If you are looking for “property management near me,” then look no further. Here’s how to find the best way to manage your property.
Housing mortgage rates are the lowest they’ve been in a very long time and forecasters don’t believe that’s going to change any time soon. It’s the perfect time to buy a home, but more than that, it’s an excellent time to invest in home real estate.
Just don’t go at it without help, especially if you are investing in a property that is out of town or state. You should hire a property manager to help, but doing so isn’t as simple as searching the web to find property management near me.
You need a professional company that will handle the day to day duties to protect your investment. Not all property management companies or managers are the same either. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you find property management companies.
What Property Management Services Do I Need?
If this is the first investment property you plan on renting this question is extremely important to understand before you select a property management company. Managing a rental home presents unique challenges that most people aren’t equipped to handle. This is especially true you live far away.
Ideally, you’ll want to find a company that handles everything from advertising vacancies to lease negotiation and maintenance to termination and eviction. It might be harder to find a one-stop-shop rental property management company than you thought.
The general rule is, the larger the company, the broader the service offerings, but it doesn’t necessarily translate. True, larger companies have a team of professionals to handle things like maintenance, advertising, lease negotiation, rent collection, and legal issues.
What Questions Should I Ask Potential Property Management Companies Near Me?
Many property management companies will handle everything for you but they may not handle everything in-house. What that means is they will contract out certain elements of the management process.
You’ll want to ask a few questions to make sure you understand what services they provide, what is their direct responsibility, and what will fall to contractors. You’ll also want to understand what services are included in their rates and what your financial responsibility will be for all other services. Start with the basic questions first.
What is their management fee? You don’t necessarily want the cheapest company because you often get what you pay for. Low management fees can translate into higher costs for contracted services.
You’ll want to ask how large their staff is and what areas of expertise are handled in-house? The more your management company does themselves the fewer additional costs you’ll encounter.
How long have they been in business? New companies may not have the local connections and relationships to handle everything you need. This could create additional hassles for you down the road.
Will they help you find a tenant? Many companies will provide this service, some at an additional cost so be sure to find out what they will do and how much they charge.
How Are Maintenance Issues Handled?
Do they have a 24-hour emergency service phone number for tenants? The last thing you want is a phone call at 2:00 a.m. because the furnace went out. A good property management company will have a number to call.
Additionally, rental property management companies will have a maintenance professional on-call to handle emergency home maintenance issues. In most cases, these people can fix the problem but not always. You’ll want to ask what the scope is of their maintenance ability.
Be sure you get as detailed a list as possible for maintenance up-charges. Emergency reserve funds might also be required by you for just this type of situation. They will require this money in advance, usually when you sign your contract.
Setting a maximum dollar amount for maintenance that can be performed without contacting you first is important. You wouldn’t want to receive a $5,000 bill for a new HVAC system out of the blue.
Getting involved in bidding large repairs and maintenance is something you want control over. A good company will bid the service out and present you with their results. You can then choose the best option for you.
How Will Rent Be Collected?
This is the lifeblood of your investment. Finding a company that has a comprehensive and aggressive rent collection program is important to your success with this investment. Ask for details and success rates.
Who Is Responsible for Holding the Security Deposit?
Who holds the security deposit is often a legal matter dictated by the local statutes. Towns, counties, or even states will determine if you will hold it or if the property management company is allowed to. Either way, it should be put in an escrow account.
Will They Handle the Eviction Process?
Their rent collection process should dovetail into any eviction proceedings should they become necessary. A company that handles all the legal proceedings is best.
Be sure to ask what, if anything, will fall to you, both from a legal filing perspective and a financial perspective. Evictions can be complicated depending on your location and agreement. Knowing what you’ll be responsible for in advance will help you avoid hassles when evictions are necessary.
Fees, in general, should be transparent. Ask what their fee schedule is before you sign a contract.
What if My Property Has an HOA?
Home Owner Associations are more prevalent today than ever. They exist to help maintain the neighborhood from an aesthetic and functional perspective. They also help keep property values high.
Having a rental property management company with HOA management experience can be invaluable if your property is HOA controlled. They will understand how the HOA operates and how to work with them on any potential issues.
Partner With a Professional Property Management Company
If you’re done your web search of property management companies near me, it’s time to start asking these questions. At VerraTerra Real Estate Services we have a friendly, professional staff ready to assist you with all your residential property management needs.
You can contact us anytime with questions and one of our team members will walk you through our management programs. We’ll discuss your particular property, find out your short and long term goals, and develop a plan to get you where you want to be.