3 Things Every Property Management Firm Should Have

Posted on: 9 December 2014

After managing your own rental properties for the past few years, you might be ready to surrender your duties to a property management firm. You may be leery of this because you might not think a management firm will care about your properties like you do, but this isn't necessarily the case. These firms often get paid based on performance, which gives them an incentive to place a lot of care, thought, and time into your properties. Before you hire a firm, make sure it offers everything you need, and always make sure the firm offers the following three things.

Proven Track Record

One of the first things to find out from a property management firms is their track record. This can include asking about:

  • The current properties the company is managing – You may want to drive by these properties to see the condition they are in. This can reveal a lot about a property management firm.
  • The percentage or fees they charge – Most firms charge between 4% to 12% for the services they offer, and you can compare companies by their rates.
  • Current percentage of vacant properties – One of the main goals property management firms have is to keep units occupied. If a company has a high rate of unoccupied units, you might want to question this.

Doing basic research on a company is always wise before hiring a firm to manage your properties, and finding a company that has a proven track record for success is vital.

24 Hour Hotline

You should also ask how the firm handles tenant problems, issues, and questions. A good property management firm should offer a 24 hour hotline for this purpose because this allows tenants to have access to the firm at all hours of the day. This is important primarily for emergency repairs, but it is also important simply to make the tenants feel cared for.

When you ask about this, you may discover that the firm even offers another way for tenants to reach the managers, which is the Internet. A tenant portal is a type of software system that allows tenants a way to communicate with the firm at any time. Tenants can use this to:

  • Ask questions
  • Submit repair requests
  • Find out what time appointments are for repair work
  • Schedule normal maintenance tasks

Easy Payment Options

Finally, you should ask the property management firm what options they have for tenants making their rent payments. You may also want to find out the procedures the firm uses to collect rent payments from tenants. Some of the ways tenants may be able to pay their rent is by:

  • Mail
  • Drop box
  • Over the phone
  • Online

Making it easy for the tenants to pay their rent often makes it easier for property managers to collect rent on time. Firms that utilize high standards and procedures for rent collection may also have a better chance of collecting rent on time.

The firm you look into should charge late fees to tenants if the rent is not paid on time, and they should handle the entire eviction process if necessary. The firm should also:

  • Complete thorough evaluations and screenings on all potential tenants
  • Handle evictions in the correct legal manner
  • Take care of all problems tenants have
  • Be available for tenants when needed

Take your time as you search for a property manager for your rental properties; it will be worth it. A good firm will take care of your properties, handle the day-to-day tasks, and take care of all problems that relate to the properties. You can contact a property management firm in your area to begin your search, and you might want to start by finding out if the firm offers these three things.