If you own rental properties, you know that being a landlord can be a lot of work. While investing in real estate is a great way to make money and secure your family’s financial future, maintaining your income properties on your own may become unrealistic as your real estate portfolio grows. Hiring a property manager to help oversee your properties can then be critical in helping to make things easier for you. Furthermore, a good property manager can actually help to maximize your profits by helping fill vacancies, reduce turnover rates, and determine fair rent rates for your properties. Yet, if you have decided that it is time to let a property management company take care of your rental properties, you may find yourself wondering how you should go about choosing a qualified candidate. To help get you started as you make this important decision, here is a look at just a few of the qualifications you should look for in a property manager.
When researching local property management companies, you will need to take the time to learn about each firm’s experience. The fact is that property management can be complex, and you want to partner with a property manager who has experience managing local properties. Working with a local property manager will help to ensure that they are familiar with local and state laws, and that they know what goes into managing properties in your area. You want to ensure that any property manager you are considering hiring is knowledgeable about, and stays up-to-date on, the latest federal and state real estate laws, as these are constantly changing.
It is also critical that you look for a property manager that has experience working with your particular property type. For instance, managing a commercial property requires a completely different skill set than managing residential property, so you will need to find someone with the right experience to meet your needs. In fact, there is even a difference between managing single-family homes vs large apartment complexes, which is why it is important that you ask a prospective property manager what types of properties they have worked within the past.
A Good Reputation
You should also take the time to research a property manager’s reputation, as a company’s reputation can say a lot about their experience and service quality. A great place to start is with Yelp and Google reviews, as this can give you an overview of what tenants and landlords have to say about a property manager. You should also look up prospective property managers on the Better Business Bureau’s website. The BBB’s website can give you a lot of helpful information such as how long a property manager has been in business, what their rating is, and what kind of complaints they’ve had filed against them. Looking at customer complaints and how a property manager responded to them can give you great insight into their customer service skills.
As you begin talking to property managers, make sure to ask for references from current and former tenants and landlords. An experienced property manager should have this information ready and will be more than willing to provide it upon request. You should be leery of a property manager who does not have or is unwilling to provide, references, as this could mean that they do not have a good track record, or that they are new to property management.
Make sure that you take the time to actually follow through and talk to these references, as this can give you great insight into the quality of a property manager’s work and what it would be like to work with them. Make sure that you ask references how easy it was to work with a property manager. Do they respond to questions promptly? Are they proactive when it comes to maintenance? Are repair requests addressed quickly? Do they keep tenants happy? Asking the right questions can be critical in helping you to narrow down your options as you search for the most qualified property manager.
Strong People Skills
Much of a property manager’s time is spent dealing with people whether they be showing units to prospecting tenants, meeting and communicating with contractors, responding to tenant requests, or keeping the property owner updated on what is happening at their property. Thusly, in order to ensure that you and your tenants are happy, a good property manager needs to have excellent communication and customer service skills. Essentially, they need to be experts at dealing with people.
A property manager should be friendly, professional, and skilled in both written and oral communication. This will help to ensure that everything at your properties runs smoothly, reducing your stress. The fact is that a property manager with strong people skills could mean the difference between happy tenants who stick around for many years and unhappy tenants who constantly leave.
Good Organization and Time Management
Being a property manager often means juggling a lot of responsibilities at once, as a property manager may need to show the property to prospective tenants, market the property, oversee renovations, collect rent, and manage eviction proceedings all on the same day. A good property manager must then have strong organization and time management skills. They need to be able to prioritize duties, keep records, and maintain a tight calendar that ensures all of their duties are completed on time. When interviewing prospective property managers, you should then take the time to ask them how they stay organized and manage their time. Find out how they prioritize tasks and what their plan would be for ensuring that your properties are properly maintained, and your tenants are looked after, at all times.
It is also important that you ask prospective property managers about their maintenance capabilities. How will they ensure that your property is properly maintained, and emergencies are seen to in a timely manner? A good property manager should have a plan ready for maintaining a property. Due to their industry experience, they will know what maintenance needs to be done when and they will schedule repairs accordingly, which can help cut down on tenant complaints and costly problems down the road. Should problems with your property arise, they should also have a network of skilled contractors at their disposal, ensuring that repairs are seen to in a timely, cost-effective manner.
In order to ensure that you find an experienced property manager, it is important that you take the time to research your options and interview prospective property managers about their qualifications. Feel free to contact us to learn more about the things you should look for in a property management company.