What to Ask When Looking for a Good Property Manager

If you’ve ever searched for a good property manager before, then you know how difficult it can be to find a good one for your rental property. There are several property managers out there, probably more than what you really need to bring your property into the market.

With so many choices available, you may find it difficult to choose one for your unit. But don’t worry – if you ask the right questions while shopping around for property managers, you’ll get a better idea of who would make the best fit for your property. Ask them these questions when discussing your property to see if they’re the right property manager for you:

1. What type of properties have you managed?

Experience counts for a lot in property management, and it can separate the good ones from the ones you should steer away from. Experience in this field, however, isn’t just about the number of years worked in the field; it’s also about what type of properties they’ve managed. Depending on what type of property you have, you can either go with someone who specialises in managing properties like yours or someone who has more varied experience managing different types of properties.

2. How do you screen potential tenants?

Screening potential tenants is one of the most important steps to property management, so the way they do this often reflects their level of service to your property. Ask them how they’ll match tenants to your property and what their process is like for finding tenants. This will give you a better idea of how they operate and what lengths they’ll go to find the right match for your property.

3. How do you handle late payments by tenants?

Finding tenants is just one phase of property management; the longer phase involves managing the tenancy itself. Asking them this question will show you what their management style is like and how they’ll deal with critical rental issues like these. See if their process aligns with what you expect them to do and how you want your property to be managed.

4. How do you respond to complaints?

Similar to the previous question, this question allows you to gauge how well a potential property manager will handle the landlord-tenant relationship. Remember that a property manager will act as the mediator between you and your tenant, so it’s important that you’re comfortable with their process for dealing with any complaints or issues.

5. How often do you do inspections?

Routine inspections are important to any tenancy agreement, and the number of times it’s done per year will help give you better peace of mind as the landlord or owner. This question will also show you how well the property manager will look after your property even after the start of the tenancy.

6. What’s the right rental price for my property?

If you’ve done your research beforehand, this question will let you assess how well a potential property manager knows the market and what they can offer you. It also allows you to get a better idea of what your property is worth in the current market. Compare their answer with different property managers to see what they offer and to better understand where your property stands in the market.

7. What are the things I can do to improve my listing?

Asking them this question won’t just reveal their expertise in property management, but it’ll also help you put your property in the best position in the market. Note their suggestions, assess how relevant they are, and decide whether or not they can get your property where you want it to be.

8. What are the full costs and fees for managing my property?

Some have small sign-up fees but a variety of hidden fees once you sign on and let them manage your property. Avoid getting surprised by such fees, and ask them to indicate all management and service fees included in their service. The more complicated their fee structure is, the bigger the headache (and expense) it will likely be.

9. What can you do that others can’t?

This is where prospective property managers will try to sell you on what they offer and how well they set themselves apart from the competition. It’s also the part where you assess the intangibles in any working relationship, giving you a better idea of how well they meet your standards. Listen well, take notes, and assess if they provide what you’re looking for.

The Importance of Hiring a Property Management Company

In this age of independence and mindset that one can manage on his own, it is inevitable that a property owner would think he will do fine on his own. Sure, you got tenants who at first, pay on time until gradually they won’t, some will breach the contract and lease terms, then they cause problems with the neighbors and other tenants, then slowly you will notice you are losing money and when you decide to evict the tenant, next thing you know, you have a lawsuit at your doorstep.

The reality is if you use the services of a professional property management company, not only do you have peace of mind, your investment is protected and the consistent cash flow you receive through rent can assist you to buy additional investment properties.

This is why you need the assistance of a property management company, but before that, we will determine the pointers on why it is important to hire one.

Determining the Worth of Your Property

The problem with inexperienced owners is that sometimes they get overwhelmed on how they price their property to the market: oversell and you have to deal with the high vacancy rate with no profit, undersell and you will realize you are slowly losing profit. This is where a property management company comes in, they will help you determine a balanced meal where you gain tenants and continue to rake in profit.

A property management company is also well-versed in marketing your property and placing ads where it will attract tenants. They will answer any inquiry and they know what entices a prospective tenant, therefore will help you point out some cosmetic improvements so that the tenants will feel that renting your property is worthy of their money.

Avoiding Major Problems with Tenants

Screening tenants would not be one of your problems anymore because the property management company will take care of it. They know too well how to check the background of the interested tenants, their criminal records, their relationship with previous property owners and if they have ever caused problems before. Think of it as helping you weed out the bad ones for a healthy and bountiful crop.

Collecting rents is the most common problem in renting out your property. When left to your own devices, having your tenants pay you on time will become a child’s play of hiding and seek between them and you as the property owner, certainly some tenants will tug at your heartstrings and gain your sympathy with the hope that you will let them get away with it. A property management company, however, will become the middleman who will ensure that the tenants abide by the lease terms and should understand that they are just doing their job for you, keeping your cash flow consistent.

Maintenance

When a tenant has reached the end of the contract, the grueling process of turnover will usually keep you busy as a property owner, but with a property management company by your side, that is another pile of stress that will be taken care of. Any deductions from the security deposit will be made and returned to the tenant, and the restoration process of repairing any damages, repainting, changing locks and cleaning the property would be done without getting your own hands dirty.

As a property management company, expect that they know the right people to contact should there be any problems with leaks, wiring, and plumbing experienced by the tenants and their dilemmas will be addressed promptly.

Saving Time and Money

A successful businessman knows that delegating tasks is key for a successful business so that one can have more time to deal with other business ventures. With almost everything being taken care of, it seems like the only thing left to do is to visit your property at a certain time interval and continue to rake in profit while having more time to spend it with your family, social life, other priorities, and investments.

IN CONCLUSION

Hiring a property management company takes care of the burden for you, especially if you are well aware that marketing, confronting tenants with late payments and handling maintenance are not your strongest points especially if managing your property is not the only priority you have in your busy life. Therefore delegating this task to a reliable property management company may just be one of the best decisions you have ever made. If you are looking for a very attentive Realtor who knows the business, then check out Pinehurst Real Estate for more information.

Is Your House Prepared to Be a Rental?

If you have lived in the house for a while, there may be broken or worn out items that you have overlooked. Safety issues and even legal issues should be resolved before you put your house on the market. It is in your best interest to do some preparation before you post the “for rent” sign.

Repairing structural or system defects should be at the top of the list. Tighten handrails, repair steps, and remove hazards inside and outside the home. Make sure all heating, plumbing and electrical elements are up to code. Elevated decks, railing, flooring and framing should be inspected by a Class A contractor for structural safety. Your goal is to have all systems running smoothly and efficiently.

Pay special attention to regularly used appliances such as refrigerator, stove, microwave, washer, dryer, etc.. These appliances receive heavy use daily and should be in good working order. Bathrooms, toilets, showers and tubs should have a clean appearance and be free of mildew. Replace missing tile grout and re-caulk tub and shower with a fresh bead of caulk. Is your carpet stained or worn? Cleaning the carpet, or if necessary replacing it, will freshen up your home. Make sure there is at least one working smoke detector on each level of the home and replace old batteries with fresh ones.

Make sure the property has a clean and tidy appearance inside and out. Remove all personal items from the interior and exterior of the home and yard. Take cans of old used paint to the dump along with yard waste and other items that are not needed. Clean out the garage and sweep away dirt and cobwebs to make the space fully usable. Improve curb appeal by trimming shrubs and bushes and touching up peeling paint on the house or porch.

When thinking about whether to make an improvement or an upgrade to your potential rental property, consider the competition and the price range of other rental homes in your neighborhood. Think about who your target tenant will be. Your location along with the price will be the deciding factor in who will be interested in your house. Will you attract university students, a family with younger children, or singles? You don’t want to over-improve your home and price yourself out of the rental market in your area.

Lastly who will service and manage your home? Do you plan to manage the property yourself or employ a management company? If you are managing the property yourself, you will be the sole contact for the tenant – collecting rent, performing regular property inspections, routine maintenance, and emergency repairs. Hiring a property management company will relieve you of these responsibilities and partner with you to make your investment profitable.

Commercial Property Management – Some Simple Points

In this job profession it is a business service that is designed to help assist owners in supervising their commercial properties. A commercial property manager may have several jobs but essentially they are the ones that will take care of details that are related to the following:

• Upkeep of the buildings on the property such as making sure that the lawns are mowed, any repairs needed are done promptly
• Checks out and qualifies potential new tenants who want to rent one of the commercial buildings or stores
• Oversees the leasing of sections of the property such as retail space in a mall
• Collects the rent from tenants on behalf of the owner

A commercial property manage involves overseeing any type of commercial property from multi-storied office buildings to retail space. Many times property owners will use a commercial property management firm to hand all the day-to-day details of operating the property so it frees up the property owners time for other aspects of business. The firm that is managing the commercial properties is generally granted the authority to make any decisions that will impact the amount of income the owner receives from their property. Hiring the right management firm can often lead to securing the best rental rates for the space and having a lower turnover of tenants.

One thing that is the responsibility of a commercial property manager is to screen potential tenants by accepting their application and then doing a background check. If the tenant is approved to rent a space then the manager will prepare the lease. For the duration of the lease the manager will make sure that the tenant is provided with all the responsibilities and benefits that are listed in the lease agreement, including the rental amount, when it is due, etc.

The commercial property manager will also serve as the liaison between the tenants and owner. If the tenant has any problems or needs repairs to their space they will see the manager who will take the necessary steps to resolve the issue or have what is wrong repaired. It is the manager’s responsibility to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the owner and the tenant. If the tenant is not paying the rent as outlined in the lease or doing anything that is not in the lease the commercial property manager will be the one that is responsible for delivering the eviction notice. Each jurisdiction or state has their specific regulations in regards to eviction. When serving an eviction notice the manager must be sure that they are following every step in the process to the letter. This makes sure that everything is done legally and the tenant cannot complain they were evicted illegally.