So you’ve made the decision to hire a property management company; now what? There are a few guidelines to follow before you hire a company, including what you can afford, the credentials of the company you’ve chosen, and determining what services you actually need from the company. Keep reading to learn how to hire the right property management company and get some of the time you spend managing your properties back.
1. Check Your Finances
Property Management will cost money, and the cost of the service is completely dependent on the company, your needs, and the length of the contract or agreement. You’ll want to get quotes from as many companies as you can, compare prices, and then pit these expenses against your current budget to see how much you can actually afford.
You don’t want to get in over your head with a company you can’t afford. The whole purpose of hiring a property management company is to save you time and stress. Worrying about money or going over your budget won’t serve to achieve either of these goals.
2. Check Credentials
The next step you’ll want to take is to check the company’s credentials. You want to be sure you’re working with a company that has a good reputation for quality services and people that know what they’re doing. Hiring an inexperienced or otherwise unqualified company can only cause you further headache.
The best property management companies will proudly provide their credentials. This will let you know that you’re not only working with a qualified, professional business, but that the business stands behind its work and is willing to provide proof of its legitimacy.
3. Look at Customer Reviews
You should always pay close attention to the customer reviews of any business you intend to work with. Previous and current customers will have much-needed insight on the company you want to work with; from reviews on their services, customer service, and qualifications.
You can usually find a business’s reviews on their Facebook page or on Google. Some companies even include reviews or testimonials on their website. A business that does this is usually pretty highly-rated and not afraid to show off their testimonials.
Never underestimate the power of a good customer review, but also know how to pick out good reviews from poor ones. A good review is well-written and explains exactly what was liked or disliked; and whether or not a company did their best to address the issue. A review that says “the service was bad” really shouldn’t be trusted, since it doesn’t provide any context or details to go off of.
4. Decide What You Actually Need
Once you’ve found a company you’d like to work with, you need to decide what services you actually need. Do you need a full-service package, with complete management capabilities, or do you just need someone to collect rent and handle maintenance?
Knowing what you need will not only help you choose the right provider, but will also ensure you’re not overspending on services you don’t want or will never utilize. Be sure to check services packages and compare rates to ensure you’re getting what you need at the price you want.
Some landlords require a more in-depth level of service, but you might only need a rent collector. Whatever your needs are, be sure the company you choose can meet them with quality customer service and professional employees.
5. Read Contracts or Agreements Carefully
Once you choose a company and a plan, you’ll likely have to sign a service agreement or contract with your property management company. This is all well and good as long as you know what’s in the contract. If there’s anything you don’t understand, be sure to ask for clarification to avoid surprises down the road.
The last thing you want is a surprise expense or fee sometime in the near future, or some other hidden term you weren’t aware of when you signed. Make sure the language is clear, and you’re able to fully understand the details of the terms, conditions, and payment requirements.
Property management solutions can help you take a step back from your management role as a landlord and allocate your time elsewhere. By following these simple tips, you’ll be sure to find the right company to help meet your individual needs at a price you can afford.