When it’s time to hire a property manager, there are a few specific things to look for.
Property Management Hiring: Experience
You want to see how long the company has been in business, and whether its broker is a current, active participant in the company. Find out what kind of continuing education programs are offered. Right now, property management is a highly regulated industry. Property managers need to stay on top of the current laws, fair housing regulations, and market trends. These things are important when a manager is protecting an owner’s property.
Property Management Hiring: Policies and Procedures
Find out what the company’s tenant screening policy is. You want to know what their showing policy is as well; do they do it in person or do they use a lockbox? Check out the lease they use. It should be a pro-landlord lease, and it should follow the laws and state regulations. Ask if the management company takes photos prior to a tenant moving in. This seems like a basic element, but if the move-in process is done properly, it will be difficult for a tenant to dispute anything at move-out or if you happen to go to small claims court. This is a key element.
Property Management Hiring: Communication
Find out how quickly the property manager gets back to you. Do they email or text? Do they have a property management software system, and if so – do you have access to it 24 hours a day and seven days a week? You’ll need to know when owner statements are posted and if you can access them at any time of day. Ask how they let you know when tenants are moving in and out, and what kind of information is provided to you. Find out if you get a copy of the lease. Communication is key to managing your property well.
Property Management Hiring: Fee Structure
Don’t focus on how much property management costs. If you’re going to pick a good property manager, which can be the difference between making money and losing money, you’ll pay fair market value. The structure is more important than the amount. Ask if they have a flat percentage based on rent or if there are a lot of ancillary charges. These add up over time.
Property Management Hiring: Reviews and References
When you pick a property manager, it’s a long-term relationship. It’s an investment. The goal is to make money and keep the property maintained. If you follow these suggestions, you’ll successfully choose the right property manager.
If you have any questions about finding a good property manager, please contact us at 36 North Property Management. We are located in Salinas, and we service the Monterey Peninsula and the Salinas Valley.