Your property is your number one investment, for many it’s an alternative to putting retirement savings in the bank so managing your house or apartment needs a high level of care. As a landlord, searching for a good property manager can be a daunting business. How do you know who to trust? How do you know if your potential property manager will take care of your investment? Will they make you money? Will you be able to work with them?
#1 The Right People:
Property managers need to have a specific set of skills which combine great customer service, an understanding of property legislation and a good business acumen. This is not a job for just anybody and if your property agent doesn’t have the right team then you will soon know about it. Being able to liaise with tenants, manage your maintenance, handle any arrears and communicate effectively with you are all essential.
Communication equals peace of mind for landlords and if you hire a rental manager then you want to be sure that everything is well and good with your property. You don’t want to be checking on unpaid bills, begging for reports and chasing messages. Unfortunately though, many landlords will end up with an agency that lacks communication which can turn your investment into a real headache.
#3 Legal & Accounting Knowledge
A good property manager doesn’t need to be a fully trained lawyer or accountant but they do need to understand property law and have a trained accountant working with them. Not following correct procedure can leave you liable for fines, taxes and even law suits so you need to be really sure that your rental management team knows what they are doing.
#4 A Social Media Presence
Social media is now a major part of everyone’s lives and that includes tenants and property owners. If your property management company isn’t active on social media then they are missing out on a huge chunk of business and therefore so are you. You want your property rented out as soon as possible to maximize your income so your agency needs to be working every possible avenue to make that happen.
#5 A Profession Attitude
How professional is your rental management team? Professionalism includes neat premises, well-mannered staff, accurate and well presented documentation (letters/ invoices/ reports and emails) and well documented procedures. A sloppy approach to property management is a recipe for disaster and can result in unpaid rents, badly documented property reports and a poor attitude to customer service for both you and your tenant.
#6 Happy Tenants & Owners
A good property management company will have a large repertoire of happy tenants and owners on its books. Reputation speaks volumes because the marketing gloss is easy to paint on but a reputation is earned by word of mouth. It is important that your potential rental agency has clients who have used them for a number of years and not just in the last few months. This will show you that they are happy with their procedures, professionalism and results.
Speaking of honesty, this is a major factor you should consider when choosing a property manager. You need to be able to trust your property managers entirely and you don’t want to be brushed off when you really want answers. Sometimes property managers need to give you bad news but if they do it directly and professionally you will respect that more than finding out the truth 6 months later. Similarly, your property management agent should be honest in setting your expectations in terms of rental capacity and income at the start.
Being a landlord isn’t your only job so you need an agency that is available when you and your tenants need them to be. Running a successful property management company is hard work and requires multiple man hours to handle the various demands. Your tenants need to know that there is somebody there to handle an emergency situation with your property and you need to know that there are sufficient resources to cover your needs.
#9 A Good Track Record
A professional and friendly agency is great but let’s get down to business… how many properties does the agency lease each month? What’s the average income for a property similar to yours? The longer your investment sits empty, the more money you are hemorrhaging so this is a very important issue. If your agency is working hard to secure regular property rentals, showing potential tenants to empty properties and advertising new listings then they should be able to prove it to you.
Is your property management company fully licensed? How about their contractors? If you are entrusting them with your biggest investment then you need to tick this box. All contractors such as electricians and plumbers should be fully licensed because, if they are not, this can leave you liable for fines or even a law suit should the worst occur.