Employing a property manager to handle the day-to-day running of your investment property is a fantastic idea. This is especially true if you don’t like handling paperwork, maintenance issues and dealing with tenants. But you have to make sure that you choose the right property manager. Not all of us are the same. You get proactive managers and reactive property managers, and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you which is the better one!
A dedicated property management firm in my opinion is the way to go. They not reliant on property sales to make money so are dedicated to the properties on the books. The full service property management companies (like ours) can handle all aspects of rental property management. This is unlike real estate agencies with a property management service; they may only be able to handle rental collection and maintenance. So make sure you understand fully, what your needs are before approaching a property manager.
If you are not sure what to ask a property manager before signing on with them, here are some good questions to ask:
1 – What is your property management experience? You need to find out how long they have been doing this. If your manager seems a little inexperienced do they have back up from the rest of the team? Do they provide ongoing training to the team?
2 – How many properties do you manage? If you feel like your property will get lost in a sea of others maybe this property manager isn’t the right fit.
3 – What is your property inspection system? How frequently are they undertaken and how do they go about doing them? What report is given?
4 – How can you maximize my returns? How often do they perform rental reviews (if at all).
5 – How do you handle property maintenance? Are they proactive with a maintenance schedule? Which contractors are used, can you use your own? What is the system for payment?
6 – Tenant selection. How do they select tenants? This is the key to a profitable investment property so they should be able to give you a very detailed list on their selection criteria.
7 – Transparency. How can I view my invoices, and records? Do they have an online service to be able to view at anytime?
8 – Property market analysis. Does your property manager keep up to date with market analysis – vacancy rates, enquiry rates, rental returns etc? How often will you receive this information? Be aware not all property managers provide this service.
Employing the right property manager can make your life a lot easier – yes you do pay for the service – but you don’t have to deal with the headaches. If you are looking to expand the number of your investment properties then having a property manager on your team makes sense.