Managing the property and finding tenants can be difficult, especially if you do not live in the area. For this reason, many people find it helpful to hire a property manager. This manager will take care of the property so that the owner does not have to think about repairs, collecting rents, or finding a tenant. However, it is vital that you choose the best manager who can keep your property well-looked after and profitable.
You will have to decide whether you want a small, family run company or a larger management firm. A smaller company might be able to provide better personalized service to you and your tenants. But you also need to be careful because a small firm may not have the same breadth of resources that a larger firm has. Make sure you choose a firm that has good experience and well-trained staff to be able to meet your needs.
You should also ask the firms about their methods for advertising and locating tenants for your property. A good management firm will do their best to ensure that your property receives adequate coverage so that it is never vacant.
It is also a good idea to ask each firm you are considering hiring to provide references from other owners whose properties they manage. Getting the perspective of other clients can be very useful in making a decision. These clients can tell you what they are happy with and what they dislike about the firm.
You should also ask how many hours per week or month the management firm will be devoting to your property. It is important to know how many other properties they will be responsible for as well as yours, because if they are overly busy, your rental property may not get the attention it needs.
Another important issue is maintenance service. You need to find out how the manager addresses certain property maintenance issues. A good management company will remain accountable for maintenance and repairs. When these issues arise, the manager must deal with them swiftly and competently, to avoid inconvenience to you or the tenant. They should ideally have a preventative maintenance program in place and be prepared to deal with emergency situations when they arise. Many things can go wrong, such as a roof being blown off, or a pipe bursting; therefore, the manager must have the resources to be able to respond to such situations.
Some helpful questions to ask are whether the management company has its own maintenance crew, or if they use external contractors for jobs. If using external contractors, you should find out how well they negotiate the terms of the work, so that you receive the best value for cost. This will help to save you money on repairs over time.
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