As your portfolio grows, even from zero to one, so do the challenges. Managing a property can seem like a daunting task, but choosing the right property management team shouldn’t be.
A good property management team can become your greatest asset, aside from your valued property itself. Your team will make critical decisions on your behalf, so finding an accountable and responsive team that you trust is essential.
It’s important to do your homework before hiring a property management company so you can find one that you trust to help your investment succeed.
First things first
Be prepared to be overwhelmed, a vague web search for property management companies can yield over 5.8 billion results. Before going any further, you need to take a step back and evaluate your specific needs.
- What kind of property do you have?
Whether your entire portfolio needs new management or just one property, you need to find a team that can cater specifically to your assets. Don’t let your condos get stuck with a management company that only handles single-family homes. Pay attention to your property and determine what kind of management team would be able to best care for your baby. Do you have a garden-style community or luxury high-rise? Is your property all Market-Rate or Affordable?
- What’s important to you?
Know what you want from a property management team. Are you struggling with occupancy, constantly having maintenance issues resurface, or having trouble juggling compliance regulations? Knowing what you need can help you weed out teams that may not offer comprehensive property management services.
And the search is on!
Start online, see what’s nearby, and make a list of candidates you’re interested in. You don’t need to choose one right away, reach out to a few and listen to their spiel. Not unlike choosing a real estate agent or nanny, you can interview multiple property management companies to see which will competently meet your needs.
Ensure that they offer specialized services that cater directly to your property-type. First impressions are important. An updated website and clear online presence, paired with a professional, friendly staff bodes well for future services and interactions. Don’t be afraid to bring up uncomfortable questions or ask them to further explain any areas you don’t understand or have hesitations.
- What does their current portfolio look like?
Asking for more information on their other properties can give you a huge insight into their management skills. Look into their other property websites, social media presence, and online listings. Take this a step further and inquire about their average vacancy rates and resident retention.
- How do they handle issues?
How a property management team handles vacancies, maintenance disasters, and legal concerns are all appropriate questions. Proactive and reactive problem-solving methods are important to be aware of ahead of time, so you and your new team can manage expectations and responsibilities. Learning about tenant screening protocols, rent collection methods, and marketing procedures can help you decide if that’s the right property management team for you.
- Can they provide references or reviews?
If you are on the edge, ask for more information! See if they can put you in touch with their current clients or on-site staff to offer additional insight into their management style. Not offering references? Check their online presence to read community reviews.
- What benefits can they provide?
Maybe they get marketing discounts for listings because they manage multiple locations. Do they offer an extensive technology advantage? Making sure your property management company is living in the 21st century is very important. No matter how old a building is, online rent payments, digital maintenance requests, and an online presence are expected by residents. Some property management companies go beyond the norm, offering owners and investors real-time reports to keep them updated on their investments.
Ensure that property management companies offer complete clarity on issues that are most important to you, including compliance accountability, contingency plans, and management standards. Confirm that the contract covers everything you want and outlines the responsibilities of each party before signing off.
Your property management team should want your property to succeed as much as you do. You’ve invested countless time and money into your property, so don’t rush into selecting your team.
What can you expect from a property management team? We don’t know about the other guys, but here at Hively, we offer comprehensive management services, securing high property values and maximizing cash flow through rigorous screening, high tenant retention, efficient asset management, and effective preventative maintenance. Tax credit compliance, marketing, leasing… the list goes on and on. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation or check out a few of our services.