What should you look for when choosing a property management company? These are some of the qualities you definitely want to see in your property manager:
1) THEY’RE EASY TO REACH BY PHONE OR EMAIL
It’s a simple but important test – you should be able to talk to someone when you call your property management company. When a property manager doesn’t return your call within 1 business day, it means they aren’t paying attention to you and they probably aren’t paying attention to your property.
2) AN EFFECTIVE, PROVEN STRATEGY FOR FINDING A RENTER
If you ever felt the pain of having your property vacant for more than a few weeks, you know you want to work with a property manager who has an effective process for marketing your property to prospective tenants.
In addition to regular “For Rent” signage, one of the most important marketing tools is the Multiple Listing Service, or the MLS. Real estate agents have access to this listing and it also syndicates to other real estate websites. We also manually list your property on key real estate websites that are known to attract quality renters.
Paying a Co-Broker Fee is Part of Good Practice
A co-broker fee is what we pay to another broker who brings a tenant for your property via the MLS. This shouldn’t cost you, the property owner, any extra fees. The “discount” property management firms typically do not have funds to pay a co-broker fee, so they skip advertising on the MLS, which results in a longer vacancy period.
We Have the Strategy and Resource to Your Property Quickly
On average, we lease our properties within 18 days. Half of our properties get rented within 9 days. We have a full marketing team that’s responsible for listing, answering calls/emails, and showing your property.
3) A THOROUGH TENANT SCREENING PROCESS
Your property manager should be performing nationwide credit and background checks. People relocate from other states all the time, and if you aren’t thorough you might miss something that happened in another state. The property manager should be verifying both income and employment through provable documentation.
4) REGULAR INSPECTIONS
At a minimum there should be an annual inspection with photos at the time of lease renewal, and you should receive a detailed report.
5) A TEAM OF PROFESSIONALS RATHER THAN ONE AGENT
You want a property manager who has a good team, rather than a single agent who does everything. The company you choose should have more than one person taking care of your property, so that you have multiple people who are familiar with your property, regardless of who gets sick or goes on vacation.
6) THEY ONLY USE LICENSED AND INSURED VENDORS
Make sure the property management company only uses licensed and bonded vendors to work in your property. Owners could get fined and even have their property “red tagged” by the city when hiring unlicensed contractors who did not follow the building code.
Doing all these and more things correctly is a job for more than one person – you really need a team of dedicated professionals to do property management right. Bahia Property Management has an effective, team-based approach to property management as opposed to most other companies, where they make one manager do everything.
If you have any questions, or you’d like to talk to us personally, please contact us!