Prepare for a wild revelation. One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a property investor is blindly hiring investment property management services.
Yes, we said it. Think you’re done after purchasing your property? Think again.
Deciding who will manage your real estate is a high-stakes game; choose wisely or it could eat into your profits. And don’t be fooled, it’s not just about collecting rent or scheduling a repair here and there.
It’s about the long-term growth of your investment. It’s the difference between seeing your property as a burden or a treasure chest of opportunities.
So, what should you consider to ensure you’re making the right choice? Let’s dig in, shall we?
Know the Types of Real Estate Management Services
First things first. You need to know what you’re shopping for. Just like you wouldn’t buy a car without knowing if it’s a sedan or an SUV, you shouldn’t hire property management without knowing the different types of real estate management.
There are various flavors in the property management world: residential, commercial, and industrial to name a few. Some property managers are jacks-of-all-trades, while others specialize in niche markets like luxury apartments or retail spaces.
Take a moment to research and jot down what exactly aligns with your property type. For example, if you own a commercial property, you’d want a property manager with experience in that area. Understanding the nuances of the different types of real estate management helps you zero in on the ideal candidate.
Match Services to Your Investment Property
Every property is unique, like a snowflake or a fingerprint. Whether it’s a small residential unit or a massive shopping mall, it’s your investment property, and it deserves the best.
At this stage, you’re playing matchmaker. You want property management services that align perfectly with the specific needs of your property. A mismatch here can lead to a heap of problems, like poor maintenance or legal issues.
For instance, if your property has extensive landscaping, you’d want a property manager who has experience in maintaining outdoor spaces. Or if your property has a complex HVAC system, then someone who knows their way around that is ideal.
Assess your property’s needs in detail, from security to cleaning to upkeep, and make sure your chosen property management team can handle all those areas.
Vet the Property Management Team
You wouldn’t let a complete stranger look after your prized pet, would you? The same logic applies when choosing who will look after your valuable property.
This is your hard-earned investment we’re talking about! Start by doing a little detective work.
Check credentials, reviews (Trustpilot is good for independent reviews), and don’t hesitate to ask for references or testimonials. Have conversations with other property investors who have used their services. It’s almost like asking your neighbor how they liked that new restaurant down the street.
Interview multiple candidates if you can. During these interviews, gauge how responsive they are. Unresponsiveness isn’t just annoying: it’s a red flag. If they can’t answer your questions promptly, imagine how they might delay fixing a broken water pipe or addressing a safety concern.
A good property manager is one who is attentive, resourceful, and quick to act. So, find out how they deal with emergencies and whether they’re available 24/7. After all, problems don’t always clock out at 5 p.m.
Here are some common mistakes when hiring property managers that many people make that you can avoid.
Understand the Contract
Ah, the contract: a small bundle of papers that can make or break your experience. Don’t give it a skim; give it a study. Make sure the contract outlines all the services they will provide, as well as what they won’t provide.
It’s like a menu of what you’re paying for, and you don’t want any surprises. Are they taking care of maintenance, both routine and emergency? What about handling complaints from neighboring properties or dealing with local authorities?
Pay special attention to the termination clause. You hope it never comes to that, but if you’re unsatisfied with their services, you need to know how you can sever ties.
Are there penalties for early termination? How much notice must you give? Knowing these details beforehand can save you a lot of headaches down the line.
Fees and Charges
Let’s cut to the chase: How much is this going to cost you? Don’t shy away from this topic. Discuss fees upfront; because you’re not running a charity, you’re running a business.
Will they charge a flat fee or is it a percentage of your monthly revenue from the property? Knowing the fee structure helps you factor it into your budget and weigh it against the services they offer.
Make sure you ask about any hidden fees or charges that could pop up later. Maybe there’s a fee for emergency maintenance calls or for legal consultations; you don’t want those kinds of surprises. So insist on full transparency when it comes to costs; it’s your right as a property owner.
We’re in the 21st century, folks! Your property management team should be, too.
Check out how up-to-date they are with current technology. Do they have an online portal where you can easily check the status of your property, or are they still stuck in the era of paper files and snail mail?
Ask them about their systems for record-keeping, reporting, and especially for listing and advertising your property. Advanced tech features can provide conveniences like electronic signatures and online payments, making life easier for both you and them. Their level of tech-savviness isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have.
Navigating the Maze of Investment Property Management
By now, you should feel more confident about choosing the right investment property management team to manage your valuable investment. The factors we’ve discussed are crucial stepping stones to making an educated decision.
At Next Level Property Management, we offer full-service property management where only licensed professionals will handle your properties. If you want the next level in property management for your growing portfolio, contact us to discuss your requirements.