Anyone with the need for property management has probably already figured out there are a bunch of us out there. There are, and like any other profession there are good and bad: unfortunately, there are more of the latter. Some of the biggest can and do fall into that category. The following are a series of tips to help you make the decision that’s right for you.
- Email and websites are great for potentially unfounded claims of ability, knowledge, etc. After your initial search, pick up the phone and speak with the final candidates you are considering. Ask your questions, and really think about what is being said to you. Quite often your ‘gut’ will make the call. If you aren’t comfortable with what’s being said, ask more questions, or move on.
- Gauge how well you communicate with the candidates. Communication is a big issue when you actually hire your manager. If you don’t feel you are getting absolute attention from a candidate, move on to the next one. Your manager must be able to maintain two-way communication with you. Listening and reporting are paramount.
- The day after the call or email, call them and send an email. See how quickly they get back to you. One of the biggest complaints of clients employing Property Managers is that they can’t get timely answers.
- Does their professional commitment stop at signs on their vehicle and a handful of business cards? Find out if they are licensed for real estate, have a CAM license, belong to NARPM. These are generally pretty good indicators as to ongoing education and awareness of current rules and laws. The best way to keep you out of lawyers’ offices
- Get a concise explanation of charges. Quite often, a Property Manager or PM company, will tout low, low rates and then add additional charges for many things which should be ‘part of the job.
- If something in the management contract doesn’t seem right, challenge it: ask the questions BEFORE you sign the agreement.
It doesn’t matter if you are new to the ‘landlord world’ or a seasoned portfolio investor. In either case you are entrusting a significant portion of your wealth (and sanity) to a person or company who can either maintain and/or grow your asset, maximize the revenue stream, and protect your legal interests….or not. Don’t underestimate the value a good Property Manager has to offer.
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