A good property management company is a company that handles property management full-time. It is not one or two real estate agents trying their luck waiting for the sales market to improve. And a good property manager is one who is also full-time and has some experience behind them.
When shopping around for a property manager or management company, do not compare by price alone. Remember, you get what you pay for. There is an inherent cost of owning real estate. As an owner of an investment property, be prepared for a certain amount of expenses. If a company or manger is offering lower fees than other companies, find out why. You may not really be getting a good deal. Or there could be hidden fees you are not aware of. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
A good property manager takes calls on the weekends. We all need a break. Property managers are entitled to a weekend off just as anyone else is, however, a good property manager will at least be on call to handle repairs and rental showings.
A good management company has in place the process to handle all business licenses and county registrations that are required by law for each individual property. If your property manager does not do this, you as the owner are liable and could be fined monetarily.
A property manager does periodic property evaluations. An owner should always be aware of the condition of the property. It is the responsibility of the property manager to inform the owner of necessary repairs/maintenance items but it is the owner responsibility to ensure that there is money in the reserve account to get these repairs/maintenance items completed in a timely manner.
A property management company must have and manage a trust bank account for rents, tenant’s deposits and reserve monies according to Arizona Department of Real Estate regulations as well as Arizona Revised Statute §32-2174. Find out how your tenant’s money and your own money are being managed. In addition, how is your property manager/management company going to communicate with you regarding your money? Do they provide reporting, if so, how often?
You need to ensure that all leases and property management agreements used by the company you hire have been reviewed by an attorney or approved by the Arizona Association of Realtors. Using self-made forms will eventually cost you.
If you are having your property management company help you find a tenant, make sure that they have a marketing program. Also, how are they screening your tenant’s? They need to provide a credit AND criminal background check. Also,
The property management company or the manager should belong to a professional organization that focuses on their industry. These types of organizations keep the company as well as its managers knowledgeable of current trends in the industry and new laws that are in the works. They are also held to a higher standard in their business which really does make a difference when we represent you, our client.
These are some of the qualities that you as an owner need to look for when hiring a manager/management company. Price is always important, but it is not everything. Saving 2% a month on management fees will not do you any good if you get monetarily fined for not meeting legal requirements or lost monthly rents.
With 7+ years of property management experience and a combined 35 years of real estate experience along with my company’s broker, I invite you to contact me to discuss your goals and to provide information about our property management program.