Rental properties are important investments. Even though you think you are in the best position to manage what’s yours, you may need to involve some professionals that can ease your workload as your business scales. Hiring proactive and professional management ensures your asset’s proper protection while you focus on other businesses or ideas.
The property management company you hire determines the difference between success and failure. For you to ensure everything goes smoothly, it’s best to get it right from the start.
Especially if you’re a first-time landlord, the real estate industry can be overwhelming with several options of top property management companies. Selecting the best one is a tough nut to crack. You prefer to go for a management company that will protect your investment as if it were their own.
But what are the qualifications you should be looking for? How do you vet and pick one from these top property management companies and eliminate much of this guesswork?
We have some tips on choosing between top property management companies.
1. Accreditations of the property management company
One way to screen your options is with prior qualifications. There are government agencies, professional bodies, and other international bodies that perform accreditation of service providers in the real estate sector.
Most states require property management licenses or a real estate broker’s license from property management companies before showing vacant apartments. For quality service from these firms, some of the metrics you should look into includes:
- Employees: Since the staff members are put in place to accomplish the firm’s operations, ensure that relevant bodies accredit them. For your properties to be in the right hands, the employees need to have certificates that prove they have completed the required training programs.
- Management: Working with unaccredited owners is risky. Many of them may have their focus mainly on profit. The company’s leadership needs to show their motivation towards offering support, improvements, necessary structural changes, and general management of your properties.
Your state’s Real Estate Commission can show you if your candidate’s brokerage license is active. Follow your instincts, but also ensure that a good number of owners and staff members are accredited. This shows their commitment level towards managing your assets.
2. Location of the property management company
Location is a key determinant in all business-related activities. Screen your top property management companies to see if they are in places that fit your business agenda.
Some of the point you want to focus on while making a choice includes:
- It would be best to have property managers who can have easy access to your property’s location. This helps to avoid high access costs, enhance tenants’ satisfaction, improve quality service, and reduce management fees.
- In case you are looking to build or buy more properties, go for one of the top property management companies that have convenient access to your expansion location. That way, you can avoid hiring multiple property management companies and spend less on management fees.
- Also, think of you and your tenant’s accessibility to the company. The ones you and your customers can easily hop in for an update with ease make managing your asset much easier.
3. Look for property management experiences and reviews
The real estate industry rates experience highly. It’s one of the best bases to vet the ability of your prospects. A company with a history of offering the best service to your client and gives value for the fees paid is what you need. If your rental properties are in several units, you need to be sure that the firm can handle your tenants.
The reviews or ratings of the property management company serves as a form of indirect description of how it handles its business. Don’t take the word of the firm.
While you have a list of the top property management companies, look through the reviews sent by people or on Google or their website. Their current customers will give you a better picture of the property management company. If possible, ask their other clients and people in your neighborhood to get people’s feedback.
Use the results of these to set up lists of strengths and weaknesses of the top companies and consider some areas like:
- Agency’s location: Companies build experiences by dealing with different types of clients. The agency’s location gives you a perspective of the clients they deal with and their target clients.
- Team’s Experience: Gather information on the company’s profile to see their staff’s experiences to know if they’ve dealt with clients like you. If you want fewer complaints from your tenants and guaranteed quality service, their team’s experiences are crucial.
- Staff Turnovers: Check the rate of staff turnover. High staff turnover means experienced staff rarely stay with the company and compromise the staff’s level of service and overall experience.
- A network of Locations: Companies with a sizeable branch network shows that they are experienced. This means they have gathered information, research, insights, and trends to tap into when they need it.
4. The array of service the property management company provides
Your reason for hiring a management company for your real estate investments is to have fewer worries. It’s beneficial to go for companies that offer multiple services related to your type of investment.
These are some of the services you should expect from an ideal property management company:
- Repairs and Maintenances: Doing frequent repairs and renovations helps to retain tenants. It’s easier when your property manager takes charge of repairs since they have experience in this management aspect and have a good network of sub-contractors.
- Marketing Services: For proper property management, the company should have the ability to acquire clients through social media presence, active webs, email newsletters, or via existing affiliations with media firms.
- Tenancy Screening: The property management company should have the necessary tools to verify background information, payment ability, or other requirements for compliance and secure good tenants that comply with regulations.
- Funds Management: Your agency needs to be responsible for rent collection, remission, and other banking activities. Check for details such as refund policy to tenants, holding of client’s money and, date of fund submission.