When looking to hire a property management company, it’s important to take time to research each and every potential candidate. There’s a difference between hiring any property management company, and hiring a good property management company. The company that you hire to manage and protect your assets, is almost as important as the assets they are hired to manage and protect. Almost.
In this blog post, we’re going to talk about what qualities you should look for in your new property management company, what questions to ask, and what to stay clear of. The right management company can make your life much easier, but hiring the wrong one, can end up being a disaster. Make sure you choose wisely.
Property Management Focused:
A lot of companies will handle the management of rental properties, while specializing in other areas of the industry. For example, you may find a realtor whose main focus is to sell homes, but has a property management division in their office. Or you may know a contractor who flips houses, and decided to try their hand at property management. A company who solely focuses on and specializes in managing rental properties, is typically going to be your best choice. More than likely, this company will be filled with individuals who have extensive experience in rental property management, know the laws of tenant/landlord relationships, and will manage your rental property efficiently.
A Solid Online Reputation:
As with most things these days, when you begin your search for a new property management company, you’ll most likely find yourself on Google, looking up online reviews. A professional property management company, especially one that’s been around for a while should have a solid online reputation. In addition to Google reviews, a quick search of the Better Business Bureau should also be completed. You want to make sure your potential new management company has a good review rating.
While, you may see some negative reviews here and there, you want the majority of those reviews to be positive. A management company with all negative, or very little reviews, is not one you want to manage your rental.
Maintenance costs can easily be one of the most expensive items when it comes to owning a rental property. Whether it’s handling routine, day to day, or emergency maintenance, the cost of maintenance repairs in general can quickly add up. A property management company that has strong relationships with quality vendors, will only help you in the long run. Not only will the quality of work be far more superior than that of a vendor with no ties to your management company, the price should be much better too. Because outside vendors receive heavy volume of work from property management companies, they tend to offer better pricing. If your property management company has their own in house technicians, that’s an added bonus!
While it’s important to be able to trust your property management company, you don’t just want to take their word for it, when it comes to knowing how well your property is performing financially, or how those recent maintenance repairs are coming along. A professional property management company should have a system in place, where you, as the homeowner, can receive monthly reports, going over the financials. Monthly reporting should include a breakdown of the income received, as well as any expenses. In addition, your management company should be able to provide you with copies of all maintenance requests and corresponding invoices.
Questions to Ask:
The more information you can gather about your new property management company, the better, and the best way to gather information, is to ask questions. Below is a list of a few important questions that you should ask, before signing any agreement.
What is their tenant screening process like? A bad tenant can not only be stressful and frustrating, they can cause a financial burden to you. A reputable management company should have a tenant screening procedure in place, ensuring each and every tenant meets their qualifications.
What does their vacancy rate look like? A property management company with an excellent vacancy rate, is only going to help with your vacancy loss. Look for a company who gets properties on the market rather quickly, and be sure to ask about their entire leasing process.
What policies and procedures does this company have? Policies and procedures can tell a lot about a company, so it’s important to ask about them. Any legitimate company will have set policies and procedures in place, to ensure the efficiency of their daily operations. There’s a lot to juggle when managing a rental property, you want a company who is organized, and can adequately take on that task.
If you’re new to the world of being a property owner of a rental property, or are simply looking for a change from your current property management company, consideration of the items above should be taken.
If you’re a property owner in Baltimore City or the surrounding counties, and are interested in finding out what services Bay Management Group offers, contact us today! We’re happy to tell you what sets us apart from other management companies around, and why we’re a cut above the rest!