important that you do your homework. First, talk to your family, friends and colleagues that own properties – moving on from there, we suggest talking to industry experts such as real estate agents who may also provide you with some additional options. It is important to keep your options open and get a variety of referrals, as some can be biased.
When you begin to narrow down your search, see if there is a property management group or specific manager that keeps popping up. Additionally, use online resources and social media channels, such as Facebook, Yelp and All Property Management.com – as a tool to search for company reviews. Look for patterns – if you notice the same things are being said about a person or group, chances are they are true and this will help you determine which potential candidates to move forward with.
Forgo Strictly Phone and Email Interaction
With the digital age, it is easy to get caught-up in lackluster communication and limit face-to-face interaction. It has never been easier to hire someone over the phone or via email and process any necessary paperwork virtually. And this is undoubtedly convenient. Yet this can also lead to serious problems in the long run.
Do you really want to trust someone you have never met in-person with your property investment?
Our guess is no! Who’s to say that the property manager you hired isn’t going to take you for a ride? In this day and age, it has never been easier to commit fraudulent acts and deceive others. Perhaps the person you have been in contact with does not actually work for a legitimate property management company, or maybe they are actually a one-man-show who works out of his/her basement, and you are there first potential client! So many unanswered questions remain when you choose to not meet with a potential property manager in-person.
Ask the Right Questions
You have finally made headway and decided which property managers you want to move forward with in the interview process. Now, it is important to protect your investment – one of the easiest ways to do so is by asking a lot of questions. To ensure this is the property manager you have been looking for, we suggest to hone in on the following questions:
- How many years of experience do you have as property manager?
- How long has the property management company you work for been in business?
- How many total properties do you currently manage and how many have you managed in the past?
- What types of properties have you managed – i.e.: commercial real estate or residential?
- Ask what specific services their company offers and are included. For instance, you will want someone to be very knowledgeable of Landlord-Tenant Law within your city.
- Ask them about their tenant screening process – how extensive is it? What exact steps do they take?
- Ask them if they can provide you with a copy of their potential tenant application form.
Lastly, be sure to check references and verify their licenses and certifications. If everything checks out, and you decide to move forward, once the contract is drawn-up make sure there are no extra fees for additional services, and also verify that everything you have discussed is in the contract. The last thing you want is to hemorrhage money from hiring the wrong property manager!
It is undeniable that selecting a property manager can be a daunting task. However, with the above guide, you hold the keys to finding the right property manager. If you are in the Maryland or Philadelphia area, please feel free to reach out to us directly, and let us assist you with relieving those property management headaches – starting today!