It’s not easy to manage a property. While it appears simple at a first glance, there are countless skills you need to have to do it right. You have to know how to find great tenants, handle home repairs, take payments, and much more.
That’s why many landlords choose to work with property management companies to handle the little details.
However, there are over 300,000 property managers in the United States. It won’t be easy to examine your choices and find the best one.
Finding the best property manager is critical if you need help managing your rental properties. Follow the guide below to find a property management firm that can provide all the support you need.
Look for the Number of Services
The first step to finding a property management firm is to look at the number of services they offer. Some companies only offer help with home repairs and taking care of tenants. Others provide the whole package and will screen tenants, handle home repairs, and collect rent payments.
You need to figure out how much you want from your property management company when you do this. Do you want to be completely hands-off or still play an active role in caring for your properties?
Once you know what you want, you can look at the services offered by a management company and find one that can meet your specific needs.
Look for a Local Presence
Working with a local property management company is critical to finding the best property manager. Laws change based on your location. You don’t want to hire someone who doesn’t know your local rules and does things incorrectly.
While someone can spend some time learning your local rules, it will take time to do so. If you want to make sure you get excellent service from the start, you need to hire locally.
A quick search on Google will show you the property management companies in your local area. You can find both more prominent firms and independent companies this way.
Check for Specialized Services
Not every property gets handled the same way. How you deal with a single-family home is much different from an apartment complex. You don’t want to hire a company with zero experience managing your property type.
You should be able to see what types of real estate a firm manages on its website. If you don’t find this information, reach out to someone at the company to learn more.
Of course, you can find firms that offer everything from property management multi family homes to commercial buildings. However, these firms are usually larger and have teams dedicated to specific property types.
Look for Licensing and Certification
Professional property management companies have a lot to prove. Many offer several services, so they need a way to show that they can do everything they say. One of the best ways to do this is with licensing and certification.
Look through the available certifications available for property managers. Here are a few to consider:
- National Association of Residential Property Managers
- Residential Management Professional
- Master Property Manager
- Preferred Residential Management Company
There are more to consider, but these are a few of the more common ones. Each has its own qualifications, so some are harder to obtain than others. Ask a property manager if they have any of these certifications and ask for proof that the certificate is valid.
Check the Management Agreement
There is a lot that goes into property management. Because of that, you need to iron out how many services you’ll receive when you work with a property manager.
Make sure whoever you work with offers a management agreement. This agreement will detail every service you’re buying from a management company. There should be no detail left out, which means you have something to refer to if there’s a disagreement.
Don’t just skimp over the agreement, either. There are sometimes clauses in your contract that change terms or put less stress on the property manager. Make sure you know every detail to ensure you don’t get caught off guard in the future.
Look for Communication Skills
If you hire a full-service property management company, there may not be much for you to do for your properties. Your tenants will reach out to your property manager, which means you won’t know what’s happening unless someone tells you.
That makes working with a company that communicates well is critical. You should expect regular reports about what happens with your property. That includes both good and bad things.
The last thing you want is to learn about issues when it’s too late and you have a more severe problem on your hands.
Get Property Manager References
Getting references is one of the most critical parts of finding a property management company. While most providers are truthful about what they offer, it isn’t true for all of them. There is always someone in your area that will lie about their level of service and don’t give you what you paid for.
That’s where references help. A reference is a past client of a property management company. These are the people who will tell you about the good and bad parts of working with a provider.
Use your time with references to weed out the companies that have red flags. It’s even better if you know other rental property owners and use their knowledge to track down the great property managers in your area.
Now You Know What it Takes to Hire the Best Property Manager
While you may be able to handle property management on your own when you first buy rental properties, the same won’t be true once you start growing your holdings. As time goes on, you’ll end up spending more of your time trying to take care of your real estate investments. Now that you know how to find the best property manager, you have what you need to free up your time and focus on other tasks.
Are you planning to grow your real estate holdings now that you have help maintaining your homes? Check out the blog for more great tips for finding rental properties.