All Property Management Companies are not created equal, nor are all property management firms the same. So before you start looking for the Best Property Management, ask yourself these questions to ensure you are hiring the best one. Who do I trust? (The honest answer will give you some peace of mind.)
Deposit Amount: Is the amount of the monthly rental deposit strictly pre-decided before I sign any agreement? Is the amount a large sum of money or a smaller monthly one? Do all the rental companies charge different deposit amounts, and how much is this amount tied to the lease length? Some property management companies will give you an upfront deposit, but others require a late payment penalty if the tenant decides to go somewhere else.
Industry Expertise: Ask how many residential properties the company has managed. How many of these properties were to sell as quickly as possible? If it is more than one, then ask how fast do they get out of residential properties? This will help you determine how quickly they will manage your vacant units.
Custom Property Management: What type of units will you be leaving? Will you be purchasing homes, apartments, duplexes, condos, or townhouses? Is there a possibility of purchasing multiple properties from the same company so you will be able to lease various types of residential properties at once? The more options you have for renting your property, the more chances you have for customizing your property operations.
Leasing Options: Will the property management companies you are talking to lease the apartments on your property, or are you renting them to a specific tenant? Are you looking for furnished apartments, self-contained apartments, units that are fully furnished, or are you simply looking for unfurnished apartments? This information will impact your strategy. If you plan on doing all the leasing yourself rather than outsourcing it, you need to know how much inventory you have available and how fast you can move tenants in and out of the units.
Setup Fee: Will the management fee include the setup fee upfront, or will you have to pay a setup fee after the tenants have moved in? Most companies will charge a setup fee upfront. If they do not, choose another provider. The setup fee is calculated based on square footage, number of units, and what you have to rent out at a given point in time. This fee varies from company to company, so make sure you know the setup fee before signing any contracts. If you have any questions about setup fees, make sure you ask up front.
Tenant Selection Criteria: You want to choose your tenants carefully. To keep your costs down, choose carefully those who will be most interested in renting your space. If you have tenants who are heavily involved in environmental programs, choose your tenants accordingly. It is also helpful if you match your tenant preferences to existing tenant populations to minimize the need to re-rent vacant units. If you choose to re-rent, your property manager should give you a good idea of how to price your teams so that you do not spend too much on tenant replacement costs.
Apartment Revenue Management: Many apartment complexes and property management firms provide owners with revenue management solutions. These services typically allow you to take in extra income by collecting late fees from tenants who do not pay their rent on time. In some cases, this includes collecting utility bills as well. These services can also help you develop a marketing plan, build your property search strategy, and increase your market understanding.