7 Ways to Find the Right Property Manager for your Property
Hiring a property manager or property management company to look after your real estate investment can save you time, hassle and make sure your property is appropriately taken care of. It is important to find the right person to manage your property. A person with the right experience and knowledge to ensure you make the most out of your investment.
In this article, we take a look at some of the benefits of hiring a property manager. As well as the characteristics you should look for to make sure you hire the right one.
What is a Property Manager?
A property manager is a person or company that takes care of a property on behalf of someone else. For instance, it’s usually the owner or landlord. As a third party between landlords and tenants, property managers oversee the daily operations of a property. They also may handle everything from pre-tenancy requirements to maintenance and repairs on the building.
A property manager will deal with tenant-related issues on behalf of a landlord. They will also be the first point of contact for both parties. In some circumstances, the expense of hiring a property management company is tax deductible.
What are the Benefits of Hiring Property Management Companies?
Hiring a property manager or property management company has a number of benefits for both tenants and landlords:
- Handling the Day-to-Day
A property manager will handle the day-to-day running of a property. Firstly, by dealing with tenant requests and organising maintenance and repairs. Secondly, by making sure that rent is paid. A good property manager will be able to quickly deal with a property’s needs on behalf of the landlord. Managing real estate or a rental property can be quite time-consuming. Having a property manager to handle the day-to-day can free up a landlord’s time.
- Point of Contact
If a landlord doesn’t live close to their investment property, they can hire a property management company to deal with the ongoing needs of the rental property. This removes the need for the owner to be nearby and actively manage the property.
For the management of rental properties, hiring a property management company can be a game changer for those not wishing to be “ hands-on” with their buy-to-let property or real estate investment, or those that have invested in an up-and-coming area that may not be close to their living location.
- A Range of Responsibilities
A property manager can handle a wide range of tasks on behalf of a landlord. These can include things like advertising the property and screening tenants, supervising and coordinating maintenance, resolving tenant complaints and collecting and depositing rent. The property manager makes sure everything is promptly taken care of and that the property itself is well cared for.
- Resolve Problems
Owning a property or being a landlord is not always smooth sailing. Oftentimes there are problems such as rental arrears, property care issues or bad tenants. A property management company can take care of these issues so that the landlord doesn’t have to deal with any confrontation or be constantly resolving problems with the property and tenants.
How to Find the Right Properties Manager
If you are looking to hire a property manager, there are a few steps to take before making a decision.
- Get Recommendations
Ask around to find property management companies that come recommended. Other landlords in the area may be able to share who they use to look after their properties or provide a list of individuals or companies that may be suitable.
- Ask your Estate Agent
Estate agents, as well as other professionals in the property industry, usually have contacts for property management companies they recommend. As they are continually connected to the industry, they will usually be able to offer a range of options or contacts that will suit your needs.
- Search online
Searching online can give you a list of local property management companies or property managers. Be sure to compare their services and read reviews from tenants as well as other landlords to check if they offer high-quality service.
Questions to Ask a Property Manager
Now you know how to begin your search for a property manager, here are some of the questions you should be sure to ask your short list of property management companies.
- Tenants: What is a property manager’s process for finding and screening tenants? It’s not always possible to find absolutely perfect tenants, but a good property manager will take steps to ensure you get the right ones. Make sure you understand the screening process used to approve tenants for a contract.
- Properties: How many properties are they currently managing? Do they have photos they can share? Knowing how many properties a successful property manager is looking after can give you a good idea of their experience. Just be aware that if you are using an individual instead of a company, managing a high number of properties may not be a good thing – after all, there are only so many hours in a day.
- Reporting: What reporting tools do they use and how will they keep you up-to-date with what is going on with your property? A property manager should make sure you are kept up-to-date on the property as needed.
- References: Can they provide references from past landlords and tenants? Property management companies should be happy to provide you with references from tenants and other landlords they are working with.
- Marketing: How will they market your property? What platforms will they use? A property manager should do everything possible to make sure your property always has tenants and effectively marketing your property is a key aspect of that.
- Services: What’s the full range of services that the property management company offers to their clients? Do they offer eviction services, marketing and tenant search, or just deal with the day-to-day running of the property?
- Experience: How long has the property management company been in business? How many properties have they taken care of? The more experience, the better as they will have a good understanding of the market.
- Reputation: Low vacancy rates, strong policies and great customer service are all must-haves when it comes to a property manager. Be sure to check online reviews and ask others about their experience before hiring any individual or company.
What Makes Someone a Good Property Manager?
If you’re wondering how to find the right property manager for your company, here are 7 things to look for:
- Relevant Experience
When it comes to managing and looking after a property, you want a property manager that has experience. You should find out how many years they have been in operation, how many properties they have managed and their experience in the local property market.
- Customer Service Skills
Property management is a career that can be stressful at times. A good property manager needs to have a lot of patience coupled with good customer service skills. Whether they’re dealing with contractors who are behind schedule, investor expectations, or even unruly tenants, look for a property manager who puts customer service and finding solutions to problems at the heart of their business.
- Communication Skills
The nature of a property management role is being the first point of contact for both the tenants and the landlord. Strong communication skills are a must to deal with day-to-day issues that arise and to be clear with tenants to get to the heart of a problem or find a solution.
The speed of communication is also important. Tenants expect issues to be dealt with swiftly and to have responses to their questions or queries provided in a timely manner. The speed and clarity of communication will impact a tenant’s level of satisfaction, which has a direct impact on a landlord in terms of keeping tenants and getting rent paid on time. Ensuring your property management company has strong communication skills will help to increase tenant retention and help you maintain cash flow.
Property managers with strong communication skills will also ensure that you as a landlord are kept up to date with any issues the property is experiencing or changes in a timely manner.
The best property managers are skilled in both written and oral communication to clearly explain what is going on with a property to reduce the chance of disputes.
Dealing with tenants can be a delicate balancing act. A good property manager will need to be patient but also have the ability to be clear and assertive should any issues arise. Things like tracking down late payments, ensuring maintenance professionals complete tasks on time and to standard are just a couple of situations that require an assertive hand.
Property managers that can be assertive without being rude can be an asset to ensure things with your property are always moving as they should be. While being assertive, it’s essential that property managers can conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times and maintain the utmost of professionalism with tenants. Property managers are also dealing with sensitive materials and must ensure they act professionally and treat everyone with respect.
Considering what a property manager will deal with on a daily basis, they will need to have a positive can-do attitude. They’ll need to be able to remain positive when dealing with challenges on a daily basis. Not only will they face the inevitable landlord-tenant disputes, but they’ll also need to keep a level head if the market isn’t going as hoped.
- Efficient and Organised
A property manager may look after multiple properties. It’s essential to find a property manager that knows how to manage their time and ensure that all landlords and tenants are taken care of equally. Good-performing property managers will be able to coordinate several projects at once.
Juggling multiple priorities, properties and issues requires a high level of organisation and coordination. A property manager will need to be able to pay attention to the details. Therefore ensure both the landlord and tenant are protected. Ensuring things like contracts are signed on time and relevant systems and processes are in place. This will ensure that a property is always running smoothly are essential, sometimes making use of property management software.
By having an efficient process for things like background checks, security deposits and property paperwork, property managers can avoid landlord-tenant issues.
A property manager should have in-depth knowledge of the local rental and property market.
Even within the same town or city, each postcode or area can be completely different. It can also have a completely different tenant market. It’s important to choose a property manager that is well-versed in the idiosyncrasies of the local market. Such as property type, demand and tenants.
At the most basic a property manager should have a key understanding of the following:
- The rent in the area and how to ensure successful property letting
- The level of demand for rental properties in the area and what features are amenities tenants look for
- The type of tenant – from student markets to young professionals to families. A good property manager should know the difference in the priorities of each.
- How to effectively conduct marketing to ensure your property continually has tenants.
Working with a property manager that knows the local area and types of tenants is highly beneficial. This will ensure you find the right tenants for your property and charge what renters are willing to pay. This can make sure you are making adequate returns on your investment. As well as help you to steer any renovations or improvements to make sure they pay off and make your property appealing in the local market.
- An Investor Mindset
A property manager with an investment mindset will focus on helping their client to maximise the returns on their investment. They should be able to help a landlord to maximise rental yield. As well as ensure the property is as tax effective as possible. And also share ideas where it’s possible to add value to the property.
A good property manager will work with you to ensure vacancy rates of your property are as low as possible. By staying up to date with what is going on with a property, they should stay on top of maintenance. And as a result prevent any bigger issues. They should also monitor the local market. This should ensure that rent is at market rate and your property investment remains in the red.
What Percentage do Property Managers Take?
You’ll want to know the property management fee and how much the property management company will charge you for their services. Be sure to find out if they charge by a percentage of rent payments or a flat fee. You should check how they charge if your property is empty or part-full and how they collect their payments.
Other fees a property manager may take can include an initial account set up fee, tenant-placement fee, eviction or early-termination fee and monthly management fee. Costs vary but usually, they take a percentage of monthly rent, typically between 4-12%.
Hiring a property manager can be a great way to free up your time. Especially from having to deal with the time-consuming day-to-day of running a buy-to-let property. As well as making sure your property is taken care of if you do not live in the local area. When looking for a property manager or for residential property management options, you should find an individual or company that has experience, knowledge and good organisation and communication skills. To find out more about investing in rental property, get in touch with our experts today.