When you begin taking on a lot of rental properties, it can become overwhelming. You may want to turn to a property management company to help you handle the properties, but because these properties are large assets, you can’t just trust anybody with them. So how do you find a great company to trust?
First ask for referrals. Chances are, you know somebody who is happy with their property management company. Next, interview them. Just because somebody else is happy with the company doesn’t mean the company fits all of your needs. You also don’t want to base your choice on the price. Of course this is going to be a factor, but this choice should come after you’ve gotten all of your questions out of the way and you’ve have made sure there aren’t any hidden fees.
Begin by asking about the fees and ensure they all make sense to you. Nobody likes hidden fees. Next, ask the following questions:
How many units do they currently manage and what type of property are they? You don’t want to hire a company for an entire apartment complex if they usually deal with single family homes.
How long have they been in business? Never consider hiring anybody who has been in business less than a year.
What percentage of fees do they collect and how do they handle taxes? Do they keep the late fee or do you receive this?
What is the cost of the eviction process from start to finish?
How do they advertise your vacancies? What is the average length of time properties stay vacant? Who pays for advertising?
Is there a cost to the landlord for new leases signed? What are the lease options?
How are tenant calls handled? Do they have emergency hours on the weekend? How does the company handle repairs and maintenance?
After you have reviewed these elements of each company, make sure to thoroughly read the entire contract. Never sign a contract without asking any questions you feel you are important.