Deciding to work with a property manager is an excellent idea for you and your investment property. As you know, the right management partner can help drive up income and keep down expenses. A good relationship will lead you to additional investment opportunities, a stronger real estate portfolio, and a more successful experience overall.
What should you look for when you’re researching potential property management companies?
There are the obvious qualities that all good property managers have…they’re experienced. They’re smart. They’re detail-oriented, they understand the value in relationships, and they know the local rental market and the local sales market extremely well.
What else do you need?
That depends on your property and your investment goals.
As property managers, and we know there are a lot of qualities that make a great property management professional.
Today’s blog is intended to highlight some of the most important qualities that we like to see when we’re choosing professionals to work with ourselves.
You have a lot of options when it comes to property management in Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over the Gulf coast. Finding the right residential management partner may seem overwhelming.
But if you know where to begin when you’re researching, you’ll likely find that you’re seeking out those property managers who are best aligned with your specific needs and your investment goals.
Look for Property Management and Real Estate Experience
We will start with the most obvious quality any good property manager will have.
Property management experience is important, and you’ll really benefit from a professional with real estate experience as well. If you get to the point where you want to buy or sell a property, you’ll benefit from having an expert who can guide you in the right direction.
When it comes to property management experience, you’ll want someone who has leased, managed, and maintained homes just like yours. Are you renting out a short-term vacation home? You’ll need someone who has effectively managed those listings and handled those frequent turnovers.
As you research experience, think about the years of experience as well as the type of experience. You want to know that the management team you’re working with has already seen a lot of the mistakes that can be made and learned from them. You want to know they’ve managed properties like yours and they’ve taken the time to improve their processes and systems based on what has worked and not worked in the past.
You want to research how a management company uses their experience to handle the day-to-day tasks of marketing a home, screening tenants, and responding to maintenance. You’ll know they’re experienced if they have systems and procedures in place to address anything that may happen. You’ll know they’re experts if they stay up to date on the best practices in property management.
Research Property Management Reputation
What do others think about the property management company you’re considering?
Reputation matters, especially now, when it’s so easy to find positive and negative reviews about any company that’s out there.
You’re researching reputation because it tells you what kind of experience other clients and customers have had with a particular property manager. Read online reviews and spend some time on the company’s website. Look for testimonials that speak to the services you’re looking for. Are clients talking about their thorough screening practices, their low vacancy rates, and their cost-effective maintenance?
That’s what you want to find.
You’ll likely encounter negative reviews, too. Those will share some valuable information with you as well. Spend some time reading them. If tenants are complaining that late fees were enforced when rent was late, you know the property manager was doing their job. Take a look at how the management company responds to negative reviews, too. Are they respectful and professional?
Leadership is another important quality for a property manager. Reputation is not just about what owners and tenants think about a property manager. It’s also about how their peers feel about their work and their contribution to the industry.
Spend some time researching a company’s reputation within the property management industry. Talk to vendors who do work on homes managed by that company. Talk to other property managers, real estate agents, brokers, and business leaders. Have they ever heard of the property manager you’re considering? What do they know about the way they work?
Prioritizing Communication and Service
When you’re looking for a property manager, look for a responsive communicator.
There’s no customer service without proactive communication. This is critical for you as the owner and your tenants. Communication skills aren’t just nice to have – they’re an essential quality in anyone providing services.
Work with property managers who value transparent and responsive communication. Look for a company that has the capacity to:
- Answer phone calls
- Return emails
- Respond to emergencies
- Provide resources and support
When tenants have a leaking toilet or a malfunctioning appliance, they’re going to need to reach your property manager right away. If that property manager is unavailable, you’ll have a very frustrated tenant and you’ll also have a property that’s at risk for even more damage and deterioration.
Property managers who prioritize communication can actually help you earn more on your investment home. When tenants feel like their needs are being responded to, they’re more likely to renew their lease agreements. This saves you a lot of money on vacancy and turnover.
Willingness to Invest in Property Management Technology
Innovation is a quality that good property managers need. You want to work with someone who is creative, curious, willing to try new technologies, and flexible. Adaptability is also a desirable quality.
All of those qualities will ensure you have a property manager who is willing to invest in and explore new technologies.
We strongly recommend you choose a property management company that’s willing to adopt and invest in the latest technology. A lot of processes can be automated, thanks to innovative software and digital platforms. This results in consistency, communication, and documentation.
Technology can be used to improve property management systems and process by:
- Collecting accurate pricing data
- Streamlining marketing with syndications and metrics
- Screening objectively and consistently
- Signing your lease agreement electronically
- Collecting rent online
- Receiving maintenance requests electronically
- Sending invoices
- Sharing accounting reports and financial statements
Look for a property manager who can provide you with an online portal, where you can see everything that’s going on with your rental property. The portal gives you access to your financials, your lease, maintenance invoices, and any inspection reports or correspondence. Your tenants will benefit from their own portal, which allows for online rental payments and maintenance requests.
Do not waste your time with property managers who are reluctant to adapt to better technology. The property management technology that’s currently available is secure, convenient, and user-friendly. Look for a property manager who is excited about the tech that’s available and has learned to incorporate it into their personalized, custom property management plans.
Respect for and Understanding of Florida’s Rental Laws
Florida is a fairly landlord-friendly state, but there are laws that need your attention.
A willingness to stay on top of the latest legislative changes and to commit to professional development and continuing education is important.
Property managers in Florida need to know the security deposit laws, the eviction laws, and the federal fair housing laws. You need a property manager who understands the way these laws impact your rental property. You want to know they’re staying current on any changes or legal challenges.
Legal expertise is an important quality in a Bradenton property manager.
Decision-Making Skills are Critical in a Property Manager
Another great quality in a property manager is that they can be trusted to make good decisions.
You hire a property management company for their expertise and resources. You don’t want to be burdened with too many decisions and questions. You don’t want to hear from tenants and you don’t want to determine how often pest control should show up.
These are issues for your management company. Can you trust them to act the same way that you would?
While it’s important to find a property manager who communicates well with you, make sure there’s a balance. You don’t want to be pestered every day with minor questions about how they should handle an issue at your rental property. Property managers are experts. You want your property management partner to make important decisions on your behalf without burdening you or taking up your valuable time. The goal is to keep you in the loop, not to waste your time. Give your property management company the authority they need to do what they do best.
We love talking to investors and rental property owners about what makes our team stand apart from all the other property management companies in Bradenton. We’re proud of the qualities that our property managers possess, and we know that our owners appreciate everything we bring to the partnership.
Want to talk about how we can help you have a better and more profitable investment experience? Contact us at Anchor Down Real Estate & Rentals.