If you’ve ever searched for a good property manager in , then you know how difficult it can be to find a good one for your rental property. There are several property managers out there, probably more than what you really need to bring your property into the market.
With so many choices available, you may find it difficult to choose one for your unit. But don’t worry – if you ask the right questions while shopping around for property managers, you’ll get a better idea of who would make the best fit for your property. Ask them these questions when discussing your property to see if they’re the right property manager for you:
1. What type of properties have you managed?
Experience counts for a lot in property management, and it can separate the good ones from the ones you should steer away from. Experience in this field, however, isn’t just about the number of years worked in the field; it’s also about what type of properties they’ve managed. Depending on what type of property you have, you can either go with someone who specialises in managing properties like yours or someone who has more varied experience managing different types of properties.
2. How do you screen potential tenants?
Some have small sign-up fees but a variety of hidden fees once you sign on and let them manage your property. Avoid getting surprised by such fees, and ask them to indicate all management and service fees included in their service. The more complicated their fee structure is, the bigger the headache (and expense) it will likely be.
9. What can you do that others can’t?
This is where prospective property managers will try to sell you on what they offer and how well they set themselves apart from the competition. It’s also the part where you assess the intangibles in any working relationship, giving you a better idea of how well they meet your standards. Listen well, take notes, and assess why they use property management companies.
How Do you Select Best Property Management Company in ?
When you hire a property management company to serve as the liaison between yourself and your tenants, you want to be sure you're getting the best possible property management services for the money. The services a property management company provides can range from ala carte to an all-in-one inclusive package. Along with that comes an array of fees for each. There is no set in stone fee structure we can provide you. But we can educate you on what common fees to expect and what each is commonly for. In the end it will be up to you to compare company fee structures and choose the best one that fits within your budget. Below are some of the most common fees and what service they provide.
This is an ongoing monthly fee charged to the owner to compensate the property manager for the responsibilities of overseeing the management of their property. This fee can vary from as little as 3% to over 15% of the monthly gross rent. In place of a percentage some managers may charge a flat monthly amount which again can vary from $50 to over $200 per month. All property management companies generally charge this fee.
Lease-Up or Setup Fee
This fee is charged to the owner to compensate the property manager for their initial time invested and resources used in setting up an owners account; showing property and/or other activities resulting in tenant placement. I guess you could look at it as a "finders fee" for placing a tenant in your property. Once a tenant has been placed and first rent income comes in, the property manager will deduct this fee from the rent proceeds. Some property managers have been known to require this fee upfront prior to tenant procurement. Usually this fee is non-refundable once the property manager has started the process of tenant procurement or any legwork has been initiated with the property. This fee can vary from none to as much as the first months rent, and usually is a one-time fee per tenant.
"You've Got To Be Kidding Me" Fees - These are ones I have personally had the pleasure of running into.
- Your property is vacant, but we still will charge our monthly commission or a small flat fee.
- "A For-Rent Yard Sign Fee". I believe this was $25/mo.
- "Preventive Maintenance Fee". This was to cover the "just in case" and changing out A/C filters. If "just in case" never happens they still pocket the money. I believe this was $20/mo and I still was charged for filters.
Read your Manager/Owner contract, understand what you are signing, ask lots of questions and know what the fees will buy you in services. A good real estate lawyer can help in negotiating the terms in a contract that suit both parties. These contracts are not set in stone. If your property manager will not negotiate, there are other property management companies that are eager to earn your business.
Property Management Fees: A Necessary Investment To Cater Problems
The Property Management Contract - Taking it Apart
The manager will be taking on significant responsibilities with the owner's real estate. It is important to look at the contract and at a minimum it must
1. Name all parties to the contract
2. The legal property address
3. Define the responsibilities of the manager and the owner
4. Enumerate all fees and commissions for leasing or real estate sales.
5. Define the term of the contract
6. Both parties must sign and date the contract
What is Agency?
"It may be referred to as the relationship between a principal and an agent whereby the principal, expressly or impliedly, authorizes the agent to work under his control and on his behalf. The agent is, thus, required to negotiate on behalf of the principal or bring him and third parties into contractual relationship."
Basically you are signing off and binding the manager to act in your behalf and in your best interest regarding the management of the property.
1. You should require a current license and go to search your state dept. of Real Estate to see if it is current and that there have not been any complaints or suspensions or revocations of the real estate license.
2. You should also check with your local Better Business Bureau and ask for referrals. 3. Finally, ask to see the general liability insurance policy and if the principals have errors and omissions insurance.
2. Tenant Screening: What are the tenant screening criteria. he company should be able to clearly offer you a set of rules. This should never be an off hand "we pick em if we like em" approach. Thats a law suit waiting to happen. We will write on fair housing, the federal government's body of law governing housing and discrimination. meanwhile there are a series of articles at our website you can read if you need to know.
All management companies should have accounts online and always available. The bigger companies will have an accountant in the company. Thats a plus.
The company responsibilities are:
1. Track income and expenses to determine profitability
2. Rents and other fees from the property shall be deposited into a special bank account or trust as required by law and cannot become mingled with the company funds.
Issue monthly income statements
3. Negotiate rental agreements
4. Respond to tenant requests and deal with problem tenants
5. The Agent should collect the rents and other income from the property promptly
6. From the rents received the Agent should pay all operating expenses and such other expenses as requested by the Owner. This may include the payment of mortgages or taxes.
Howard Bell for yourpropertypath.com
Property Management - Tips On How To Find Ideal Management
Property management is a business that is regulated and requires a real estate license in many states. This first step requirement means that the potential buyer of an existing business would need to be qualified to run the business. They would also need to meet the same requirements to start one from the ground up.
One way to get experience in the business is go to work for a large management company and learn the ropes. At the same time you could be completing any educational requirements and prepare for taking the license required to professionally manage properties. Starting a company of your own will take some strong detective work to find a property that is looking for management or looking to replace the current management firm. This will entail a great deal of cold calling and phone work to come up with possible clients.
At the same time you could get a web site built so you will have something to point people to when you are speaking with them on the phone. You would also mention the website in all communications or advertisements. All of this would come after you have decided on a company name and have a phone number and address for your business.
Knowledge and preparation are requirements for success. Whether you buy an existing business or start one up, you will need to gain experience and first hand knowledge of the business from some source. The best way to gain real experience is to work in the business for a year or so for a management company. The requirements in your state should be checked also to see what licenses are needed. There could also be educational requirements that you would have to obtain. A smart person would make sure they have all of these ducks out of the way while working for someone else. The real estate department of your state will be able to give you the information you need to know. There also could be an association of property managers in your area. Both of these sources are a place to start to find the information you need.
Once you have the experience, education and licenses, the ownership of a property management company is possible. You can either start one up or buy an existing firm. The expense of buying one will be much higher than starting one from the ground up. Finding one you can buy will take effort and the willingness to commit a sizeable amount of money. The obvious way to start is through a business broker, as they will have a current list of business for sale. They should have a very good idea of what you will need to pay to buy a property management company Coming up with the money may be a problem for some buyers as the price of an existing successful firm will be higher than a startup. An existing management company's current customers will be a large asset, as they will supply immediate cash flow to the company. So the higher price is offset by the constant cash flow from contracted customers.
If you start a company from scratch, you will need to plan on a significant amount of cold calling, phoning and face-to-face meetings to find customers that need your help. This is a slow start but can be a reasonable way to get into the business