Do you have what it takes to be a successful real estate investor? If you’re thinking about investing in income property, one of the best things you can do is recognize that you’ll need some help along the way.
One of the best ways to do that is by hiring a property manager to oversee the day-to-day tasks at your property.
But, how do you go about picking a property manager the right way? We’re here to help. Keep reading to learn the most important things to consider when looking to hire a property management service.
1. How Much Experience Do They Have?
A good property manager can make your life easier, and keep your tenants happy. However, property management is not a skill that develops overnight. You’ll want to hire someone who has experience not only in property management specifically but with types of property similar to yours.
When talking to potential candidates, whether an individual or a property management team, make sure they have a proven track record of success. Be sure to ask them the following questions, at a minimum:
- How long have you been managing properties?
- How many properties do you currently manage?
- How often can I expect to communicate with you?
- What’s your process like for interviewing potential tenants?
Try to avoid hiring someone who does property management on the side for extra money, in favor of someone who focuses on it full-time. Learn more about these ways that an experienced property manager can help you by clicking the link.
2. Do They Have Proper Licenses and Certifications?
Property management license requirements vary by state, so be sure to look into your local regulations to see what’s required. Then, be sure to only work with a property manager that has the correct licensing requirements.
Then, you can even take it a step further to look for someone with optional certifications or memberships related to the property management industry. For example, you might look to hire someone with their Residential Management Professional or Master Property Manager designation for more peace of mind that your property is in good hands.
3. Do They Have Proper Insurance?
Property managers also need to have the right kind of insurance. Before hiring a property manager, check to make sure they have the following types of insurance:
- General liability insurance
- Property and casualty insurance
- Errors and omissions policies
Depending on the property management team you work with, you may also be required to have your own insurance policies for additional protection. Make sure you and the property manager are on the same page about insurance coverage before deciding to move forward.
4. What Do Their Customers Have to Say?
For the best possible property management experience, you’ll want to spend some time checking references and reviews. You can start by asking potential candidates if they can share the contact information of clients who’ve agreed to act as references. Then, contact them to ask a few questions about what it’s liking working with the property manager.
Then, you’ll want to do your own research as well. Check their website for online reviews to get a more accurate idea of what you can expect from them. However, keep in mind that many people filter reviews so their website only shows positive ones. You should check their social media profiles and Google reviews as well for a more unbiased view of what they’re like as a property manager.
If you can’t find any online reviews, that’s a good sign that you might be better off hiring someone else.
5. How Much Are Their Fees?
You purchased a rental property as a way to bring in additional income, so of course, every decision you make for the property needs to make financial sense. If you hire a property manager with very high fees, you run the risk of putting more into it than you’re getting out of it.
Before you make a final hiring decision, get a few quotes from different vendors so you can spend some time comparing management costs to get an idea of the going rate in your area.
Make sure to get clarification on everything that the fees cover, so you can do a more accurate comparison.
6. What Kind of Processes Do They Have in Place?
You want to work with a property management team that already has systems and processes in place for success. When trying to decide who to hire, ask them about their process for screening tenants, handling repairs, etc. to get a better idea of how they operate.
Then, be sure to ask them about their processes for communicating with you as well. How will you receive rental statements? What KPIs do they track? How will they communicate with you? At what point will they escalate issues to you? Find out as much as you can about how they operate before making a hiring decision.
7. How Much Market Knowledge Do They Have?
The success of your rental property largely depends on where it’s located. A good property manager will be familiar with the market and they can help you understand how much rent you can expect to charge, average vacancy rates in the area, and more.
Be sure to ask a few market-related questions to help you get a better idea of their understanding of the area.
Picking a Property Manager, Made Easy
After reading through this guide to picking a property manager, you should feel more confident that you know how to move forward with making your decision. Choosing the right property manager is one of the best things you can do for your investment property, not just for yourself, but for your tenants, so keep these tips in mind as you make your decision.
Looking for more content like this? Check out our other articles before you go.