In addition to working a job and doing other things, real estate investors may not have time to manage their properties. However, you don’t have to let time constraints stop you from investing. For property owners, a good property manager can be a valuable resource to oversee rentals and free up your time.
There are a lot of factors to consider when looking for a property manager. Several strategies can be used to find a property manager who has experience managing properties.
1. Talk to your real estate agent
A real estate agent may know of a good property management company if you are in the market to buy a property. Real estate agents are a good source of information for investors and property owners. It’s one of the reasons why they earn commissions.
In the real estate industry, agents work closely with other professionals. In addition to sharing valuable information about property management companies with their clients, they often talk with other agents.
2. Get referrals
There may be a good property management company you can use that is recommended by other investors and real estate professionals. You may benefit from asking for referrals if this is the case.
Find out why certain property managers are recommended. Do they have experience managing properties, or are they being recommended because they are family members? Referrals are important, and it’s a good idea to learn about a candidate’s background before recommending him or her.
3. Conduct an online search
Online searches are an effective way to find property management services. Searching for “property managers near me” will provide you with a list of options.
An advantage of conducting an online search for property management is that you can read reviews to learn about a manager’s reliability, professionalism, and other characteristics. People may leave anonymous reviews if they are unhappy with how a property management company collects rent, makes repairs, and responds to tenant issues.
4. Get involved in local real estate associations
You can find the best property management companies in a community by networking with investors and other real estate professionals. If you join a local real estate association, you can get to know them better. Networking can be made easier by attending meetings or events offered by associations.
When attending a meeting, be sure to talk with as many people as possible and let them know what you are looking for. You will receive more property management recommendations the more people you speak to. Additionally, you may receive some valuable advice on which property management companies to avoid.
5. Make use of social media
Social media is not only used for keeping in touch with friends, family, and old classmates, but also for professional networking. Online real estate investing groups can be found on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites.
Engage with the members of as many of these groups as possible. Investing in real estate online is a great option for introverted investors who don’t feel comfortable in large crowds.
6. Conduct an interview with multiple candidates
When looking for a property manager, it’s a good idea to interview several candidates before choosing one. If you’re considering hiring a company, ask them about their operations, fees, and anything else you can think of.
You should also take note of the candidates’ responses to your questions, how well they communicate, and how easy it is to contact them if necessary. It is important to hire a property management company that is professional and courteous at all times because it will be representing your property publicly.
7. Verify references and credentials
Be sure the property manager you are considering has the proper license for your state before you hire him or her. Managing properties requires a license in some states, but not in others. In addition, if you are hiring a property management company, you should find out which manager will handle your account (if there is more than one).
Make sure you ask for references before hiring someone. A manager’s previous clients may have valuable information about him or her that you didn’t know.
8. Check out the properties they manage
Visit a few properties the property management company manages to assess their condition before hiring them. How well maintained do they appear, or do they appear neglected and deteriorated?
Checking the condition of properties a manager oversees will help you determine whether that person stays on top of maintenance requests and other issues. Your rental property may have trouble attracting good tenants if it isn’t properly maintained. Later on, it may also require major repair work.
9. Get a price comparison
Another important consideration is the fee structure of property managers. There are property management companies that charge a flat fee each month, while others charge a percentage of rent collected.
Make sure you know if additional fees are charged for certain services. Managers may include tenant eviction as part of their regular services, while others may charge an additional fee. In the long run, extra fees could add up and become a significant operating expense.
Finding the Right Property Manager
It is crucial to find the right property manager for your rental properties. Taking care of all maintenance requests will ensure maximum occupancy rate and rent collection.
A good property manager should possess the following qualities.
Select a property manager whose reputation is good and who is trustworthy. Property managers should always make decisions that are in your best interest.
Your property manager should also respect and fairly treat your tenants and make good financial decisions. Your revenue may decrease if your property manager cuts corners. In addition, it might negatively affect your property’s condition and occupancy rate.
Expertise and experience are different concepts, which are often confused. In some cases, the amount of time spent in an industry does not necessarily reflect competency.
You should focus on these key indicators rather than the number of years managers have worked:
- What are their vacancy rates?
- Do they have good reputations?
- Do they have insurance, and what does it cover?
- What policies and procedures do they have in place?
- How transparent and easy to understand are their contracts?
- Do they hold any professional licenses or certifications?
- What does their client base look like? Do they have properties similar to yours?
The importance of communication and compatibility
Property managers’ communication style and compatibility can easily be overlooked when searching for the right one. It is important to keep these factors in mind, however, as they will contribute to your success as an investor.
The property manager should keep you informed of any significant issues. To help you make informed decisions, you need to know what is happening with your rental properties at all times, whether they are tenant issues, maintenance issues, or anything else.
Do the people you are considering treating property management as a full-time job or a side hustle? It is usually those who manage properties full time who are the best property managers.
It may be difficult for managers to fully devote themselves to the care of a property if they are not fully committed to it. Maintenance requests, rent collection, and other things may also be delayed. You may lose some tenants as a result of this, which could result in a decrease in revenue and occupancy.
Property Manager Red Flags
Whenever property managers fail to do their job properly, things can go downhill quickly. It can save you a lot of time and trouble if you avoid bad managers.
When vetting property managers, here are a few red flags to watch out for:
- Poor communication: If the property manager you are interviewing is slow to respond, late to appointments, or not willing to meet in person, this is likely the norm.
- Spelling and grammar mistakes: A property manager who often makes mistakes in his or her emails may be unorganized and inattentive.
- Unprofessional behavior: It’s important that you hire a property manager who represents you well. Consider how candidates conduct themselves during meetings when evaluating them. In the same way that they treat you unprofessionally, they may treat your tenants in the same way.
- Lack of references: If a property manager can’t provide references due to “confidentiality,” it’s best to eliminate them. Referrals are usually an indication that a person is inexperienced or unable to provide good references.
- Broken HVAC systems, water damage, and burst pipes can cause problems at any time, not just during business hours.
In the event of an urgent repair, you don’t want your tenants to wait longer than necessary. Property managers who do not offer emergency 24/7 assistance should be removed from your consideration list. When maintenance emergencies are left unattended, serious consequences can result. It is not only important to provide tenants with a safe, secure living environment, but your property can sustain severe and costly damages if issues are not resolved immediately.
The Right Rental Property Manager for Your Investment
Property managers aren’t hard to find if you know what to look for and don’t fall for red flags. It is crucial to hire a good property manager to alleviate stress, free up your time, maintain your property, and increase occupancy rates.
Your property must earn enough to cover the property management costs before you hire a property manager. To determine if hiring a property manager is a good investment strategy for you, analyze your revenue and operating expenses carefully.