How To Choose the Right Property Management Company

Are you increasing your rental property portfolio and experiencing challenges in servicing your tenants? Keeping up with maintenance, along with changing government regulations and legislation, is tough.

And then there are rent delays to consider now, too. Tight profit margins are making growth a real challenge for DIY landlords. But growth is where profit is.

If you’re managing a good number of detached rental properties or many of them are dispersed across a large geographic area, the actual daily work of maintenance scheduling and administration can become too much for one person.

Scaling Up is a Test of Your Business

Added to all the other property management work you perform, you might be suffering mistakes, delays in service and troubles with vacancies and cash flow.  

windowpanes at the building

You’ve likely discovered that problems start snowballing as you scale up. Your own staff may leave under the pressure of this challenge. Patience, confidence, skill, efficiency, and big faith in you is needed from this point on. 

You might respond by hiring new service contractors or new technicians in your business. That adds a lot of costs and it may not really solve current and future needs. You need higher quality help. The sheer volume of properties you’ll be managing soon makes hiring a property management company a viable solution.

Related: [Rent Report] September Rent Prices Begin to Accelerate Painfully Slow Yearly Increase

Hiring the Quantity and Quality of Service Needed

When you peruse available property management service providers online via Yelp or Google, you’ll see a wide range of services, skills, experience, and regions serviced. If your units are spread out over the English countryside and in greater London, the logistics of servicing them is a big challenge. A UK property leasing service might be an option to explore.  They’ve worked out those tough issues already.

It’s the same in the U.S. in states such as Colorado, California, Florida or Texas. New property opportunities are spreading outside of the cities to rural centers. These may be your growth opportunities in the next few years.

New property management firms have the technology and systems to manage your new properties and tenants effectively. You can negotiate coverage, get the specialized modern tech skills you need, and enjoy leveraging their licensing and insurance coverage.

people sitting down near table with assorted laptop computers

Quality skills including collections and technical services, insurance, and servicing a limitless number of units are 3 good reasons to begin finding the right property management company for your business. Other benefits are not having to pay, motivate, train and offer employee benefits when you manage an in house team. It’s a great value proposition.

Key Questions: Are they skilled in your types of properties? What is the cost of the service per property on average? How do they negotiate fees? What are their service response times? Do they have significant certifications you must-have?

Big Demand for the Tough Assignments

And if the COVID-19 pandemic is giving you trouble, and stretching your staff thin with reduced cash flow and tough collections procedures, you might need to adopt a new property management software solution.  

They’re hosted on the cloud which makes them very secure at a high level which keeps your data safe and protects your company from online attacks. These software providers upgrade the software as required, keeping your service and your website always up to date.

And COVID-19 has generated further challenges in collecting rent, tenant late payment negotiations and even going to court to affect an eviction. Of course, such action is governed by legislation in each country that experienced property management companies often know well.

They can collect the rent, do the lease negotiations, and take legal actions for you.

What to Look for in a Worthy Property Management Firm

As you’re creating a list of property management service providers, ensure they:

  • Are state/province certified or have a national level certification?
  • Are sufficiently large enough to service your property needs without giving them any staffing issues?
  • Have some successful clients you can speak to?
  • Possess specific tech skills to manage your specific mechanical and maintenance requirements (specific brands or types of machinery/appliances)
  • Have a thorough, reliable property maintenance plan backed by good scheduling, tenant communications, and fulfillment processes
  • Offer dedicated bookkeeping or accounting services
  • provide thorough and detailed owner reports
  • Offer leasing management and tenant screening
  • Write compelling listing ads and place them online
  • Have the owner and tenant portals online for easy access and requests?
  • Have a professional and sincere website describing a great experience for you
  • Negotiate fees in a way that makes it attractive for you?

If you begin with a list of property management companies and become more familiar with comparisons of the items above, you’ll hone your real needs.   It’s recommended when assessing companies to make sure you’ve got the big picture covered first.

Create a list of must-have skills and services and ensure that each company can easily provide that service. Ensure the company, the owner, and the staff has integrity and transparency.  

Thoroughness Through Questions

It’s up to you to ask questions about skills and personalities to identify problems.  For instance, they’re not going to tell you that they handle rent collections poorly.  You need a list of questions to drill down into how they actually conduct themselves in all dealings with contractors and tenants. 

After all, if they bungle rent collections and tenant relations, it could create vacancies down the road.  A big part of this inquiry is whether they respect clients and tenants and will treat them well.

Discovering their weaknesses and gaps are vital to ensuring you’ve got your service needs covered and all is agreed before you sign contracts.

Visio Lending also recommends consulting your legal counsel before signing any contracts.

Good luck with your search and remember that thoroughness is your best ally.