Rental properties can be a great investment opportunity, but for many investors, managing the day-to-day operations of these properties is a burden they would prefer to delegate or is completely unfeasible due to geographical distance. 

Many real estate investors find that contracting with a professional to manage their properties leads to a more positive experience for both them and their tenants—that is, as long as they partner with the right provider. 

Learn how to find a property manager who is a true asset to you as a landlord and helps you create a positive experience for your tenants.

What’s the importance of choosing the right property manager?

The property management market has swelled to a value of more than $1 billion in the U.S., with more than 300,000 property management companies in the U.S. today! With so many companies to choose from, identifying the right fit can be a challenge, but it’s a challenge worth undertaking. It’s critical that you carefully vet and compare options to find the best fit for your needs. 

Property managers have a lot of responsibilities, including setting and collecting rent, screening tenants, managing property maintenance, and more. You need a trusted partner in this role so you can rest assured that all of these responsibilities are being carried out effectively.

Choosing the best property management company rather than one that is just adequate can help you enjoy a higher ROI on your property investment and on your decision to outsource property management. You can ensure your properties are expertly managed and promote a positive experience for tenants that will encourage them to stay long term.

These are the qualities to look for in a property manager.

What makes one property manager a better choice than another? There are six important qualities you should prioritize to help you make your determination:

1. Professionalism

Professionalism is key. Remember that your property manager will serve as your representative in communicating with potential tenants, current tenants, maintenance workers, and more. Will they make the right impression?

Pay attention to your first impression of any property managers you’re considering, and consult reviews or personal referrals to learn more about what a person or company is really like to work with.

2. Clear and Timely Communication

You may prefer to be relatively hands-off with your properties, but you should still be able to reach your property manager whenever necessary, and they should communicate clearly to keep you informed. As you connect with potential PMs, pay attention to how quickly they answer emails or texts and how accessible they are by phone.

Getting a quick response is even more important for tenants. Be sure your property manager has a system in place to handle incoming calls or other communications around the clock. If a tenant experiences a plumbing leak in the middle of the night, for instance, your PM should respond quickly to alleviate the tenant’s distress and minimize property damage. 

3. Commitment to Careful Screening Procedures 

The wrong tenants can cost you in a number of ways. They may cause property damage, bother neighboring tenants, fail to pay rent on time, and in the worst cases, require eviction. In contrast, the right tenants will conscientiously maintain their living space, be courteous neighbors, pay rent on time, and remain for the duration of their lease. 

Because getting the right tenants is so critical, ensure your property manager has a thorough vetting process in place to screen potential tenants. You should feel confident your PM will take great care to find the right tenants rather than simply fill vacancies.

4. Experience with Your Property Type

Managing differing property types can look quite different, so it’s helpful to choose a PM who has experience with your property type(s) specifically. 

For example, are all your units single-family rentals (SFRs)? If so, you should look for a property manager with SFR experience. Or, if you have large multifamily apartment complexes, you need a PM who is experienced with these property types.

5. Local Presence

A simple yet important requirement is that the property management company has a presence in your property’s area so they can be physically present regularly and answer a call quickly when needed. 

Find out how broad a PM’s service region is and determine whether it’s tight enough to ensure they will be able to get to your property quickly in the event of an urgent need.

6. Financial Savviness 

You want a property manager who shares your goal to maximize your property’s ROI and can help you achieve that goal. That means avoiding waste, carefully calculating costs, and finding ways to cut costs without cutting corners.

Property managers should also be up on market trends so they effectively set rents that are fair to both you and your tenants.

Finance your rental portfolio with VCREF.

If you’re in a time of transition with your portfolio or are ready to consolidate debt through a refinance, Verus Commercial Real Estate offers several financial products to meet the needs of real estate investors. Learn how financing your properties with a bank compares to a private commercial real estate lender with our helpful guide.

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