When searching for the best property manager, you want a full-service company that’s going to remove all the stress that comes from being a landlord. You also want a company that allows you to reap the benefits of your investment property with peace of mind and ease.
Some of the core responsibilities of a property manager include rent collection, tenant selection, maintenance and repairs, and a firm knowledge of tenant-landlord law.
Sounds pretty ideal, right? You’ve already done the heavy lifting by investing in a profitable piece of property.
Now, you’ve earned the right to sit back and relax while someone else oils the wheels of financial freedom.
So, how do you select the finest professionals in the business? It starts with a little bit of research and ends with a thorough review of every document and file. We’ve armed you with a thorough checklist outlined below.
1. Ask for Referrals
Whether you’ve been living in your home for years and want to rent it out or are purchasing an investment property, ask your real estate agent for referrals.
Aside from your realtor, do you have any friends who own investment properties? See if they’re happy with their property manager.
If none of these avenues work, take it to the Internet. Start with the Real Estate Commission and look for local property managers.
See what you can dig up on each of those listings. Then, scour the Better Business Bureau to see if you can locate a licensed professional in your area.
From there, you have all kinds of review sites nowadays – you probably know some of the big names i.e., Angie’s List and Home Advisor.
It’s hard for any business owner to live in this digital age without an online review. So, once you have some ideas in hand, be sure to spend some time in research mode.
2. Review Their Website Carefully
In today’s digital age, there’s no way around an online presence. Review the rental property management’s website to see how professional it looks. If all looks well there, browse through their current listings.
Beyond that, see if they have a social media presence. It’s not uncommon to post new listings via Facebook and Instagram, an advertiser’s paradise.
This stage of the process isn’t quite as critical as the following two steps, but do take some time to review their digital prowess.
3. Set Appointments to Meet In Person
If you plan to live in the area where you rent, arrange in-person meetings with your prospects. This will give you the best sense of how they operate as well as their integrity.
As you discuss your future arrangements, put yourself in the tenant’s shoes. Would you enjoy all your future interactions with this person or this company?
Do they seem too busy or preoccupied to make you feel like a priority? Follow your intuition here. You’ll know if it feels right.
4. Arm Yourself with Important Questions
Whether you meet via Skype, over the telephone, or in-person, be sure to go armed with all the questions you’d like answered.
Here are some sample questions you may want to consider:
- Where do they advertise their vacancies?
- How many properties do they currently manage?
- How many vacancies do they currently have?
- What type of vacancies are they i.e., single-family homes, condos, etc.?
- On average, how long does it take them to place a tenant?
This person is going to be responsible for the smooth transition of a large portion of your monthly income. So, you want to get this right.
5. Negotiate the Terms
If you decide to come to terms with one of the outfits you’ve met with, you’ll definitely want to hit the pause button when it comes time to set the terms.
As soon as you’re given the Owner/Property Manager Agreement, make sure the following elements are included:
- A means of communication, including a direct e-mail address and phone number
- The fees for their services, including a monthly fee as well as the leasing fee for placing tenants
- The length of time required to terminate the relationship with the property management company i.e., 30 or 60 days
- The manner in which maintenance repairs will be handled i.e., through an outside contractor or internally
- The date you’ll receive the tenant’s rent each month and the method of delivery i.e., direct deposit
- The manner in which delinquent tenants will be dealt with, including eviction proceedings
This agreement will form the foundation for every interaction you have going forward. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek clarity.
6. Review the Tenant Lease
When it’s time, carefully review the new tenant’s lease. Some of the crucial elements you’ll want to see are:
- The security deposit
- The amount of rent and the length of the lease
- How late rent is handled
- Tenant responsibilities
- Repercussions for breaking a lease
In the end, this is what it’s all for – a successful run with a respectable tenant. Be sure all the finite details regarding the exchange of money are clearly outlined in the lease.
Best Property Manager Practices
These are some of the most important elements when seeking out the services of the best property manager in your area. It starts with a thorough bout of research, whether that’s through referrals or online research.
Then, try to handle as many of your interactions in person as possible. Be armed with pertinent questions and be prepared to negotiate, if need be.
Comb through the tenant lease agreement with a fine-toothed comb because that’s what it all boils down to.
Here at OneTouch, we know how stressful it can be to manage a property and all the needs of your tenants. We come with over 30 years’ experience in smooth property management.
Our marketing team will promote your rental property with professional photos on dozens of trusted real estate websites.
Beyond that, our customized services will elevate your property to new heights and allow you to sit back and receive your monthly checks like clockwork.