A property management company acts as an intermediary between landlords and tenants. They are responsible for finding and screening tenants, ensuring that a property’s safety requirements are met, maintaining properties, collecting rent, drawing up tenancies, and evicting tenants when necessary. If you’re a landlord, then it can be much easier leasing your property through a property management company than letting it privately.
This article will outline six tips on how you can find the perfect property management agency:
If you’re in touch with other landlords, then it might be a good idea to ask them if they would recommend any property management agencies to you. If they’re your friend, they should have no reason to lie to you, and so, you should hopefully receive unbiased recommendations. Make sure that you ask them why they like that particular company, what they would fault them on, and, if they would refer that company to anybody else.
If you know more than one landlord, be sure to ask around. You can also browse internet forums. Always take recommendations made online with a pinch of salt, however. There’s always the chance that somebody is endorsing their own business, which naturally, is going to be biased.
Search the Internet
Most property management companies will have web pages. If you don’t know any landlords and don’t want to ask on forums, then use Google to search for a property management website yourself. There are thousands to be found. When you find one, make sure that you research them and read their reviews. Take any reviews featured on-site with a degree of scepticism. Fake reviews are becoming more and more common.
When you’re dealing with a property management agency, they should provide a written service agreement or contract to you. Before you commit to an agency, it’s important that you ask them if they will be providing you with a contract. If not, then it’s best that you avoid them.
A contract protects you and ensures that you are never left out of pocket. Make sure that you always have a lawyer present whenever you’re signing a contract, especially when it’s related to your property.
Contact Other Clients
Once you’ve found a potential agency, make sure that you contact their other clients (if possible) and visit other properties that they own. Visiting their other properties gives you the opportunity to see whether they take care of the properties that they manage. You should also ask their tenants if they are good landlords.
Don’t settle on the first agency that you find. Instead, compile a list of candidates, and interview them. Ask them the following questions:
- Do you have any references?
- How much experience do you have in property management?
- Do your clients speak fondly of you?
- Do you operate around the clock, and offer your tenants an out of hours number? (this is especially important).
- Do you have in-house plumbers and electricians to handle maintenance for you, or do you subcontract?
- How large is your company, and how many years has it been operating for?
- Which service do you use to screen tenants, and, when necessary, how do you evict them?
When you’re interviewing property management agencies, try to gauge whether or not they are being dishonest in response to your questions. Unscrupulous agencies will lie through their teeth to secure you as a client. Then, once they’ve got their foot in the door, they will lie to you and deceive you. Property mismanagement can result in fines and lawsuits, which means that you need to find the most professional, experienced, and qualified agency that you can.
Certificates and Licenses
You must make sure that the property management agency that you employ is qualified, licensed, and certified. Ask them to show you their qualifications and their certificates before you sign your property away to them. It’s not hard to fake a certificate. Research the agency’s credentials, and if necessary, contact the certificate’s issuing body and ask them if the agency is certified by them.
Most states require, by law, that property management agencies are licensed and certified. If you believe that an agency isn’t then it’s important that you report them. It’s also worth finding out what your state requires in terms of licensing before you begin contacting management agencies.
Finally, make sure that you shop around and accept bids from multiple companies. Don’t always take the lowest bid – often a company that undercuts its competition also cuts corners.
It’s crucial that you find the best property management company to look after and let out your property. Don’t accept anything short of perfect. With the tips in this article, you should be able to filter out undesirable agencies.