Let’s face it- the term “property management experts” is kinda vague. One person may consider a property manager an expert just because they have 2-3 years of experience. Others are of the mindset that a much more extensive time frame, such as 10-15 years, is necessary.
Either way, there are a few key components that every great real estate manager should be able to do well.
Property Management Experts Should be Great with People
Do you remember that TV show “The Dog Whisperer?” The idea was this guy would help even the most wild, disobedient dogs to become great pets.
Even though you can’t quite do that with people, a good real estate manager has excellent people skills. When a tenant has an issue, they’re able to quickly resolve it with a solution that makes most (if not all) parties happy.
Got a tenant who isn’t paying their rent on time? A good property manager should know how to handle these types of situations as well. They’ll realize that certain situations may require a heavy hand, while others can be handled diplomatically.
At the end of the day, your tenants are the ones that make the investment profitable. If they aren’t happy and turnover is high because you have a bad real estate management team, you’re losing money.
Property Management Experts Should Know How to Find Tenants
This can be one of the most tedious parts of the industry depending on the location and current market. In today’s market, where apartments are being built left and right, you need someone who is great at marketing. Otherwise, all of the best potential tenants may end up going to the competition.
So when you’re in interviewing property managers, this should be one section in your list of questions to ask a property manager. You need to have an idea of how they’re going to market your property, who they’re going to market to, how long it takes them to usually fill a vacant home, etc.
Every piece matters. If they get a tenant in tomorrow but they trash the place, you lose. If they find an amazing tenant but it takes them 6 months, you lose. If they have a well-thought out marketing plan but it costs you a lot of extra fees, your ROI suffers in the short run, but it may be worth it long term.
Property Management Experts Should Keep Up with Local Trends
Does your PM know the current rental rates per square foot in your area? How about what types of things in the house your target market is looking for? How are they staying competitive in an industry that fluctuates with rising interest rates?
If you’re paying someone to manage your property, you want them to know more about the industry than you do. Even if you spend a decent amount of time staying up to date, it’s their full time job! They should know what the big players are doing, new laws effecting real estate, etc.
Real Estate Management Experts Should Have an Extensive Network
If something goes wrong on your property, the property manager probably has a limited amount of power to fix it, right? It depends on your agreement, but there is often a dollar threshold where they will just have the repair done without first getting your permission.
Because they’re constantly managing these maintenance projects, they should have a strong network of people they trust in multiple industries. Lawyers, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, HVAC, driveway – you name it. They should know exactly how to call to get great, fast service.
Of course they can always follow the basic steps on how to hire a plumber, but it’s just easier and more reassuring to you if they already have someone in their back pocket.
There is no right answer regarding how much experience people need to become property management experts. What is important is that any real estate professional you hire should know how to do their job well and have great references and examples to prove it.