There are a number of excellent reasons that you may be thinking about contacting a property manager for help with your Parrish rental property. Maybe you’ve been managing on your own for a while, but you’re tired of the effort that’s required to effectively take care of tenants and a rental home. Maybe you’ve inherited a property that you don’t plan to live in, and you’d like to rent it out instead of selling it.
Whatever your reasons for seeking professional property management in Parrish, there are a few things you’ll want to do before you make a phone call and talk to a management company.
To help you have a better experience, we’re sharing what those things are in today’s blog. Take a look at this brief list of things to do before you talk to a property manager.
Prepare Your Rental Property
If you’re thinking about renting out a home that you once lived in yourself, you’ll need to clean that property out before you can list it as a rental. Do this before you contact a management company. Clean out all personal belongings – whether they’re yours or a family member’s or a former tenant’s. A good management company will want to walk through your property before they agree to lease and manage it. You’ll want them to be able to see your home’s potential.
Your property manager will likely make some recommendations on what might need to be improved before the home is ready to rent. So you don’t necessarily have to paint and make upgrades before reaching out to a property manager. But, you do want to be able to show them a clean and empty property.
Learn a Little about the Parrish Rental Market
You need to know a few things about the market before you work with a property manager. For example, some owners will have a set idea about what they want or need to earn in rent. But, if the market does not support that rental value, we’re not going to list your home there.
You hire a property manager for their market knowledge and expertise. But, you’ll be in a stronger position if you know what homes like yours are renting for. Do a little research. Get to know what kind of tenants you’re likely to attract.
Prepare to Invest in Maintaining Your Property
Property managers can’t really help you if you’re not willing to invest in your property. This is especially true when it comes to maintenance. If you’re not willing to have your HVAC system inspected or your roof repaired, we cannot in good faith place tenants there. We want your home to be safe and habitable. We want to market your property as a great place to live. We want tenants to feel good about their home and the rental experience they’re having. We can’t do those things if you’re not willing to maintain your rental home.
Maintenance is expensive, and it’s not always fun for property owners to think about. You’ll have to budget for and prepare for different kinds of maintenance and repairs, however. Plan for:
- Emergency maintenance.
- Routine repairs.
- Preventative maintenance.
When you meet your property manager, you can expect to hear how they handle each type of maintenance requirement. You’ll be told about how invoicing and payments are processed. You may have to set up a reserve.
If you have your own vendors and contractors you prefer to work with, that may be fine. However, most property management companies either have their own maintenance staff in-house or they contract with a network of preferred vendors. This will save you money and ensure repairs are made properly.
Check Your Landlord Insurance
You’ll need adequate insurance before you can rent out a home, and a property manager will likely want to see proof of that insurance before they agree to manage your property. If you’ve been living in the home that you want to rent out, you’ll need to convert your homeowner policy to a landlord policy.
The main difference between your landlord insurance policy and the homeowner policy you have on the home you live in is that your landlord policy covers the structure of the home and the costs to repair and replace it. However, it doesn’t cover any personal belongings that aren’t yours. When you live in a home, your insurance covers the structure and all your belongings. But, with a landlord policy your home is covered, but not the tenant’s personal items.
The property coverage depends on the amount your home is worth and what it would cost to rebuild it.
You want to make sure you have enough coverage, and your property manager will likely want to be listed as an additional insured on your policy. This will better protect you and your property if there’s a claim from a tenant during the lease term.
Research Parrish Property Management Companies
Which property manager will you call?
Instead of picking a company at random, spend some time researching your options. When you’re making an initial search for property managers, you’ll want to consider the following:
- Online reputation. Do they have a lot of favorable reviews and testimonials?
- Website content. Can you get a good idea of the types of services they provide by spending time on their website? Is there information that’s valuable and relevant to you? Do they work specifically in your area and do they have the kind of experience you need?
- How quickly did they get back to you when you called or sent a message? This will indicate their level of responsiveness if you do begin working with them.
Once you’ve narrowed your search, you should prepare for an interview. You’ll want to ask some specific questions about how they work and what they do.
Here are some of the most important questions you’ll want to ask.
1. What is your property management experience like?
You want to work with an experienced Parrish property management company, but don’t be too impressed by the number of years they’ve been in business. Get to know what kind of experience that entails. Has it all been in Parrish? Has it been with the types of property you own?
2. How do you handle tenant placement and screening?
The tenant in your property will determine whether you have a successful or a stressful rental experience. Ask about tenant screening and retention. You want to know what they’re looking for when they choose a resident for your property.
3. How is rent collected and paid?
Rent collection is an important part of property management. Find out when it’s due and when it’s considered late. Will a tenant have to pay late fees and if so, who keeps those late fees? Ask about how eviction is pursued and prevented.
4. Who responds to maintenance emergencies and routine repairs?
Some management companies have their own vendors and others use outside vendors. Find out how the property manager handles repair requests and whether they are available 24 hours a day to respond to emergencies.
5. How do you leverage technology?
Property management software has become sophisticated, and a good management company will use it for marketing, screening, repair requests, rental payments, inspection reports, and communication. You want to work with a modern management company that’s flexible and innovative.
6. What have you learned about the Parrish rental market?
Look for a response that demonstrates the property manager you’re talking to has a good understanding of the local trends and the tenant demands. You need someone who is knowledgeable and in touch with real estate and rental homes in your area. Their answer will also show you if they focus on vacation properties, long-term rentals, multi-family units, or everything in the residential market.
7. What sets you apart from other Parrish, FL property managers?
Every property manager you talk to will tell you about their extensive screening process and their on-time rental collections. Find out what makes them different. How do they manage your property differently, and what do they offer that other companies can’t? That’s where the real value can be found.
Think about the Services You Need
You can work with a full-service property management team or you can hire property managers simply to help with the marketing, leasing, and screening. Think about what you need. If you don’t know much about property management and you want someone else to take care of every detail, full-service management is likely for you. It will include:
- Rent collection
- Lease enforcement
- Maintenance coordination
- Property management accounting
- Tenant relationships
- Security deposit collection and return
- Legal compliance
If you think you can handle the general day-to-day functions of collecting rent, talking to tenants, and maintaining your property but you’re not sure how to find a tenant, leasing services may be all you require.
Contact us at Anchor Down Real Estate and Rentals when you’re ready to begin your property management journey. We have a great record of success leasing, managing, and maintaining Parrish rental properties, and we’d love to tell you more about it.