[fa icon="calendar"] 03.30.2017 / by Keni Flowers
Hiring the right property management firm is a crucial part of retaining your tenants. A good property management company will improve your investments and eliminate tons of stress from your life. A bad property management company will do the opposite and may turn your life into a nightmare.
Here are some things you can do to avoid hiring a nightmare property management firm:
When vetting property management firms, ask plenty of questions to get the most complete picture possible of how they operate and what kind of expertise they have. For example, ask questions such as:
- How long have you been in business?
- What is your current vacancy rate?
- Do you have your own maintenance crew?
- Do you provide brokerage services?
- How often do you evict tenants?
- Are you licensed?
The last one is probably the most important. If you are speaking with a firm who is not licensed, walk away immediately. It doesn’t matter how long they have been in business or how successful they sound, you never want to work with a property management company that is not licensed.
Look For Warning Signs
If you are doing your due diligence in screening potential firms, you should be able to recognize a bad fit early on. Here are a few warning signs to look out for:
- Unprofessional demeanor. You’ll be spending a lot of time working with your property manager, so make sure you are hiring someone with a pleasant and professional demeanor. Of course, everybody has a different definition of professionalism, but you want to work with somebody who has a similar outlook as you.
- Limited availability. A good property manager will make him or herself available 24/7. The workday does not end at 5 p.m. They should also be available during weekends to address any emergencies that require immediate assistance.
- Lack of communication. If you are already having trouble getting in touch with a firm before you have even hired them, this is not a good sign. You can test their responsiveness by calling their after-hours line and seeing how long it takes to get a response.
- Lack of references. Past clients can provide the most accurate picture of how a company operates. If a potential firm is unable or unwilling to provide references, you are better off moving on.
Don’t Be Fooled
Don’t be fooled by cheap service offers. In most cases, you will get what you pay for and firms that are struggling to retain clients will often use discounts and cheap service rates to attract more business.
If you do hire a property management firm based on their rates, make sure you contact them on a regular basis and check in with your tenants periodically to see if they are satisfied with the services.
Know the Signs
Don’t get stuck with a bad property management firm! Make sure you are doing your due diligence throughout the interview process to eliminate the bad fits early on. Asking questions, recognizing warning signs and not hiring based on price alone will go a long way in weeding out the bad seeds.