Finding a Property Management Company
The difference between a good property management company and an incompetent one is a matter of profits and loss. A poor management company can cost you not only potential profits on your property but can cause equity damage as well. Finding a good company will make rental property ownership a valuable investment for many years, regardless of the economic conditions.
Word of mouth referrals are always the best way to find a reputable property management company. Talk to co-workers who may also own property as to how they are handling their properties. Discuss with a condominium owner whether or not they are satisfied with the organization that manages their units.
Once you have gathered a few names create a chart to compare fees, charges and miscellaneous expenses. Identify the specifics of what you want the company to do and include those specifics into your comparison chart.
Collect two to three referred companies. If no referrals are available go to the phone book or computer and browse web sites for companies that at first glance meet the following criteria.
The Company is Local
A good company will visit the property, not to intrude on the renters but to evaluate the external condition of the unit. If there is cause for concern a follow-up review of the property will be scheduled. If the company physical location is too far away, you will be charged for these visits or they will not drive by as frequently as they should.
When an emergency situation arises where management is needed immediately, a local company at the ready will save time and money, and possibly your property, in urgent management situations or the unexpected condition.
The Company is Reputable
Check on line with the Better Business Bureau service to review each companies performance ratings. The BBB using a grading system from A to F which is based on received complaints and overall public service opinion. This rating also identifies the level at which a company adheres to the BBB's own code of quality business practices.
The Company is Prepared
The initial contact of a phone call will determine the next step. In your phone interview you will need to inquire into the following.
- How many units are currently being managed by the company? Are they willing to give physical address so you may view the exterior conditions of the property?
- How many years have they been in business?
- Do they have a list of 2 or 3 customers that would be willing to be contacted to discuss their experiences with the company?
- What types of insurance do they carry?
- What is the tenant interview process?
- What is their late or delinquent account enforcement policy?
- How many managers are in the organization and how many properties is each employee assigned to?
The final step is to physically visit the office or have a company representative scheduled to meet at your r