What to Look for in a Property Management Company
The idea of being a landlord sounds amazing. You invest in property, rent it out to others, and sit back and collect your monthly payments. Unfortunately, though, it is not that easy. Being a landlord means always be available for your tenants, fighting to find good tenants and avoid vacancy, as well as trying to make sure you abide by every law.
Maintaining properties, being available 24/7 for emergency needs, and dealing with issues you never thought would happen can bring on incredibly high levels of unwanted stress.
Good news! There is something you can do about that. You can continue investing in your property while allowing someone else to manage it for you. That’s right – a property manager can take care of all the things that you don’t want to do, can’t do, or don’t have the time to do.
Making the choice to hire a property management company is wise. But, there are many to choose from. What should you be looking for?
A Thorough Tenant Screening Process
If you are opening up your investment for others to live in, you want to make sure these people can be trusted and will care for your property. You want to know that they will be able to pay the rent and have the ability to do so on time. And so much more, right?
Finding great tenants is hard, but with a thorough tenant screening process in place, you can rest assured that you find a tenant that can meet – or surpass – your expectations.
You want a property management company that has a solid process for screening tenants. They are professionals – it is what they do. Scams, half-truths, and falsified information can be discovered and avoided. Property managers know what they are looking for and they can help protect your property.
A Good Reputation
Don’t settle for any property management company. Instead, do your research and find one that covers your area and has a good reputation. Think about it – you want this company to manage your investment portfolio, right? That means they need to have the experience, be professional, and be successful at what they do.
Ability to Handle and Manage all Paperwork
One of the most aggravating aspects of being a landlord is the paperwork. Managing property rentals is a business – and that means you need to be on top of all legal obligations. This includes the tenant application (and supporting documents), the lease, maintenance and repair records, appliance warranties and such, insurance documents, tax records, payments/rent collection, and more.
There are many documents that are involved in managing a property and, unless you are super organized and well-versed in the law, you are bound to miss something.
Look for a property manager who has an automated system to handle all of your paperwork in an organized, streamlined fashion – preferably with an electronic portal that you may view at any given time.
Effective, Efficient, and Convenient Maintenance
Just because you aren’t managing your property doesn’t mean you don’t want happy, satisfied tenants, right? You want to choose a property management company that can care for your property in a healthy, efficient manner.
Whether it means being proactive with routine maintenance or being available in the middle of the night when there is an emergency, you want your property cared for. Look for a property management company that can provide you all of these things and more.
Property managers do just that – they manage your property while you focus on investing and living your life. Take your time choosing a company that will best fit your needs – and, of course – is well-versed in your local market.
Marina Shlomov, a managing partner at ALH|Podland Realty & Rental Homes Property Management is the author of many articles on Landlording, Property Management, and Real Estate Investing. A residential builder in the state of Georgia since 1999, Marina is an investor herself. Her property management company is intended “For Investors” and “By Investors” for a simple reason – she knows what investors’ goals are and she works hard to reach their goals. In her spare time, Marina likes to spend time with her family, friends, garden, read and travel. Check her out at www.alhpodland.com. You can find Marina’s articles and comments at @rentalhomesatl on Twitter, on Facebook, Google+, Blogger. and YouTube,Bigger Pockets and REI CLub and LinkedIn.