Whether you’re renting a property or a tower full of condos, hiring the right property manager saves you time, stress, and money in the long run. However, it’s pretty easy for almost anyone to call themselves a property manager, even if they have no experience, and it could land you not only a headache, but also legal action. You are the landlord, so it is your responsibility to follow the rules and keep your tenants safe. Your property manager is the go-between and you are entirely dependent on them to keep things tidy.
The situation is even more difficult if you are an owner who is not in the same region as your rented property. From screening tenants and collecting rent, to handyman work, to upholding rental agreements, there’s a lot for a property manager to do. Here are tips on how to hire the first time, so you can sit back and watch that passive income roll in. A great property manager makes your life and business easier.
References aren’t just for looks
Ask for referrals and track them as you narrow your hiring pool. Preferably, these references will come from reputable management companies. Check the phone numbers you received to make sure they are connected to a real business. Everyone has to start somewhere, but it’s not wise to entrust an inexperienced beginner with something as important as your property.
If you really want to lighten things up, ask for letters of recommendation as well. Property managers will be asked to do a lot of things, and if someone wants the job, they will comply with simple requests. If they can’t come up with a written recommendation, it may mean they don’t have one (bad news) or they can’t be bothered to get one (also bad news). This is still an employer market, so now is the time to screen candidates from property management companies.
If you’re just considering renting a residential home now that you’ve downsized in retirement, it’s best to hire a property manager with experience in this type of property. Someone who has only worked in apartments will not have the experience necessary for such a drastic change. That’s why choosing the right person is an essential part of the process.
If possible, meet them in person, but of course this can be difficult if you are hiring in a different city, state or country. You trust this person and ideally you will “click” with them professionally. If you’re not comfortable with them in an interview, maybe your gut is telling you something’s wrong. And don’t forget to check Google and Yelp reviews.
playing it safe
Want to make sure the best match is absolute and avoid endless sorting through resumes, checking references and wasting time on interviews? Go with a reputable property management company – it’s their business to take care of your property and their managers are knowledgeable, knowledgeable and a proven track record. What more could you ask for (apart from a 100% filled property, of course)?