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How to Choose the Right Property Management Company for Your Rental Property

Managing your own residential rental property can be a hassle, especially if you don't have the time, skills, or knowledge to do it well. But turning your property over to someone else to manage can be intimidating.

This article will offer useful advice to aid you in choosing the most suitable property management company for your rental property.

What are the benefits of hiring a property manager?

Property managers know residential and commercial real estate law, which can significantly benefit rental property owners. They also bring experience in running properties efficiently, so they often save money on overhead costs such as repairs and maintenance. In addition, property managers handle all tenant relations, including collecting rent and any disputes that may arise. Lastly, they provide peace of mind that your rental property is in good hands.

Here are some tips for choosing a property manager that’s right for you:

Experience and Reputation

When choosing a property management company, it’s wise to carefully consider their experience and reputation. Opting for a company with a solid track record of successfully managing properties is advisable. To ascertain their reliability, request references from past clients and review online feedback. Additionally, it’s vital to consider the length of time the company has been operating, as it can indicate their expertise in managing different types of rental properties and tenant issues.

Fees and Services

When choosing a property management company, it’s essential to consider the expenses and services they provide. Each company operates with its unique pricing structure and service package, so it’s essential to understand what each company offers and its corresponding cost. Certain companies offer comprehensive management services, covering tasks such as property advertising and maintenance handling, while others offer limited services such as tenant screening or rent collection.

For an informed decision, request a comprehensive breakdown of all fees and services offered by different companies and then compare them carefully to find the one that best suits your needs.

Local Expertise

Teaming up with a company with local insight and an in-depth understanding of the local rental market is essential. Different regions have distinct rental laws and regulations, making it essential to work with a company that can navigate local laws effortlessly. Consider choosing a company with extensive experience managing properties in your area that can provide dependable and trustworthy service.

Read Reviews 

User reviews are tricky. The internet makes it easy for just about anyone to write a review for almost any product or service. In some cases, people post reviews to try to make marketing work in their favor. In other situations, the reviews are sincere. It’s going to be up to you to find those few useful reviews that do have legitimate information about a property management firm. Find out which were the biggest advantages and drawbacks for other landlords and property owners. Then, you will be able to determine if a specific company is right for you. 

Aim for a full range of services. 

Depending on whether you go with an individual property manager or a property management company, be sure you're getting the most bang for your buck. A full-service property management company should be responsible for all the rental marketing, applicant screening, legal documentation, property inspections, rent collection, accounting and reporting, and maintenance. If you are interested in real estate as an investment, choose a company that can renovate and sell investment properties, as well.

Review the property management agreement and other documents

Request a sample property management agreement. What is the monthly management fee? What is the exit clause? Are responsibilities clearly spelled out? What happens if there are disagreements? You also want to see samples of the tenant lease agreement and owner report.

Listen to your instincts.

Like so many things in life, trust your gut. Take a look at how the company presents itself online and offline. If they can’t market themselves well, will they be able to market your home and attract tenants? Do not forgo a one-on-one meeting with a property management company before deciding if it's right for you. Come prepared for the interview and have your questions ready. 

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