Let’s face it- there are a lot of rental management companies out there. Some are just 1-2 people deep, while the larger companies have hundreds of employees.
Trying to decide which one to hire can be frustrating. There are tons of things to consider, from cost and experience to location and certifications. This is especially true if you’ve never hired one before and are hesitant about the investment to begin with.
Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Follow these tips and you’ll get the best bang for your buck – guaranteed.
Tip #1: The Best Rental Management Companies are Busy
Let’s pretend that you need a new dentist. You call one up and ask about their availability.
“Well, we have openings just about all day, every day this week.”
…does that instill confidence in you? Probably not. It’s a bad sign when a service provider isn’t booked up to some extent.
A property management company is the same way. You shouldn’t have to wait a few months to work with them, but they should at least be respected in the community and have a number of existing clients.
Does that mean those smaller, lesser-used companies aren’t good? Of course not- but experience means a lot. And if that new kid on the block doesn’t have much experience or reputation to base your decision on, you’re gambling.
Tip #2: Is it a Pleasure to Talk to These Rental Management Companies?
I recommend calling around when you’re trying to make your decision. You shouldn’t call every company in your town, but at least 3-5 once you’ve narrowed down your search a bit.
Calling (or even visiting their office) is preferred because it helps you get an idea of the company culture. Is the person on the other end of the phone friendly? Do they seem genuinely interested in gaining you as a client and taking care of your tenants? Are they fine with answering all of your questions, or do they seem annoyed or rushed?
These are important things to think about. Because if they’re short with you- the paying client- think of how they may treat your tenants.
Tip #3: What Do Other Real Estate Investors Say?
Unfortunately, it’s more difficult to find online reviews of property managers. Most of them don’t have a very large presence, so simply searching online isn’t really the best way to go.
Instead, it’s better to get plugged into a local real estate investor club. Besides offering mentorship and networking opportunities, these folks can help you find the best rental management companies in your area. Once you hear the same one repeated several times, you know you’re on the right track.
Tip #4: What Certifications Does the Rental Management Company Have?
The first thing you should know is that every state treats property managers differently. Some require the PM to have a real estate license, while others forgo that requirement.
Secondly, there are a number of certifications for property managers. So even though a property manager may have a real estate license, getting a certification specifically catered towards PMs shows more dedication to the industry. Even though it’s not required for the PM to take great care of your tenants, it definitely doesn’t hurt!
Tip #5: What Are Their Costs?
To be honest, a great property management company is worth it’s weight in gold. The value they provide will far outweigh their costs.
That said- it doesn’t hurt to know the average property management fees out there. This will help you gauge where each company stands against the average, and then make your decision from there.
For example, why does that “budget” company only charge half of what their competitors do? It may be their service isn’t as thorough.
The best way to go through a list of rental management companies to find the best one for you is to simply do your homework. By asking other investors for their recommendations and talking to the property manager, you’ll get a good feel for which companies are worth it.