Working with a property management company is an integral part of being a real estate investor. A quality property management company will find you the best investment opportunities, market your property, screen tenants, perform maintenance, collect rent, and much more.
But not all property managers are the same. It's important to do your due diligence when looking for a Clearwater property management company to take care of your investment property.
In this blog, we'll discuss the most important questions investors need to ask a property manager before signing an agreement.
1. What Are the Services You Offer?
This should be the first question you ask because you'll find that a lot of property managers don't offer everything you'll need them to.
When hiring a property manager, you should look for a few key services, which include:
- Rent collection
- Tenant screenings
- Minimizing vacancies
- Investment services
- Real estate marketing
- Property inspections
- Preventing disputes
All of these services should be included in your agreement with the property manager. Otherwise, you'll find yourself needing to hire additional people to perform those tasks.
Note the importance of your property management company offering investment services. This is a key inclusion because without real estate investment knowledge, they won't understand the local market as much and won't be able to find you the best deals.
By working with a real estate management company that also offers investment services, they can find you incredible investment opportunities in the area, and then manage those properties for you. The process becomes a lot smoother and you'll save more money by working with the same company the whole time.
2. How Much Experience Do You Have?
In order to be a high-functioning and effective property manager, you need to have several years of experience under your belt. No amount of market knowledge or studying can prepare someone for property management more than pure experience can.
This is because things can go wrong all the time with properties, and knowing exactly how to handle those issues (who to call, how to deal with upset tenants, etc.) is essential.
That's why your second question needs to revolve how much experience your property manager has. If they are fairly new, you need to ask what makes them more qualified than a company that has been doing it for many years.
3. What Types of Properties Do You Manage?
Next up is discussing what types of properties they tend to manage. Some property managers may only work with apartment buildings or complexes, others may only work with single-family homes, and some will work with a combination of both.
It's important to make sure your property manager has extensive experience in managing the specific type of property you own, so you know it'll be a smooth and easy process without any growing pains.
In addition to the type of properties they manage, also ask about how many properties they manage. If they manage a small number of units, it may be due to inexperience or the loss of clients from poor customer service. If they manage a ton of units, your property may not get the attention it needs.
4. What Is Your Fee Structure?
There are a few different ways property management companies structure their fees, and while they each have their own advantages and disadvantages, you need to know which one works best for you.
The first type of fee structure is based on the rent price. This means you and your property manager will agree to a percentage of a rent price which will go to the management company.
This option is beneficial to investors because it gives property management companies the incentive to charge higher rent, which means more money for the investor.
Another popular fee structure is the flat rate, which means you'll pay the property manager the same amount, regardless of what the rent charge is. This can be beneficial because it prevents the investor from having to pay the property manager more money if the rent increases.
You should also inquire about what their monthly rate includes. Is it all-inclusive or will you have to pay extra if there is maintenance to be done? Or will you have to pay a vacancy charge if no one is renting the property?
These are important questions to ask because oftentimes property management companies will offer low base rates but they won't be all-inclusive, meaning you'll end up spending just as much or more every month with all of the additional charges.
What to Look for When Hiring a Clearwater Property Management Company
By asking the above questions, you now know exactly what to look for when hiring a Clearwater property management company.
No one in the Pinellas County area hits all of those marks better than Professional Real Estate Management. Not only do we provide top-of-the-line investment services, but we offer the best property management services in the county.
Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help make your investment dreams into a reality.