There is no doubt, being a landlord can be tough. There are a number of tasks that need to be done well in order to be successful. From endless tenant screening, to 3:00AM maintenance requests, accounting, inspections, property upgrades, and lengthy and confusing laws; it is no wonder why people hire property management companies to relieve these burdens. Once you decide to hire a property management company, picking the correct property management company now becomes the most important thing you can do for your property. So how do you go about searching for property management companies? Here are a few things to consider that we hope will be helpful:
Buy Local, Be Local
It is extremely important that the property management company be local to the general area where the property is located. This provides a number of obvious benefits; not the least of which is that a local company will be more apt to do regular and thorough inspections of your property. Also, a local company has their finger more directly on the proverbial pulse of the local market. They are generally better informed on rental rates, economic trends and local service providers also.
One Person Can Only Do So Much
It is a reality that we all struggle with; but one person can only handle but so much. This is especially true with property managers handling multiple properties spread all over a region. When shopping for a property management company, make sure to ask each company how many properties they have. When they proudly respond with their answer, ask them how many people they have that work hands-on with those properties directly. If their answer brings the ratio to 30 to 1 or higher, then it can stand to reason that your property is going to get less attention than it may require.
Talk Fees But Get The Whole Picture
Property management companies make their money by charging fees. Generally, they charge a percentage of the monthly rent collected. This number will vary from company to company but generally falls in the 8%-12% range. Of course, at Bridgepoint we boast the lowest management fee in the market at 6% from now through the end of the year. But that’s not all we boast; more important than the management fee is the amount of customer service that you will receive at Bridgepoint. We value customer service above all else, and we would love to talk with you about what excellent customer service looks like for your property. Essentially property management is all about serving a client well by stewarding one of their most valuable assets with the care that it deserves.
I know, I dislike shopping as much as the next guy out there. I tell my wife all the time, “I don’t shop, I just buy”. This is probably a character flaw because typically people do not shop around nearly enough when looking for a property management company. Talk to as many companies as you can and take copious notes. Think outside the box and ask that the people managing your property do the same. If you find that a property management company is trying to fit you and your property into a box for their convenience without listening and addressing to your specific needs, than you probably need to keep looking.
Shopping for a property management company is a big decision to have to make. It is not as cut-and-dried as going with the biggest company out there, or the company with the lowest fees (even though Bridgepoint has the lowest fees). It’s about choosing a company that is going to be attentive to your needs and the needs of your property. This company should care deeply about the long term and short term financial goals you have for this property and do whatever they can to help you obtain them. It’s essentially a customer service industry.