You own a multi-unit apartment complex and have a variety of tenants to oversee. Some tenants pay their rent on time, others are laggards, while one or two are behind on the rent and threaten to cost you a mint if you do not do something about them. Fortunately, you do not have to do the work yourself if you hire the services of a property manager. Before you begin your search for one, consider the following points first.
Get Referrals and Recommendations
In some states, property managers must be licensed. If that is the case where you live, then ask for the license. You might also check with your state to find out if it is still valid. Your state’s attorney general office can clue you in if there have been consumer complaints against the individual or company.
To narrow your list of potential property managers, ask candidates for referrals and recommendations. The referrals can come from other businesses. The recommendations can come from customers that have used the service. Call these individuals to gauge the candidate’s competency.
Find Out What Services Are Offered
The property manager will not be working directly for you. Instead, this individual will have his or her own business. The professional may have a variety of services to offer. Ultimately, what sets people apart is the service provided and the fees charged.
Some property management companies, such as Greenlee Realty Group, do not charge set up fees when adding rental properties to their system. Others will. You should also avoid a property management company that charges you a fee when the apartment is vacant. Only pay for a service when it has been delivered and to your specifications.
Screening and Handling
Your property manager will screen all tenants to ensure that the right fit is made. A fee should be charged to you only when the apartment has been rented. This ensures that the property manager always has an incentive to find a tenant and that incentive is the fee or commission charged for renting a vacant apartment.
Your property manager will also assess the local market. This means that if the apartment is not renting, steps may need to be taken to either improve the rental unit or make a recommendation to lower the price. A competent manager will also look to move your property as fast as possible. You are not required to take the property manager’s advice. Then again, if you are working with the best, then, by all means, save yourself a lot of hassle and listen up.
Working With Contractors
Property managers also can handle a variety of contractors including plumbers, electricians, landscapers and cleaning companies. With other properties in the mix, a property manager can leverage contractors for lower rates.
Besides holding labor costs in line, some property managers display competency in reducing the cost for the parts used to accomplish repairs. Indeed, instead of marking up what you might pay for wiring, pipes, fertilizer or cleaning supplies, your expenses should be held very close to cost.
Property Manager Considerations
Another point of consideration with a property manager is this: can you fire one? Indeed, yes you can. However, the separation process can vary. A competent firm will understand that an unhappy client should be released, the sooner the better for all involved. A fair arrangement is 30 days notice with no penalties or fees involved.
Once you hire a property manager professional you will wonder why you did that work yourself. A property manager can free you to handle other tasks including acquiring new properties.