If you own one or more rental properties, it can be difficult to manage the day-to-day aspects of these rentals while still keeping up with your career and family obligations. What could be an easy, passive income can become a second job in and of itself. To prevent this from happening to you, your best course of action is to hire a dedicated property manager to handle administrative and other tasks.
A property manager can also coordinate repairs and maintenance, find new tenants and market your property, They can collect rent payments and pay utilities, taxes and other bills, too. The property manager you choose should be able to handle these and many other tasks you need to complete. If you aren't sure where to start, here's what to look for when hiring a manager for your rental property.
Your property manager will be the liaison between you and your tenants, handling direct communications with your renters. Because of this, you want to choose someone who is personable and friendly. However, you also need someone who can be firm with renters who aren't complying with their lease terms. It is fine for your manager to be friendly with your tenants, but at the end of the day, their primary job is to be a manager, not a friend.
Managing a rental property requires balancing a variety of tasks, like the ones listed above. You need someone who can keep track of dates and deadlines, and who can pay attention to the details of contracts and other documents. Your manager should also be available to answer tenant phone calls and respond to concerns promptly.
Finally, you'll want your property manager to be someone you can trust. This person will have access to your properties and will be responsible for ensuring they are maintained according to the standards you have set out.
Communication is key here. You should be able to ask your manager to provide you with updates about the status of your properties on a fortnightly basis, for example. Or, you can request that he or she only contact you when there is an issue. Customise the communication schedule to meet your needs and preferences.
When you are considering property managers, be sure to enquire as to what specific services they offer. Some managers offer more comprehensive services than others, so you want to make sure you understand what you are paying for. Pay formats vary from manager to manager as well, with some charging a base salary and others charging a percentage of the rent for the properties they manage. Be sure to get all fees in writing before you hire a manager. Lastly, look for a manager who is licensed to boost your chances of getting a reliable, trustworthy one.
One of the best ways to gauge the quality of a particular property manager is to speak with their previous clients. A reputable property manager should have no problem with providing references for you to verify. You can also check if any online review sites have reviews about potential managers.
A property manager's credentials are a great starting point for evaluation, but they do not tell the whole story. At the end of the day, you need someone you will be comfortable working with. Don't discount your personal preferences and gut feelings. Combining your impressions with each manager's qualifications will help you arrive at the best decision so take your time in thinking about it. The perfect manager for your property is out there; you just have to find them.