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How to Choose a Good Property Management Company

Updated on June 6, 2010
property management, jade,
property management, jade,

If you have decided to invest in properties by fixing them up and getting them ready to rent, you may save yourself from encountering many problems by hiring a company to keep an eye on your homes and take care of them for you. These are the main duties of property management companies, businesses created to help you manage your properties and prevent tenants from taking advantage of you. Choosing a property management company however, is not a light hearted decision, because they will be taking care of your financial assets and many responsibilities are involved, you must dedicate some time in your selection process. Following is a guide that may help you make a good choice.

How to Choose a Good Property Manager

You have just finished fixing up your property, got it immaculately clean and smelling fresh and now you are ready to put it up from rent. Finding potential tenants is not a difficult task, but how can you protect yourself from renting  your property out to tenants who may not pay your rent on time or worse, may damage your property and refuse to pay? If you are unsure on how to hand these potential difficulties, then hiring a property management company may be a wise choice, especially if you own various properties, or  own homes far from each other and have a hard time over seeing them all.

• Look for Experience

Try to stray away from property managers who have just opened  and are fresh on the business. They may not have  sufficient experience and you do not want them to learn the basics by using your property as a ''learning aid'''.  Try to look for established companies that have been around some time and that have many happy clients. A good place to find out about customer satisfaction is to look online for some reviews. 

• Overview your Needs

Discuss with the potential property manager if he will meet your needs. Remember that you are the one that will be hiring them, therefore asking many questions is a good way to get a good assessment. If all your questioning seems to bother the property manager just tell them you will think it over and never go back, You have a right to gather as much information as possible since you are talking about your financial assets. 

• Check for Credentials

Today, many property managers are certified. This means that these professionals have undergone studies and training in order to perform best in the job they do.  To be a certified property manager often means that the person in question has extra experience and has been taught about  relevant topics such as marketing, dealing with legal issues,property maintenance and management and human resources.

• Ensure Availability

While you want to avoid that property management office that has just opened its business, you also want to be a bit wary of those that have too many clients. If the company has too many properties too handle and too little staff, they may get overwhelmed in the long term and not perform well as they should. A good property management company should manage several properties but still have enough staff to meet the needs of  both tenants and landlords. 

• Look at Personality

Do you have a general good feeling about the property manager or is there that ''something '' that does not convince you? Does the property manager appear courteous, professional and answers your questions fully ? Or does the property manager appear to be in a rush, cutting you off and passing you a pen to sign a contract already? Be very careful and feel the good and bad vibes this person is sending you. If you do not like him, chances are high your tenants will not like him either. This may cause high turnover rates and loss of income.

Shop for Rates

Property managers usually charge you a fee which is a percentage off the price you rent your property each month. For instance, let's say  you will charge $ 800 a month for rent,  the property manager therefore may take 10% of that and withdraw $ 80 dollars from your $400 dollars. This will leave you with $720. The percentage a property manager may charge may vary from one to another. However, the average asking charge appears to usually be 10%. Calling around still will not hurt.

Hring a property manager can ultimately be a wise choice. You will won't have to deal with advertising, running credit checks,  collecting rent and the cumbersome task of  maintaining your property or properties. Being a landlord will no longer be a painful chore, rather you may relax knowing that property management will take care of it all, for a fraction of your rental monthly income,


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