3 Things to Look for When Hiring a Property Manager

property manager

Is it time to hire a property manager?

The percentage of households that rent has risen to 43.3 million in 2016. That number is expected to climb since home prices continue to increase. That, combined with tightening credit by banks, will lead more families to choose to rent their home.

If you own one or a dozen rental properties, hiring a manager can help you save time, and enjoy the fruits of your investment, rather than dealing with tenant issues.

Keep reading to learn the top tips to hire the best manager for your rental properties.

Do You Need a Property Manager?

Are you on the fence about hiring a manager?

There are many benefits to hiring a manager. Yes, their fees can be between 7-10% of your rental income, but it can be worth it in the long run.

A manager already has a network of contractors and handymen who can take care of repairs. They are well-versed on fair housing laws, too.

You’ll need to weigh how much time you currently spend on your properties. Your budget and rental income need to be considered as well.

If you find that you don’t like to deal with tenant issues or you have cash flow and vacancy problems, a good rental manager can help you resolve them.

Tip #1: Hire an Experienced Manager

The first step to hiring the right rental manager is to make sure they have the experience to handle your property.

You can start by asking around for referrals. Then check to see if a manager has housing certifications, such as training for fair housing compliance.

Do some research online to see if there are reviews on Google or Yelp. The Better Business Bureau is a good place to go to see if there are negative reviews or complaints against the manager.

Tip #2: Ask the Right Questions

You should make it a point to interview several candidates to handle your properties. When you do, these are some of the questions you should ask.

  • How long have you been a property manager?
  • What types of properties do you manage?
  • How many properties do you manage?
  • Do you have referrals I can contact?
  • What type of fees do you charge? Are there service fees on top of that?
  • How are payments handled?
  • What is your procedure for maintenance & emergency issues?

These questions are a starting point to determine if a manager is a good fit for you.

Tip #3: Read the Management Agreement

You’ll need to carefully review the rental management agreement with a fine-tooth comb.

The agreement should clearly outline the manager’s fees and what they are responsible for. Beyond that, look for extra fees. If a manager has to call someone for repairs, do they charge a service fee on top of that? Many managers do.

Be sure the agreement stipulates how much the manager is authorized to spend on repairs before contacting you. In most cases, it’s between $250-$500. Take the opportunity to set a number that you’re comfortable with.

Save Time When You Hire a Property Manager

Hiring someone to manage your rental properties can help you increase your rental income, as long as you hire a good manager.

They’ll make sure that your property is occupied and is profitable. That gives you the time to focus on other projects.

If you’re ready to hire a property manager, contact us today. We’re happy to answer any questions you have.

Property Management Maintenance: Common Issues You Should Learn to Fix Quickly

property management maintenance

Approximately 2,654 people enter the rental market every day. This is great news for landlords, as demand for homes to rent is exceeding supply.

If you’re a landlord, it’s crucial to keep your properties in tip-top shape. And there are plenty of property management maintenance issues you can take care of yourself. This will mean happy tenants who are more likely to stay for longer.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Monthly Extermination

This may seem like a weird idea if you don’t currently have an insect or rodent problem. But exterminating every month (or even every few months) will prevent these problems from occurring in the first place.

Sure, this will cost money. But preventative extermination is a much better option than losing current and/or prospective tenants when you have a pest invasion.

Check Grout and Shower Caulking

Over time, the caulk surrounding your bathtub can loosen, and the grout between your tiles can crack. This means that the seal is no longer waterproof. Unfortunately, water will often be leaking through and damaging the floor below or the surrounding walls.

As soon as you notice this beginning to happen, replace the grout or caulking to prevent massive water damage and huge costs down the line.

Check for Leaks and Water Damage

Speaking of water damage, you’ll need to keep an eye out for these whenever you’re inspecting the property. The best times to check for water damage or leaks is after a storm when snow and ice have started melting, or on very humid and hot days when pipes sweat.

You’ll be looking for soft spots on your walls, ceilings, and roofs. Keep an eye out for water around toilets, showers, and windows. Be sure to check under water heaters, boilers, and sinks.

It’s crucial that you find any water leaks early on. Ongoing leaks can cause irreparable damage to ceilings, walls, and your tenants’ possessions. Water can also cause mold, which can be a massive expense. If mold spreads out more than 10 square feet, you’ll have to fix it according to the EPA’s guidelines.

Replace Air Filters

Don’t neglect your air ducts. This will mean they end up clogged, and getting them professionally cleaned is costly. Not to mention, this can leave your tenants without air conditioning or heating while waiting for it to be serviced.

This problem can be avoided by regularly replacing your filters and ensuring they’re kept clean.

Test Your Detectors

One of the most important property management maintenance tasks? Regularly checking carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

If these fail to work in an emergency, they could lead to serious damage, injury, or even death. And this means you could end up in court. Check the wiring, replace the batteries, and purchase new devices when necessary.

Have You Got Your Property Management Maintenance Sorted?

The above property management maintenance tasks will help you keep your property clean and safe for your tenants.

Thinking about selling your property? We can help. Get in touch today and let’s talk.