Leasing your property is an achievement in and of itself, but it still requires hard work and know-how to keep things in order. Handing over the keys (both figuratively and literally) to a property manager should allow you to feel relief, but without the right knowledge and awareness of correct property management techniques- you can land yourself in trouble. Read on for our guide to property management, which includes tips on selecting your property manager and how to change your property manager if need be.
Why do I need a property manager?
Property management isn’t necessarily the only option, but it’s perfect for any landlord that already has a busy schedule, lives far from their property, or just otherwise needs professional support. A property manager's job is to lift the weight from your shoulders and be the port of call for if and when something goes wrong. Most property managers have years of experience under their belt, so they’re able to negotiate with tenants, organize maintenance, schedule inspections, and altogether keep things flowing smoothly. They will also be able to ensure that your property is being taken care of, so you don’t have to worry about it depreciating in value due to unruly tenants.
Finding the perfect fit.
Before you pick your property manager, it’s important that you are able to vet them properly first and are asking the right questions. An excellent property manager should have years of experience and have the correct knowledge to boot. It’s a good idea to interview multiple candidates with a drafted list of questions, so you’re able to get a feel for them and what the communication will be like. Try to ask them how many houses they juggle (if they have too many, this may mean they won’t have time to properly handle your property), what special services they include in their work and how they handle conflict resolution with tenants. Your chosen property manager should also have local knowledge of your area and its legislation, so it’s not a bad idea to quiz them on the rules and regulations around your location.
Create a Checklist.
An important thing to do before interviewing your prospective property management company is to write a checklist of the questions they need to answer for you. Questions should include:
- How much do they charge?
- How do they conduct their background checks on tenants?
- What are their strategies for removing unruly tenants?
- How many years of experience do they have in the field?
- How often do they conduct rental inspections?
- Do they set the rent at the appropriate market level?
You should expand this list with anything on your mind, including any specifics about your property. The best way to ascertain if the property management company is right for you is to have all your concerns elaborated on and responded to by them.
What to do if you pick the wrong person.
Not all property managers are built the same, so it’s fortunate that there are ways to get out of a partnership if your chosen manager isn’t the right fit. If things aren’t working out, you are under no obligation to stay with your current property manager or property management company for the duration of the lease. In order to sever the relationship, you simply need to shop around for a new property management company. Once you’ve picked your company, you will need to sign a new managing authority document with them. After that, they’ll take care of the rest. Your new company will get in touch with your old one, collecting the keys and files and liaising with the tenants about any new processes. Fortunately for you, once the contract is signed you can be as hands-off as you like as they are there to sort it all out for you.