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How to select property management services: What you need to know
There are times when property owners bite off more than they can chew with rentals. They buy several properties and spend all their time taking care of tenant issues. This is the point where property management helps.
A property manager can help with anything from finding a lightbulb to finding tenants. Because of that, more than 307,000 property management companies are now in the United States.
You must take care when you select property management services to avoid hiring a bad company. Use the guide below to learn how to find a great property management experience.
Figure Out What You Need
There are many services offered by property management companies. Some providers stick with home maintenance and handle tenant phone calls. Others will help you market your property and handle every other aspect of management.
Because of this, you need to figure out what you need in a property management company. Do you want a one-size-fits-all solution, or do you need help with a specific aspect of management?
Once you know what you need, you can look at your property management service options to see who offers the right services.
Learn About Management Fees
The next thing to consider when looking for a management company is to figure out how you’ll get charged. Many companies keep things simple and charge a monthly rate. Others will take a percentage of the rent that you collect every month as payment.
You need to understand how a company charges when comparing property management costs. A monthly fee may look cheaper at first glance, but costs can quickly add up and be more than someone who charges you based on the rent they collect.
It also pays to learn about extra service charges you’ll receive. Some companies upcharge you on material costs and have other fees. You don’t always learn about these ahead of time, so make it a point to ask about extra costs when speaking with companies.
Verify Who Does the Work
Even if a management company handles a lot of the work for you, that doesn’t mean they have a team on their payroll to handle the job. Some companies outsource a lot of the work to other providers.
This is especially true for repair work. Companies team up with other repair companies and contractors to handle home repairs.
This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s something you should know. Ask to see how your management company assigns work and if you can vet the people they work with. You don’t want to hire a company that outsources work to low-quality providers.
Look for Local Experience
Local experience is a must for property management companies. The way you handle rentals doesn’t remain the same across all regions. There are local considerations to make that will impact how you handle management.
Take leases, for instance. Local regulations dictate what you can and can’t include in your lease agreement. If you include something that is against the rules, you may find yourself in legal trouble.
A local management company like Emperor Management won’t make those mistakes. They’ll be aware of the local environment to ensure you don’t break the rules. You won’t need to worry about a letter from your local government telling you that you’re in legal trouble.
Check to see how many properties a company manages in your area. That will tell you what kind of experience they have.
You don’t want your tenants to try and get your management company on the phone and be unable to do so. Unfortunately, some companies don’t have great service, making it hard to reach them. You have to keep trying by phone or wait for an email reply to important issues.
You can’t afford for this to happen if you want to keep your tenants. Try to gauge how well a company responds to your questions when interviewing them for the job. It also pays to ask what communication methods they use with tenants and what response time they guarantee when dealing with issues.
Learn About Management Licenses
There is a lot to learn if you want to manage properties, so it’s sometimes hard to prove you have that knowledge. That’s why people created licenses in the real estate world that help you prove your knowledge.
Four of the primary licenses to look at are the National Association of Residential Property Managers, Master Property Manager, Residential Management Professional, and Preferred Residential Management Company. If a company has one of these licenses and is part of any organization, it’s a sign that they’re a reputable property management firm.
Get References From Other Realtors
One of the best ways to find out if a company is worth hiring is by learning from previous clients. The same is true with management firms.
Ideally, you have a network of other investors who own rental property. Reach out to your network to get recommendations for companies in your local area. Someone vouching for a management company greatly adds to a firm’s credibility.
Reading online reviews is another great way to get references. Check online review sites to see what people say about property management firms in public.
Do Your Due Diligence When You Select Property Management Services
It’s on you to make sure your tenants have a great experience in your rental property. You must take care of issues, provide payment methods, and listen when things go wrong. Unfortunately, this can take a lot of time.
That’s why it’s critical you do your research when you select property management services. Find a great company to ensure your tenants are pleased with your rental and will stick around for a long time.
Head back to the website to find other real estate tips that will help you manage your investment properties.