Finding and selecting an ideal residential property manager for your real estate investments should be a lengthy, thorough process. You are going to have to do your homework so that you know the list of questions you need to be asking to excavate revealing responses. This is not going to be an impulse buy, a quick choice or an afternoon spent on the web. A bad decision is going to cost you a lot of money and an ongoing administrative migraine so put in the required time for the best results.
You are going to have to prepare for an in depth selection process, that if done properly, should take a few weeks of intensive research to narrow down your choices for interviewing at least three companies.
Essential Checks for Choosing a great Property Manager
First up, get a list of property managers operating in your area and begin finding out how they are perceived by other property owners and real estate companies. Word of mouth is a good way to glean referrals from other players in this industry. Ask a variety of sources about the reputation of a given property management company as some referrals could be biased.
With your short list of property managers, do an extensive online search - looking at reviews about their service on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Yelp. You can make contact with the Better Business Bureau to find out the company’s current rating or if they have had any complaints against them on file.
What are different Property Management Companies Offering on their Service Smorgasbord?
You want to know the roles and responsibilities of a good Colorado Springs residential property management company that you can use as a checklist against each company’s offering. Its important that the company you choose can deliver on all the standard requirements.
Do some detective work to see where and how they advertise and if the ads are placed across a wide range of platforms. Take a look at the properties in their stable for their state of cleanliness and if they have been well maintained. You can even ask their current tenants about the service they get from the property manager and how they address concerns and how quickly maintenance issues are resolved.
Preparation for Interviewing Prospective Residential Property Managers
It is vital to interview and screen potential residential property managers just as you would do for the tenant selection process. You want to be able to compare their offerings and make decisions about who seems the most experienced and trustworthy. It will be very easy to gauge who is knowledgeable and operating with a sound plan from those flying by the seat of their pants.
How receptive are they to your questions? You should prepare questions that will shed light on their education, experience in the industry, what fees they charge and what service they provide for the fees? There could be fees for: management, vacancy, set-up, leasing, advertising, lease renewals, reserve fund, maintenance, eviction, unpaid invoice, extra duties, so make sure you know what and how much you are signing up for when you hire an property management company.
You will need to know what day of the month you will receive your check? Will they provide you with an IRS-1099 for tax purposes and can they give you advice on tax deductions? Do they offer an accounting service that provides detailed records every month? Be sure to insist on seeing a sample of the monthly report you will be receiving. Ask the residential property management company how they handle their security deposits, how much is collected and what are the conditions for deductions from a deposit? You can also find out if they make payments for owners for mortgage, insurance, HOA dues etc. How often do they conduct inspections? How many other properties do they currently manage?
Most importantly, are they in possession of a real estate broker’s license or property management license? This is a pre-requisite for them to be able to show vacant apartments to potential tenants. Check that their license is active with your state’s Real Estate Commission and if they have been certified with a trade organization like the NAA, IREM, NARPM or CAI. If they are, it is a great sign that they are very serious and committed to their profession.
Scrutinize the Management Agreement
Make sure that what you discussed at the interview with the property manager has been included in the agreement. The roles of both property owner and manager must be spelled out clearly. You want to train a microscope on the sections regarding extra fees charged, service provided, compliance with fair housing laws, reasons for cancellation and hold harmless clause. You really want to know their modus operandi - how they go about screening tenants, collecting rent, how they control maintenance costs, how their after hour’s emergency systems operate, their accounting service offering and if they have liability insurance to protect you from possible lawsuits? Always read the fine print!
A Good Property Management Company is a Great Asset
A residential property management company in Colorado Springs is looking after your business interests on your behalf. They have to make critical decisions and keep you informed of them every step of the way. You are placing one of your greatest assets in the hands of another and so you have to be sure that they are up to the challenge of being an honest and reliable steward. A well-chosen residential property manager can be a great asset that will be able to look after your interests with integrity and honesty. Trust your instincts, do the initial hard work of vetting the perfect candidate and ask the right questions to start an enduring, mutually beneficial relationship.