Once you decide to outsource the day to day tasks of managing your rental property, you need to choose a property management company. Spend some time researching and interviewing several prospective property managers, and focus on these five specific things:
- Size. Decide whether you want a smaller, boutique style property management company or a larger outfit. It’s important to get to know what kind of ratio they work with. Find out how many employees there are on staff to manage each property. You want to make sure there is enough coverage.
- Services. You need to know what kinds of services are provided. Some companies will be strictly property management and others will have real estate expertise in addition to management abilities. Keep in mind that even if you are looking for management services presently, you might want to sell that home some day. You’ll need help from a real estate broker, and it can be beneficial to have a relationship in place with a good real estate agent.
- Communication. Take note of how long it takes for a property manager to contact you once you send an online inquiry or leave a phone message. That’s a good indicator of how responsive they will be when something at your property needs attention. First impressions are important, and you should pay attention to the turn-around time and the communication skills coming from a property management company you’re considering.
- Online presence. If you cannot find a company online, you have to wonder how a tenant is going to find your rental property on the market. Make sure you can find the property management company easily and gain access to the different properties available through that company. You want to make sure your house will get maximum exposure when you’re looking for a tenant.
- Physical location. Take a look at where the property manager is located. You have to consider whether the tenant will be able to get to the office and pay rent or ask questions. Find out whether the office is open seven days a week and what the office hours might be. It should be accessible and close enough to your property that the staff can get there easily if necessary.