If you own a home, condo, apartment, or any other piece of real estate, the thought of renting it out for additional income has probably crossed your mind. Hiring a property manager can help with all aspects of the rental process to greatly lighten your workload.
While you may have friends who successfully manage their own rentals, there are circumstances when hiring a property manager might make more sense for your wallet and your peace of mind. Let’s learn more about what property managers do for their clients.
What does a property manager do?
Usually offered in conjunction with other real estate services, property management is handling the day-to-day functions of a property for a real estate investor or company.
A property manager will do the following:
- Prepare properties and advertise them showing
- Screen rental applications and run credit/background checks
- Draft leases with tenants
- Coordinate maintenance
- Collect monthly rent payments
- Handle evictions
When hiring a property manager, you will want to review these items to see how each management firm’s services differ. While you can do this traditionally by calling various companies and comparing offers, there is a better way to compare property management firms.
Sign up for Burbz and list your property for free. You can compare offers and terms to find a property manager.
Five Things to Consider When Hiring a A Property Manager
When looking for a property manager, you will likely be confused by the wide range of firms on the market. Choosing the wrong management company can result in extended vacancies, late payments, or even mismanagement of your investment.
1. Determine What Services You Need
Some property owners are great managers. They enjoy interacting with tenants, collecting rent, handling maintenance issues, and tackling any other challenges that come up. However, they struggle with marketing their properties and do not know where to begin when screening tenants.
If you’re one of these types of real estate investors, you might only need tenant placement services from a property management firm. The company will advertise your unit, screen tenants, and draft an enforceable lease so that you know all your affairs are in order. Firms usually charge a flat fee, the first month’s rent, or a percentage of annual rent.
For those people who do not want to manage their own units, they may benefit from hiring a property manager who offers full-service property management. This brings all the benefits for tenant placement and combines them with the day-to-day affairs of managing a rental property. For this type of service, you can expect to pay a flat fee or a percentage of the monthly rent.
2. How Many Units Do They Manage?
If you’re looking for a property manager with experience, you may be tempted to go with the firm with hundreds of units in your area. While their experience and success may give you some comfort, you should ensure their dedication to each client. If their long-term clients have vacant units, these firms may try to push applicants to take those properties instead of your rental.
We are not saying that large property management firms are any less professional or effective as smaller competitors. You simply need to assess the manager’s ability to manage their units fairly.
3. Understand the Maintenance Process
In a perfect world, your rental property will never need repairs or updates. You would simply hire a property manager who would send you a monthly check. However, even properties with perfect tenants will need maintenance every so often.
Speak with your management company to see how they coordinate maintenance. Your Property Management Agreement should have a section on this topic. Many firms encourage owners to authorize maintained charges under a set amount. For example, an owner may allow any repair under $250. This way, the property manager can hire a technician to inspect and repair small appliances, broken windows, and plumbing issues.
Ask if the company offers in-house maintenance. Some firms may have a team of handymen who can do most repairs, avoiding the need to hire professional services. This helps to reduce your overall maintenance cost. Other firms may look for outside help when it comes to maintenance. This often costs more since they will markup the maintenance charges.
4. How do They Speak to You?
This may sound strange at first, but your property manager’s communication skills are vital to your success. If their emails are written poorly or speaking with them on the phone feels like pulling teeth, they may not be the right choice.
Think about it this way – You want your property to be marketed and represented in the best ways possible. A manager who cannot write descriptive listings, fails to sell the benefits of your unit, or does not communicate terms clearly could cost you in the long-run.
5. Personal Commitment
When hiring a property manager, you want to establish a professional relationship built on service. Managers take a personal interest in placing tenants in your unit. They should understand who you are, why you have this property, and what your goals are for this investment. With this in mind, they can not only find tenants who will respect your rental but who will also help you meet your goals.
Some owners want to rent their property for a specific amount per month. A property manager who is committed to your success will help tenants see the value of your monthly rate. They explain comparable rates in the area so that tenants meet your price point. Poor managers who simply want to fill a vacancy will propose lower rental payments and pressure you to meet these terms. This might cause you to lose money each month since the tenant could be paying below your monthly expenses for the property.
Hiring a Property Manager Has Never Been Easier
These tips on how to find a property manager only scratch the surface. You must speak with and review a few firms before finding the best property manager. The process can be long, especially if you have a busy work schedule.
Instead of looking for a property manager, have the managers come to you.
It’s as easy as submitting a free listing for your rental on Burbz. Managers will provide proposals that clearly explain their fees, terms, maintenance process, and more. You can even see ratings from other real estate investors to help you hire a certified property manager.