Are You a Landlord?
For many landlords, engaging the services of a property management company is one of the best decisions they’ve made for their property rental business. If the day to day commitments of being a landlord is not exactly your day job, or if you don’t have the inclination and time to be hands on with property rentals, or if you live far from your property and can’t attend to any issue right away, this can be an option to look into.
A property management company will deal with prospective and current tenants on your behalf. They also will collect rent, handle property maintenance, repairs and complaints, and carry out evictions if necessary.
You can start your search for one within your immediate circle of fellow landlords or association of property owners if you are a member of such groups. There will likely be several other landlords who are currently engaging the services of a property management company. Their recommendations will be priceless as a starting point for choosing one especially if you are still in the process of drawing up a shortlist.
Professional property managers and companies also have their own associations which you can easily look up online. An example of this is the Institute of Real Estate Management or IREM.
You’ll know if the property management company will do a good job for you if they have these qualities:
- Small ratio of employees to units. You don’t want to hand over your property to a company that has only a couple of employees but are managing hundreds of rental units. You will only be assured of low quality service from overworked staff.
- They are purely in the business of managing rental properties and are not landlords themselves. There will be a conflict of interest if this is the case as they are in the position of prioritizing their own properties over yours.
- If they are upfront about their fees. Two elements that should be clear – the exact percentage of the rent that they will get as their fee and it should be the actual rent they collect. Some will base the percentage on the expected rental amount from your properties whether they are collected or not. Avoid having to pay their fee even if they haven’t collected rent by getting this clear from the start.
- Experience, know how and contacts. How do they negotiate with tenants when dealing with issues? Are they effective in enforcing the terms of your rental agreement with your tenants? Are they able to pursue bad debts and carry out tenant eviction?
Day to day property management also entail property maintenance and repair. The company should have an existing relationship with reputable repairmen, carpenters, electricians, cleaners, painters, and the like to immediately address tenant issues.