Customizing Expertise: Aligning Your Property’s Needs with Management Experience
Finding a good property management company is key in today’s competitive rental market. To ensure your tenants get what they need and are happy with their experience living at your rental property, you must be attentive, engaging, and most importantly, available. Unfortunately, living up to these expectations can be challenging, especially if you don’t live in the area where your rental property is located.
Wahile putting your property in someone else’s hands can feel scary, it’s likely one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business to ensure its success.
However, not all property management companies are the same. If you are going to hand over the keys, so to speak, you want to make sure you are choosing the right property manager to get the job done.
Whether you own multiple rental properties or just one, we’ve got the tips and insights you need as you begin your search for residential property managers.
1. Local is Best
Ensuring In-Depth Knowledge of Your Property’s Locale
It’s not uncommon for property owners to live in a different city or even state than where their rental property is located. However, when selecting a property management company, you want one that has a thorough knowledge of the local market. They should also be well-versed in all relevant state, municipal, and federal laws.
It’s important that the property manager has roots in the community and specifically knows how to manage tenants and properties that are unique to that area to ensure the best experience for you and your tenants.
2. Seek Out Referrals, Reviews, and Testimonials
Lean on Word-of-Mouth to Find the Best Fit
One of the best ways to ensure you are selecting a well-qualified property management company is if you can get referrals. If other property owners are singing their praises, then it’s a good sign that they will live up to your expectations.
Beyond referrals, it’s also a good idea to look into online reviews, ratings, and testimonials. A good place to start is Google or Yelp for insights into what people think of the company. However, keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for a bad review or two to pop up as people love to vent their frustrations online. As long as there are more good reviews than bad, then they are likely a good company.
Be sure also to check out the Better Business Bureau website and the state’s Chamber of Commerce or Real Estate Commission to ensure there haven’t been any serious complaints filed against the company.
Last, check out the property management company’s website for testimonials, or you can even contact the company and ask them directly for references.
3. Look for the Right Experience
Ensure the Right Expertise for Your Property Type
Aside from having general experience as a property management firm, it’s a good idea to check to see if they have specific experience handling properties like yours. For example, if your investment is a house and the company primarily has experience with apartment complexes, then they might not be a good fit. Another example would be if they focus on commercial properties versus residential properties like yours.
It’s also worth noting that property management companies come in many sizes, meaning boutique companies large firms, and everything in between. You want to make sure that they are equipped to adequately handle your property and offer the range of services you need.
As a final note on experience, keep an eye out for real estate professionals who moonlight as property managers on the side to earn a little extra money. While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with this, it could mean that they won’t have the specialized training and experience to give your rental property the attention and level of service it needs.
4. Verify Their Qualifications
Only the Best: Seek out Certifications
Each state has its own requirements for becoming a licensed real estate property manager. Any qualified property management company should be able to back up their experience with proof of proper licensing and certifications.
In Florida, a real estate license is required if the property manager is managing rentals and leases on behalf of others. These are the requirements to obtain such a license:
- Minimum age of 18 years
- A GED or high school diploma
- Successful completion of a pre-licensing course approved by the Florida Real Estate Commission
There are also several trade certifications that property managers can obtain to further their experience and qualifications, which can include:
- Certified Apartment Leasing Professional (CALP)
- Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)
- Certified Property Manager (CPM)
- Master Property Manager (MPM)
5. Thoroughly Review The Property Management Agreement
Read the Fine Print: Ensure the Agreement Protects Everyone
A property management agreement is what outlines your relationship with the company as well as their responsibilities and how they will oversee tenant needs. It’s important to thoroughly review this information to ensure it aligns with your interests and covers everything you want.
Things to pay attention to include:
- Management fees — all fees should be transparent
- The range of services provided for tenants (rent collection, filling vacancies, maintenance, handling evictions, etc.)
- Owner responsibilities
- Contract duration and termination clauses
Knowing what a property management company’s typical agreement looks like can give you a good idea of whether or not it will be a good fit for you. It’s important to make sure there are no disagreeable clauses before signing on to work with them.
6. Make Sure They Have Good Insurance
Don’t Get Burned by No or Not Enough Coverage
Having a comprehensive insurance policy is another important detail to review when looking for a good property management company. A qualified company should have liability insurance, errors and omissions policies, and property casualty insurance. In some cases, the property management agreement might also require that you as the property owner also have sufficient insurance.
7. Look for Professional Level Marketing
Better Marketing Brings in Better Tenants
This one isn’t necessarily a requirement, but it can still play a significant role in how successful a company will be and managing your property. Good marketing is key to attracting potential tenants and filling vacancies as quickly as possible.
Look for things like website advertisements, newspaper ads, social media marketing, posters hanging up in local businesses, and signs posted out in front of the property. You should also check out their website. Is it impressive? Does it do a good job of grabbing your attention and listing all the important information? Does it feel professional and easy to navigate?
These are all things to consider to make sure the property manager is up to the task of marketing the properties they oversee.
8. Good Communication is Key
Build Trust with a Clear Dialogue
Good communication is incredibly important, especially if you do not live in the same area as your property and the property management company.
How easy is it to get in touch with someone from the company? If they miss your call or email, how quickly do they get back to you? How friendly and open are they when communicating with you? Do they openly disclose everything you ask them about or does it feel like they are holding things back?
If the company is not easy to communicate with, this is a red flag because if they don’t communicate well with you, then how do you think they communicate with tenants? You should have no issues getting in touch with them and talking with them should feel comfortable.
9. Ask Questions
Gain Clarity and Insight When You Have All of the Info
When it comes down to it, don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are reviewing your options. The best way to find the answers you are looking for to ensure a property manager will be a good fit is to directly ask them what you want to know.
A well-qualified property management company should be more than happy to set up a time to chat with you and answer any questions you may have. If they are not and seem like they are hesitant to answer your questions, then you should consider moving on to a different company.
10. Trust Your Instincts
Go With What You Know
Finally, when you are making your final decisions, trust your instincts. After a thorough review of all of the above, if there is anything you are still unsure about or doubting, then they probably aren’t the right property manager for you. Your rental properties are a big investment so you should want to go with a property manager that alleviates any worries you might have.
Elevate Your Rental Property with Kanga Property Management
At Kanga Property Management, we are committed to offering best-in-class service to cover all of your rental property needs. We know Southern Florida rentals like no one else with over 10 years of experience in Palm Beach and Broward County.
Integrity, transparency, accountability, and respect are our top priorities. We offer a wide range of services to keep tenants happy and we also have a 24/7 online access portal to make it simple and convenient for you to manage your account and access your agreement, statements, and more.
Our team has extensive experience working with hundreds of clients. Regardless of the size of your investment portfolio, we are up to the task and know how to maximize your profits.
Contact us today to see how our next-level property management services can suit your needs.