For most new landlords, figuring out how to find a property manager is one of the most important things they can do. Even though there are a lot of good ones out there, many don’t have the type of experience or personality necessary.
No worries- we’re here to help. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll be better equipped and know where to look to find the best property managers in town.
How to Find a Property Manager – The 3 Options
When you start your search, you’ll quickly find that you essentially have just three different options:
- The Internet
- Phone books
These are placed in the order from the best to the worst. Let’s start by talking about why getting referrals is the best way to go.
Option #1: Property Management Referrals
When you’re thinking of a good movie to go see or restaurant to try, what’s the first thing you do? Probably ask friends or family with similar interests what they would recommend, right?
Throughout history, this is the method we’ve relied upon the most. When you talk to someone you like and trust, we know there’s a good chance we’ll like whatever they recommend. From articles of clothing to a roofing contractor, this is the most common (and best) way to go.
Keep in mind that it works a little different with property managers, though. Knowing how to find a property manager through referrals requires knowing people that have actually used the PM in the past, right? So that means you need to be talking to landlords. If your friend or family member has never rented out houses or apartments, their referrals just won’t be as useful. No matter how much “they’ve heard” about X property manager, it just isn’t the same as having actually worked with them.
If you don’t know any landlords, consider joining a local real estate investing club. Not only will this help you get great referrals, but also give you access to potential deals, business partners or mentors.
Something else to keep in mind- if the landlord you’re talking to is also friends or related to the PM they mention- be extra cautious. That connection may create a bias and hinder their ability to tell if the PM is actually worth the investment or not!
Option #2: The Internet
The Internet has made almost everything much, much easier for us. From getting the news to finding a new furniture set for the living room, just a few clicks can get you there.
I probably don’t have to explain why this can be so useful for finding a PM, either. But knowing how to find a property manager with the internet is a little different than finding other service providers. Namely because services such as Angie’s List just don’t have nearly as many customer reviews.
Instead, you’ll have to rely on other review systems such as Google or maybe Yelp. They still won’t have tons of reviews, but they’ll have enough to get you started.
Once you do find a few that look good, it’s time to do a quick phone interview. Make sure you have a good list of questions for interviewing a property manager before getting into it.
While doing the interview, also pay attention to the personality of the person on the other end of the line. Do they sound friendly and knowledgeable? Or is it someone that you (or your tenants) may not like working with for years to come?
Option #3: The Phone Book
You probably won’t have to pull out the old phone book, but it’s still an option. The only problem is that you’ll find PMs based on their names or how much they paid for ads- not how good of a service they provide. You also lack the ability to see what other customers think about them, which is why the internet is generally a much better tool.
Wrapping it Up
The whole time you’re doing this search, keep in mind that good property management isn’t easy. While there are a lot of people in the industry, only a few are top-notch. Your job is to continually update your skills on how to find a property manager and pay close attention (without micromanaging) to their work.