What To Look For In A Property Management Company

Location

As a landlord, dealing with a property management company that is in close proximity to your rental property has many benefits:

  • Easier to prepare the property for rental
  • Easier to show the property
  • Easier to respond to tenant matters
  • Easier to arrange and execute maintenance
  • Superior knowledge of the area helps ensure market value and vacancy rate accuracy
  • Satisfies insurance requirements
  • Introduction to the best local trades
  • Better positioned to deal with emergencies, often saving landlords and tenants both stress and money

Experience

Property management experience comes in many forms, from length of time in the industry to a manager’s ability to build and maintain rapport with tenants.

Property managers require a diverse skill set derived only from real-world experience:

  • The ability to determine fair market value
  • The ability to size up a property and recommend pre-showing measures
  • The ability to assemble and execute effective advertising
  • The ability to qualify prospective tenants
  • The ability to prepare a legally binding lease agreement
  • The necessary people skills to communicate with tenants
  • The ability to spot professional tenants
  • The ability to deal with a wide variety of trades people in a cost-effective manner
  • The accumulation of property investment knowledge

All of these things and more require experience only gained by a history of managing rental properties and or having a background in closely related industries.

Lacking such experience can not only affect the ability to place an appropriate tenant, it often complicates otherwise straightforward tenant matters during the tenancy life cycle.

Fee Transparency

The two most common fees between a property owner and a property manager are tenant placement and monthly management.

But there can be other fees, both upfront and periodic depending on the company and service chosen, and this is why fee transparency is important.

Prior to signing, a conscientious property manager will highlight both mandatory fees and potential fees during the initial meeting.

Commencing the business relationship with such clarity mitigates unpleasant surprises.

Maintenance

Some degree of property maintenance is necessary in most rental environments. This can range from minor issues like a leaky tap to more involved repairs.

Although maintenance is the landlords responsibility, a well rounded property management company can alleviate the burden by recommending reliable, licensed trades to get the job done quickly and professionally.

This is undoubtedly an attractive benefit for landlords who prefer a more passive investment.

Depending on the property management company, the fee to arrange and oversee maintenance will generally range from gratis to ten percent.

A well maintained property increases the odds of attracting and keeping quality tenants therefore an important topic every landlord should discuss with their prospective management company.

Emergency Assistance

It is impossible to predict when a rental property may encounter an emergency situation, just as it’s impossible to predict the same for our own homes.

It is important tenants have access to emergency services around the clock. This means an accessible property manager during business hours followed by the same level of resolution after hours or during holiday periods.

Leaving a tenant to fend for themselves creates unnecessary tension and cost, and completely unnecessary when landlords choose a professional property management company.

A competent property management company will have a number of systems in place to resolve emergency situations, big or small, and something every landlord should be looking for.

Good Communication

Good communication is often underrated yet an integral part of the landlord / manager / tenant relationship.

A communicative property manager takes the time to explain important aspects of their management services, especially contractual clauses every landlord should be aware of.

But good communication goes well beyond this.

A property manager willing to take the time to get to know their tenants is proven to be key in the long term health of a tenancy.

Tenants deserve no less respect than anyone else and should always feel welcomed, and should always know that their property manager is there to assist with any and all concerns.

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