#1 Choose a company that knows the local market.
Knowledge of the local market means that your property manager knows what renters are looking for. If your property management company is a good one, they will think of the property as if they were a renter. Making smart and cost conscious recommendations to the owner that will increase overall return while improving the property so that it becomes more desirable, will help increase rental rates, lower turnover and decrease vacancy. Your property management company should make sure that your property always stays competitive in the leasing market. This knowledge will help maximize your rents while minimizing your time-on-market.
#2 Set up a meeting with the property manager and make a plan.
If the property management company you are choosing is a good one, they will set up a meeting with all new property owners and make a game plan. Getting to know your property manager will help improve the interaction and can give both the owner and the property manager a good idea of how they will work to improve the return for that property. Each property plan is different and is based on the goals, plans, and budgets of the owners. Designing a property plan that is right for each owner’s needs is the key to successful property management.
#3 Don’t take our word for it… ask our clients!
Nobody can give a better picture of the company’s service than a current customer. Ask your property management company to give you the names of three clients with similar properties. Get in contact with those people and ask them questions that you feel are important to the success of your property. They can tell you best and can usually give a good picture of the strengths and weaknesses and their contentment with the service.
#4 Make sure you’re getting premium customer service.
Probably the most common complaint about management companies, both from tenants and owners, is that their customer service is terrible. Wouldn’t it be great if you could reach your manager whenever you needed? Choosing a property management company that strives to offer great customer service and actually delivers will mean the difference between headaches and satisfaction. Good customer service is something you should expect and a company with good customer service has to make sure the other aspects of their business are on point because they are always telling you about it. Keeping owners informed with frequent communication about the market and how their property is being managed is necessary in any management relationship.
#5 Show me the money!
Property management companies typically collect rents between the 1st and 5th of each month. It should take no longer than eight days to collect rents and prepare all monthly statements for each property. That money is the property owner’s and should be in their bank accounts as quickly as possible. Earning interest on the rental revenue can really add up in the long haul. Some management companies will try and keep the revenue in their account as long as possible so that all interest earned is earned in their accounts, not the owners. We don’t do that. Our job is to collect your money, not hold onto it.
#6 Make sure your management company knows accounting.
Accounting for revenues and expenses with investment property can be a difficult task. Organization and great accounting skills will ensure your property management company is accounting for your property correctly. At the end of the year when tax season comes up, all of your income and cash flows should be easily accessible and in the correct order to make your tax paying easy.
#7 Your management company should maintain good relationships with tenants.
Your management company should keep up good relationships with their tenants. Tenants are a customer of the property and should be treated as such. Keeping happy tenants results in lower turnover, which means lower re-leasing fees for homeowners. Happy tenants will also make releasing much easier because they tend to keep homes cleaner and are easier to work with when it comes time to show homes to new prospective tenants. A reputable property management company with a good name in the eyes of the tenant is not easy to come by. Choose a company that cares, it will increase your property’s return.