New year, new you! Perhaps one of your resolutions in 2016 is to reduce your never-ending to-do list by outsourcing some tasks. Employing a property manager to handle the day-to-day running of your investment property is a great place to start. 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 aren’t reliant on property sales to make money so are dedicated to the properties on the books. Full-service property management companies (like ours) can handle all aspects of rental property management. This is different to real estate agencies with a property management service; they may only be able to handle rent collection and maintenance. 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:
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 backup from the rest of the team? Do they provide ongoing training to the team?
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.
What is your property inspection system?
How frequently are they undertaken and how do they go about doing them? What report is given?
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?
How do you 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.
How can I view my account?
Do they have an online service to be able to view at any time so you can check invoices and records?
Do you keep up to date with market analysis?
This includes things like 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. If you are looking to expand the number of your investment properties then having a property manager on your team makes sense. Please contact us if you are interesting in hiring a property manager to make your life easier in 2016.