Last week we explored what a property management company does (click here to read the article). This week we touch on how you should choose a property management company. Finding the right one may seem like a Herculean task, but it is not much different than finding any other service provider.
You’re going to need to be smart, think critically and ask questions. But with a little digging, you’ll find the firm that best matches your needs. However, if you’re not sure where to start, here are four tips to help you choose the right property management company.
1) Search online
The easiest way to find out if a property management company is any good is to search online. What do tenants say about renting from the company? The answer to this question can shine a lot of light on how a business operates. Unlike restaurants or hotels where reviews are based on tastes and preferences, property management is a little more black and white. If a company has more bad reviews than good ones online, be sure to take note of this and ask the company directly should you be thinking about hiring them.
2) Understand the full scope of their services
Different property management companies provide their clients with different services. Some may offer full bookkeeping while others may be able to deposit rent into international bank accounts. Understanding exactly what a property management company can offer you makes it much easier to compare them against their competitors.
3) Ask for and check references
This one is pretty simple. Ask the property management company if you can contact other property owners they work with and get their feedback. Obviously the company is likely to refer happy customers, but you may still get a better idea about possible pain points and other details you may not otherwise find out about.
4) Can they actually help you?
A property management company might say the right things, but this doesn’t mean they can deliver. Given how unique different market segments and locations can be, experience in each one is vital. If the company you’re considering doesn’t have experience handling similar properties, you can’t really be confident they will be able to take care of yours. This is especially true in the high-end segment where tenants will be expecting a certain level of care and attention.