Does Your Property Manager Have These Six Vital Characteristics?
Some real estate investors find satisfaction in doing everything on their own. From finding a house and doing all of the home repairs to marketing, tenant selection and screening, and property management. But for those who have families and full-time jobs, doing all if it on your own may not be realistic. One of the smartest ways to clear your plate of some responsibilities relating to investment properties is to work with a property manager. But there are so many out there, how do you tell the winners from the losers? As you search for the perfect property manager, make sure they have these six characteristics so that you have the best chance of success.
Your property management team could have the most innovative software, the most experienced staff and the fanciest website on the web, but if they can’t effectively communicate with you and the tenants, things are going to go downhill very fast. Your property manager should:
- Respond quickly to your calls and emails
- Listen without interrupting
- Ask questions to clarify exactly what it is you want/need
- Be able to handle conflicts professionally
- Be honest, easy to talk to, and personable
A property manager that makes you or your tenants feel uncomfortable, neglected, or disrespected is not good for business.
For you to make money, your property management team must be financially savvy. You have to trust that your property manager is focused on how they can reduce costs associated with your investment property. They should be transparent in their accounting practices, be knowledgeable about tax procedures, and be consistently thinking of ways to cut costs without jeopardizing the comfort or convenience of the tenant, or causing damage to the property.
One of the most important things property managers need to have is a solid understanding of the market and their role in it. They need to be confident in their knowledge of the industry and should be able to answer any and all questions you have. They should have a firm understanding of what their roles and responsibilities are, the details of your specific home, and information about the general area. An ideal property management company will continually focus on continuing their education, so they’re always up to date on law changes and best industry practices. They should work with a competent and trained team of professionals, such as housecleaners and maintenance workers, to ensure every issue is handled the right way every single time.
A property manager with 5 or more years in the business has probably “been there” and “done that” enough to have the right procedures in place to resolve any issues you may have. Companies who have been in the business for a while have an established Rolodex of trusted vendors, and they can use their experience to serve you. It also helps that they’ve worked with the laws, policies, and regulations regarding real estate investment long enough that you can feel safe that they won’t miss something crucial.
If your property manager is taking care of your utility bills, maintenance, tenant issues, and taxes, they need to have a system in place. Being organized is key is running a rental property. If they can’t keep track of documents, forget to respond to emails, or miss deadlines consistently, you will end up with unhappy tenants. Unhappy tenants lead to extended vacancies, and extended vacancies lead to fewer paychecks for you. Confirm that your property management has systems in place to keep important information organizes and easy to access. It’ll make everyone’s lie easier.
Your property management is your set of eyes when you are not there. You are trusting them with an investment that costs a significant amount of money, and you need to be sure that they have your best interest in mind. Their goal should be to work with you long term, to build relationships with you, their vendors and even the tenants. Their job is to make owning an investment property less stressful for you. And if you’re constantly worried about trusting them, they aren’t making things easier for you.
One of the great things about investing in real estate is that eventually, it begins to earn you the passive income you’ve heard so much about. Investing in turnkey rentals allows you to get that money even faster, such so much of the hard work, including property management, is done for you. We work with a trusted group of professional property managers who not only meet these requirements but exceed them.
Regardless of who you hire to manage your investment property, it’s crucial you interview them (maybe even more than once) check online reviews, get recommendations from friends and family, and follow your gut. If a property manager isn’t financially responsible, an all-star communicator, trustworthy, knowledgeable and experienced, it could hurt you in the long run. Don’t compromise on this. Your success, especially if you are investing in a property in an area other than where you live, depends on the competence and dedication of your property management company.