How your property management rentals are managed is a major factor on your bottom line. When you start shopping for the right company, it pays dividends to do your due diligence and find a great company to work with.
Unfortunately, the all-knowing Google can actually make this harder than it used to be. 20 years ago, you would probably just go with someone that a family member, friend or neighbor recommended. While that is still a very viable option, we also have Google and services like Angie’s List to help now.
Instead of going back and forth on how to find the best company for you, I recommend just going in this order
- Word of Mouth
- Google (and other search engines)
- Angie’s List
#1: Getting a Property Management Rentals Company through Word of Mouth
When you start investing in real estate to the scale that you need a property manager, you probably know a few other investors, right? If not, you may want to consider joining a local real estate investing club. That way you can meet a few new friends with the same interest.
Hands-down, the best way to find a good company to manage your properties is word-of-mouth. Not necessarily through friends and family though. They may be biased, or just not have any real estate themselves.
Instead, talk to investors.
- Who do they use?
- How long have they used them?
- What kinds of properties do the manage?
- What are their prices?
- How much experience do they have?
These are the kinds of questions you need to ask to find a company worth checking out. Once you hear the same name repeated several times, you know you’ve found a great potential PM.
Of course, this isn’t the only way to go. If you have zero investor contacts and don’t want to go through the hassle of meeting some, Google is a decent option.
#2: Meeting Property Management Rental Companies through Google
The great thing about Google (and Bing/Yahoo/MSN) is that they know EVERYTHING.
…the problem is, of course, that they know everything. They provide results based on search engine optimization (SEO,) not necessarily the best company.
But at least it gives you a large list to start with. From there, you can check out their websites and look for more information. Testimonials, types of properties they manage, and experience are a few critical things to look out for.
Once you narrow the list down, try calling a few. Find a list of great questions for interviewing a property manager and fire away. Pay close attention to not only the answers, but also how friendly the person is. If they aren’t willing to be nice to a potential client, how well will they treat you once you hire them, or your tenants?
Another good way to make this list smaller is to combine it with Angie’s List.
#3: Finding a Property Management Rentals Company on Angie’s List
The reason I recommend Angie’s List at all is that it has one single purpose- to connect great service professionals with great customers. Cheapskates won’t pay the money to even be on Angie’s List, and the contractor reviews are just what a new customer needs to help them make decisions.
The toughest thing about using Angie’s List for picking a property management company is… well, there just aren’t many reviews out there. Compared to something like a plumber or electrician, there is just a much smaller demand for property managers- especially among consumers. The site isn’t useless of course, but you’re better off with talking to investors or going through Google.
At the end of the day, the most important thing you can do is be patient. It will take some time to find a great property management rentals company. The wait is well-worth it though, considering how much headache they will save you. Remember that investing is a long game, so it’s worth spending a little more time now.