Hiring a professional property manager is one of the best decisions that you can make for your investment portfolio. You will want to interview several and research references and online reviews before hiring. The top 10 services to require from any property management company you choose are as follows:
First and foremost, this is probably the most important thing that an owner wants from his property manager. Not only is communication important with the owners, a good property manager builds a rapport with tenants and vendors as well as owners so that everyone knows what is expected and what can and cannot be allowed on your properties.
Leasing and Marketing:
Obviously, developing a strong market knowledge, knowing landlord/tenant laws, fair housing laws, etc. is so important to avoid issues with local and state housing laws. A good property manager is continually educating themselves and their team in industry related training.
A good property management company provide a thorough screening program. We verify employment, run credit and criminal background reports, verify previous rental history. All of this is performed in an effort to find the best tenant for your property.
Some owners want quarterly inspections, some owners prefer annual inspections, but all property managers should perform property inspections. This process saves owners a lot of money when maintenance issues are caught early. Performing inspections is also a good tool to use for lease renewals, as it lets you see that the tenant in place is taking care of the property and not causing damages.
Tenant Relations and Problem Solving:
Building a rapport with tenants is so beneficial in property management. A good property manager is able to talk with the tenants, and handle issues before they get out of hand. An unhappy tenant is not good for the property management company or the owners. That being said, hire someone who has good communication skills and can handle problems with professionalism.
Even with good tenant screening programs in place, there are times where you will have to file an eviction. This is never pleasant for anyone. Knowing the laws regarding eviction and the whole process will make it a lot easier.
24 Hour Emergency Maintenance:
Your property management company should provide 24 hour emergency maintenance. This takes training the staff and your tenants as to what will be considered an emergency. Here again, this is where communication pays an important role.
Rental Rate Analysis:
A thorough knowledge of the market area, comparative properties and knowledge of school districts and amenities offered will help a management company determine the going rate for your property.
Monthly reporting of income and expenses along with your owner payment should be set on a consistent date. Every property manager should have a good property management software that they use for your reports. Ask what software will be used and research it.
Peace of Mind:
Lastly, you can rest assured that your properties are being taken care of and having a good property manager in place frees up your time.
Credits: published Active Rain, Oct 2016 by Debi McKamie, Waco, TX