Working with a property management company can eliminate a lot of the stress and hassle that comes with managing rental properties, especially in the large region of Baltimore County. In fact, here are some of the main reasons you should consider hiring a property management company, regardless of how many rental properties you currently own:
- More Freedom. Using a property management company offers you the luxury of being able to keep your day job, invest in some hobbies, go on vacation, and spend more time with friends and family. What it does not offer you is the feeling of being tied down to your properties 24/7.
- Happy Tenants. Tenants love when things are handled properly and in a timely fashion. Property management companies do just this, without having to consult with you about every little detail.
- Well Cared For Properties. Routine inspections, advice for vacancies, thorough tenant screening, qualified contractors, and legally compliant security deposit collections all play a large role in keeping your property in tiptop shape. A good property management company can arrange for all of this and more.
In order for a property management company to gain your trust, they must be knowledgeable, honest, and transparent. And that’s where you come in.
In the past, we have discussed a handful of important questions you should ask when interviewing a property manager. But today we will take it a step further and really explore some of the top questions you should be asking a potential property management company before hiring them to manage your valuable Pikesville investment property.
And as a bonus to you, we will also include answers from one of Maryland’s leading property management companies, Bay Management Group (BMG), so that you can have a clear idea of what constitutes a good property management company.
Top Questions All Rental Owners Should Ask Their Property Management Company
Probably one of the most important things to consider as a landlord is what is going to happen to your money after hiring a property management company to care for your property. This is especially true if you own a waterfront property in the Dundalk region. Those properties are not cheap and knowing where your hard-earned money is going after the purchase of such a pricey property is crucial to anyone who is serious about the rental property business.
Tenant Question: What is your property management fee structure?
It should come as no surprise that good property managers can charge a hefty monthly fee for handling all things related to your property.
BMG says: It is well known that some property managers will charge as high as 10-12% of the monthly collected rent as well as other miscellaneous fees.
Here at BMG we only charge two fees:
- 8% of the collected rent
- 1 month’s rent to lease a vacant property.
There are no lease renewal fees, maintenance reserves, supervisory fees, or management fees during vacancy. We are proud to boast some of the lowest monthly management fees in the Baltimore County area.
Tenant Question: Will I get a monthly statement?
Your property management company must document money spent on behalf of your property. In addition, you have a right to see how your money has been allocated. Complete transparency is a must.
BMG says: Every month you will receive a detailed statement breaking down both your expenses and income for your property.
If we manage multiple properties for you, each statement will be separated so you can see exactly where your money is going.
Landlords get into the rental property business with the hopes of making a substantial amount of money. I mean, this is not a hobby, right?
You must ensure the management company you hire has procedures in place for all things rent related.
Tenant Question: What is your rental collection procedure like?
Regular, positive cash flow is the goal of any property owner, even if the property you are leasing is a small town Essex property, where tenants can just cozy up on the beach and relax all summer long.
BMG says: We take a very serious approach to rent collection each and every month and your tenants will understand this from the start. There is a zero tolerance policy in place for late rent payments; after the five-day grace period eviction paperwork will begin. In addition, you will receive your rent payments quickly via standard check or direct deposit, whichever you prefer.
It is inevitable that at one point or another you will experience a vacancy in your Owings Mills or Catonsville rental property. Maybe someone skipped out on you or a lease was terminated due to a job relocation. Maybe your tenants simply chose not to renew. Whatever the case may be, you need to know how your property will be handled as a vacancy.
Tenant Question: How do you market properties when vacant?
Vacant properties cost you money. This is not ideal and you should want a property management company dedicated to getting tenants into your home as quickly as possible.
BMG says: We offer full leasing services using a variety of methods to aggressively advertise your rental property – major search engine placement, online classifieds, off-site marketing, direct mail, MLS/Craigslist/HotPads listings, and more.
Exposure is the key to getting your property found and occupied.
Tenant Question: Will my Towson property be protected in between lease terms, especially if I rent to students, many of which are known to move in and out regularly?
Vacant properties present many problems landlords are not always equipped to handle. However, enlisting a quality property management company can alleviate many of these issues.
BMG says: Routine inspections are one of the most important things we can do to help prevent your property from falling victim to squatters, vandalism, and burglary. In addition to these inspections, we will provide useful advice for protecting your rental as well. Working together, we can keep your property safe until a new tenant is placed there.
Maintenance and Repairs
Maintenance and repair matters are one of the biggest headaches for landlords. Hiring a property management company to handle those issues for you will save you lots of time.
Tenant Question: How is maintenance handled with each property?
Knowing that you will not receive a phone call in the middle of the night from a tenant about a clogged toilet is a relief for many property owners. However, finding a property management company that truly handles all things maintenance and repair related can prove to be difficult if you do not know where to look.
BMG says: Our 24/7 year round maintenance staff of handymen and licensed contractors are there to take care of maintenance and repair issues of all kinds.
With a quick turnaround and competitive pricing, plus a job well done, Bay Management Group is dedicated to keeping your property safe for your tenants.
Property Management Qualifications
Sure, education does not always make or break how successful a person can become or how their company can provide services for their customers, but it is nice to know that the people you are entrusting your investment properties to are knowledgeable in the industry.
Tenant Question: What are your property management qualifications?
A property management company with extensive knowledge of the industry and state and local laws is priceless.
BMG says: Although many states require a Broker’s license to manage residential or multi-family properties, Maryland is not one of them. That means your property manager may be legally allowed to manage your Parkville or White Marsh property without one.
At BMG, our president is proud to have over ten years of experience in real estate, over seven years in property management, and is a licensed real estate broker.
In the end, there is a lot of thought and consideration that should go into who you choose to hire to manage your Baltimore County rental properties. And it is a wise choice to get some help not only for those things that you do not know how to handle yourself, but just to give you some added peace of mind that everything is being cared for properly while you still earn a supplemental income.
If you own property in the Baltimore County area and are on the lookout for a high-quality property management company, call Bay Management Group today. They are experienced in all aspects of property management and are dedicated to providing you the best property management services around.