If you’ve ever searched for a good property manager in Full Service Of , 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 Full Service Of ?
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
What is a Property Manager?
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 Managers Need To Be On Lookout for Potential Water Intrusion Issues
I can not tell you how many times in the beginning of my property management career a prospective tenant called and caught me unprepared. I quickly learned I saved 5 to 10 hours a week and rented more houses by being well prepared. Here are my best tips.
1) Application Forms
A property manager should carry at least 50 blank rental applications with him at all times. Quite often, you will find yourself listing a new rental house and have no applications to place in the kitchen. You want to have applications in the house so you are not always running to your car during a showing.
The property management company should also have the rental application saved on the computer in a format that can be emailed to your clients quickly. You do not want to limit yourself to just faxing or having them pick up the form from you. This is very quick and painless.
6) Pens and Business Cards
It is embarrassing to not have either one on a listing or leasing appointment. Professionalism is found in the details.
7) Organizer to Carry Everything
You can buy an organizer at Office Depot or Staples that can store all the items listed above. Some people prefer a briefcase but I personally use a black plastic box with hanging folders. Use whatever suits you but just have it all in one place in your car
Note: A prepared property manager will create an automatic task in Outlook or a Day Planner to refill all the items once a month. Getting organized is useless for your property management company, if you do not have a follow-up system to ensure you stay organized.