Property Management tips
Finding the right property manager can be quite the task for property owners if they don’t know what to look for. Unfortunately, this is a gamble that loads of property owners have lost plenty on, including my spouse and myself.
A few years back, my spouse and I began making plans to travel once his retirement came through, which wasn’t too far off. Hence, at the time we owned multiple properties. Moreover, we were fortunate to have an awesome estate management team handling a number of properties for us, while we took care of the rest of our properties in Florida, which is where we lived.
Everything was going great until a storm hit Florida that left two of our properties in shambles. That is when everything fell apart and we had to choose, between hiring someone to manage our properties in Florida or forget all our plans and handle it ourselves?
After giving it some thought, we decided to go with hiring another property manager and placed ads in a few local Florida Newspapers. Thus, the very next day after placing the ads, someone from an estate management firm replied, and we met with them just a few days later and hired the estate management team on the spot.
Consequently, we had only been away for two weeks out of the six months we had planned when we received a call from the insurance company asking us questions about our properties. After answering the questions we couldn’t help but wonder why the estate management team wasn’t handling all this when we gave them all the information needed along with a nice sized bonus check for assisting us on such short notice.
Unfortunately, their way of doing business was to give our number and tell them to call and ask the owners, which, they did at least twice a day for the next week until we finally returned to our home in Florida and handled the situation on our own.
Soon as we finally had everything taken care of, we did some research on the estate management team we hired and it turned out that we weren’t the only real estate investors to pay them for a job undone, they have also done this to other property owners as well.
Hopefully, others will learn from our mistakes, what not to do when you need to hire a property manager to take care of business for you. Evidently, hiring someone right off the bat, was not a wise choice, since we gave them the chance to make us or break us, lucky for us, they didn’t break us too badly.
However, don’t get me wrong, there are numerous loyal property managers out there who work hard at taking care of other people’s investments. In fact, we still have firms handling our other properties and they do a wonderful job.
Finding a trustworthy business to handle your property is not easy, so, I have listed 8 tips below, to help you out .
8 Things To Consider When Hiring A Property Manager To Handle Your Investment Property
1. Does the property manager that you are considering to hire, have a property or properties of his/her own?
Although some may think it’s better for a property manager to have his/her own property since they will treat your property better, while understanding how important your investment is, being an owner themselves. Truth is, when it comes to renting out your unit or theirs, it’s needless to say who gets the tenant.
2. How many properties are the property manager currently handling, and how many employees do they have available to help manage them all?
Common sense will tell you that one person alone, can only handle so much, so if the property manager will be biting off more than he can chew by taking on your property to manage, while he already has 80 more units on his plate, and one employee to share the burden, bid him farewell and look elsewhere.
3. Will the property manager do routine property inspections without charging you extra?
This is why it’s very important to negotiate a fair price and the work that goes with it up front.
4. When a maintenance issue occurs, how will the property manager address it?
Sadly to say, there are some who will go all out with your money, for repairs, and more, so you want to be sure that the property manager will have your best interest in mind when it comes to repairs and other maintenance issues.
5. Can you pay a fixed price or percentage of the rent taken in or will they require you to pay for rental units that are currently vacant?
The majority of property managers will set a price that is a percentage of the amount of rent they take in only where others will set the price for all the units rented or not.
6. During conversations with the property manager, do you notice any unusual behavior or are your sentences being cut off before you complete them?
If you are being almost constantly interrupted by the property manager when you try to speak, you should be concerned as this is a sign of foul play being used.
7. Be sure that the property manager uses a quality tenant management tool.
With multiple management tools being used worldwide that consists of a variety of features, you want to ensure that the one being used has useful features without unnecessary add-ins.
8. Ask if the property manager will send you a monthly report of each property managed?
The property manager should agree to keep you updated on how your properties are doing without you having to ask for a report every month.
Follow these simple tips and you should be able to find a decent manager for your properties.