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Expert Tips: How to Successfully Find and Hire a Property Manager

Monday, May 06, 2024

9 Ways to find and hire a property manager

If you are a busy real estate investor, you may not have the time to manage your properties in addition to working a job and doing other things. You don’t have to let the lack of time keep you from investing, however. A good property manager can be a valuable resource to oversee rentals for property owners and free your time for other things.

​Finding the right property manager for your needs and budget isn’t always easy, however. Here are several strategies you can use to find an experienced property manager to make sure your property management will be done right.

1. Ask Your Real Estate Agent

If you are currently in the market to buy a property and working with a real estate agent, that person may know of a good property management company you can use. Agents are good sources of information for investors and other property owners. It’s one of the reasons why they earn their commissions.

Real estate agents work closely with other professionals in the industry. They often talk to other agents and share valuable information about services they can recommend to their clients, such as the best property management companies.

2. Ask For Referrals

Real estate professionals and other investors may know of a good property management company you can use. This means it may be worth your time to ask for referrals.

If certain property managers are recommended, find out why. Do they have years of property management experience, or are they being recommended because they are related to the people you are asking? The reason for the referral is important, and it’s a good idea to find out about a candidate’s history before following through with a recommendation.

3. Online Search

A simple but effective strategy you can use to find property management services is to look online. A search for “property managers near me” will give you a list of options to consider.

An important benefit of conducting an online search for property management is that you can read reviews to see what others think about a manager’s reliability, professionalism, and other attributes. If a property management company doesn’t do a good job of collecting rent, making repairs, and responding to tenant issues, some people may leave anonymous reviews to warn others.​

4. Join Local Real Estate Clubs or Associations

Networking with investors and other real estate professionals is a great way to find the best property management companies in a community. You can get to know them by joining a local real estate association. Associations sometimes offer meetings or events that you can attend, which makes networking easy.

If you attend a meeting, be sure to get to know as many people as possible and let them know what you are looking for. The more people you talk to, the more property management recommendations you will receive. You may also get some valuable advice on property management companies to avoid.

5. Use Social Media

In addition to keeping up with friends, family members, and old classmates, social media is also used as a professional networking tool. You may be able to find real estate investing groups for a community on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other such places online.

Be sure to join as many of these groups as possible and engage with the members. Online groups are great resources for introverted investors who don’t feel comfortable in large crowds at real estate meetings.

6. Don't Pick The First One, Interview Many

If you get recommendations for several different property managers, it’s a good idea to interview each candidate before making a decision. Be sure to ask questions about their operations, fees, and anything else you can think of that will influence your hiring decision.

In addition to noting their responses to your questions, be sure to assess each candidate’s level of professionalism, how well they communicate, and how easy it is to get in touch with them if you need them. The property management company you select will publicly represent your property, and you want to hire someone who is professional and courteous at all times..

7. Check Credentials and References

Before you hire a property manager for your rental properties, make sure the person you are considering has the right license that your state requires. Some states require a license to manage properties, while others don’t. Also, if you are hiring a property management company, it’s important to find out which manager will be handling your account (if there is more than one) so you can check that person’s credentials.

​Be sure to ask for references before you make a hiring decision. Previous clients may offer important information about a manager that you didn’t think to ask about.

8. Visit Other Properties They Manage

Perhaps one of the most important things you should do before hiring a property management company is visiting a few of the properties they manage to assess their condition. Do they look like they are well maintained, or do they look neglected and run down?

​Inspecting the condition of properties a manager oversees will help you determine whether that person stays on top of maintenance requests and other issues or does the bare minimum. If your rental property isn’t properly maintained, you may have trouble attracting good tenants. It may also result in a major repair project later on.

9. Compare Fees

How property managers charge is another important consideration. Some property management companies charge a monthly flat fee, for example, while others charge a percentage of the rent they collect each month.

Also, find out if additional fees are charged for certain services. Some managers may include tenant eviction as part of their regular services, for example, while others may charge extra for it. Extra fees could add up over time and be a significant operating expense.

What To Look For In A Property Manager

Finding the right property manager for your rental properties is crucial. It will be an important factor in maximizing occupancy rate and rent collection, as well as making sure all maintenance requests are taken care of.

​Here are some essential qualities to look for in a good property manager:

  • Integrity: Choose a property manager who is trustworthy and has a good reputation. You should feel confident that your property manager will make decisions that are in your best interest at all times.​ The property manager you hire should also treat your tenants with respect and fairness and make good financial decisions. A property manager who cuts corners may cause your revenue to decrease. It could also reduce your occupancy rate and negatively affect the condition of your property.
  • Expertise: Many people confuse experience with expertise, but the two terms don’t refer to the same thing. The amount of time a person has spent in an industry isn’t always a reliable way to gauge competency. ​Rather than focusing on the number of years managers have been working, focus on these key indicators instead: What are their vacancy rates? Do they have a good reputation? Do they have insurance and what does it cover? Are their contracts transparent and easy to follow? What does their client base look like?  How many clients do they serve?
  • Communication and compatibility: Communication style and compatibility are qualities that can be easily overlooked when you are searching for the best property manager. They are important factors, however, that will contribute to your investing success.​ A good property manager will keep you informed of any significant issues. Whether it’s a tenant issue, maintenance issue, or something else, you need to understand what’s going on with your rental properties at all times to help you make informed decisions.
  • Experience: Do the people you are considering treat property management as full-time jobs, or is it something they do as side hustles to earn extra money? The best property managers are usually those who manage properties full time.​ Managers who aren’t fully committed to taking care of properties may not give them their full attention. There could also be delays in taking care of maintenance requests, rent collection, and other things. This may anger some tenants and cause them to move, which could decrease your revenue and occupancy rate.

Property Manager Red Flags

There are bad seeds in every industry, and things can go downhill quickly when property managers don’t do their jobs correctly. Avoiding bad managers could save you a lot of time and trouble.

​Here are a few red flags to look for when you vet property managers:

  • Poor Communication: If a property manager you are interviewing is slow to respond, late to appointments, or unwilling to meet in person, this behaviour will likely be the norm.
  • Spelling and grammar mistakes: If you receive emails from a property manager that have a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes, it may indicate that the manager is someone who doesn’t pay attention to details.
  • Unprofessional behaviour: It’s important to ensure that the property manager you hire represents you in the best light. When evaluating candidates, pay close attention to how they conduct themselves during meetings. If they speak, dress, or act unprofessionally with you, they may treat your tenants the same way
  • Lack of references: If a property manager doesn’t have any references or refuses to provide them due to “confidentiality,” it’s best to cross that person off your list. No references usually indicates someone is inexperienced or is unable to provide good references.
  • Services are not 24/7:  Water damage, burst pipes, and broken HVAC systems don’t wait for business hours to cause issues. If a repair is urgently needed, you don’t want your tenants to have to wait any longer than necessary. If any property managers you are considering don’t offer emergency 24/7 assistance, remove them from consideration. Waiting to address maintenance emergencies can have serious consequences. Not only do tenants need a safe, secure place to live, but your property can sustain severe and costly damages if issues are not quickly addressed.

Find the Right Rental Property Manager for Your Investment

Finding a property manager for your rental property isn’t hard if you know what to look for and watch out for red flags. A great property manager can help alleviate stress, free up your time, keep your property maintained, and maximize your occupancy rate.

​Before you hire a property manager, it’s important to make sure your property earns enough to cover the expense of property management. Be sure to carefully analyze your revenue and operating expenses to make sure hiring a property manager is a good strategy for your unique situation and investment goals.

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The Investor coach podcast

FMTM Flat E Cover #2

What We Are About...

Success leaves clues, if someone is truly consistent at anything, over a long period of time, they are not lucky. They are doing something different than you. It's not that they are gifted, but they are doing something, a set of practices that separates them from everyone else. If you can figure out what they are doing differently than you, and you do the same thing, you will get the same results. But you have to model someone who is doing consistently what you want. Follow me and our guests to millions.

podcast-cover_1-min png

Episode 23 - #1 Question I wish I had known before I started...
Have you ever wondered how much more successful you could have become if you knew what you know now?  Listen To More

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Episode 29 - Titans of Industry
Find out from two highly successful Realtors how they scaled their businesses in the face of massive adversity.  Listen To More

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