A rental property is a business that requires year-round attention, diligence and proactive participation in its management and far from a passive income that a lot of new landlords mistake it to be. It is hard work performing all the duties of maintaining rental properties. This is where a professional property manager can be of help.
A number of times, property owners rent their property expecting a secondary passive income only to be shocked by reality. They are often overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork, checks and rules to follow up on and keep up to. This is where a property manager can step in and get the machine running smoothly. Other than a few duties that rests solely with the landlord, like mortgages and taxes, property managers take over the reins of everything else and help make your rental business profitable. This is why choosing the right property manager for you is very important.
Here are some guidelines on choosing a property manager-
Learn about their property management experience
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a property manager is if they have the relevant experience. Do they have local experience or have worked with a similar portfolio as yours? The answers to these questions can help you understand how well connected the candidate is and how quickly they can enlist the help of service professionals to get work done on the property and if they can handle the workload that comes with the kind of properties you own.
How efficient are they?
A vacancy in your rental property can quickly turn your source of income into a cost center. It is also very important to make sure to rent the property to good and reliable tenants. Evaluate the track record of the candidate on how quickly they can fill property vacancy and how thorough they are at vetting the applicants. Try and understand what steps they follow and how well they can use tools available to them to advertise, screen and find good tenants. They should also be able to collect rent on time, follow up on tasks, and organize their work around multiple properties.
What is their turn around time on maintenance request?
One of the most important duties of a property manager is to make sure all your rental properties are well maintained and livable so as to make your tenants happy and enjoy their stay in your rental property. A well served tenant is a happy one and you can ensure they take good care of the rental home and stay long term, thereby minimizing loss due to turnover. Make sure your property manager can address issues arising in rental homes as quickly as possible. Even if they may not be able to get the repairs done quickly, the workaround they offer in the meantime can go a long way in putting your tenant’s mind at ease.
How well do they communicate?
Communication is a key skill in property management. Property management is very relationship-based and the first step to a good relationship is communication. Property managers need to clearly articulate requests, solutions and announcements so as to prevent any misinterpretation. You may very well be able to assess your candidate’s skill by how well they communicate with you during your search for a property manager.
References and reviews
Make sure to check references for your candidates with other landlords who have used their services, much like you would check your tenant references. Any modern property management company will have online reviews and records that you can easily look up and validate their credibility. As property managers often handle rent, fees and fines for rentals, they should be reliable and trustworthy.
Apart from all of the above criteria, you must also consider if their charges are reasonable and suitable to your property portfolio. That said, choose your property manager after thoroughly evaluating them on the above guidelines to make sure you pick someone you can easily work with and can truly depend on.