Property management companies are not all the same. Most provide tenant selection, repairs, and maintenance, rent collection, and assistance with evictions. Some firms are trustworthy, others are not. Some do a good job of maintenance and repair of your real estate and keep the unit(s) filled with high-quality tenants. A few have high vacancy rates, are poor communicators, and allow the property to degrade, lowering your property value. Finding the right property management company for your needs is an important task. Follow the tips below to discover how to choose a property management company and find the firm that is right for you.
- Get referrals from your real estate agent, friends, family, and/or coworkers. Make a shortlist of three or four companies.
- Do your research: Study these property management companies, examining online comments, reviews, and complaints. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Learn about the regulations for property management firms in your province and ensure that the company(s) you are considering meet them.
- Explore their websites: Is it easy to find the rentals list? Can you log in to view statements regarding your account? Is the website clear and easy to navigate? Does it present as impressive to potential tenants?
- Ask for references: Customer reviews, testimonials and references illuminate the level of service provided. Ask the company to furnish references. Contact and talk to the references. Drive by the properties.
- Determine how long the companies have been in business. Longevity is an important factor as it’s related to experience and knowledge of your community’s legal, accounting, emergency response, and maintenance issues. A firm that has been in business for a long time will know how to handle problems if they arise.
- Determine how many properties each company manages: A firm with a smaller portfolio may offer more personalized service and be available when you need it. Larger companies often have more staff and resources, allowing them to provide quality service. You’ll need to decide what’s important to you.
- Inquire regarding availability: You’ll want a company that can respond quickly and make fast, effective decisions. Look for a variety of contact methods (email, phone, messaging, community portal). Are there regularly scheduled communications (monthly reports and/or statements)? Is the company available 24/7?
- Ask how advertising and vacancies are handled: Where and how does the company advertise vacant properties (signs, newspapers, websites, etc.)? Inquire about the average length of time it takes to find a tenant. Check out the type of structures each company handles (single-family homes, duplexes, vacation rentals, apartments, condos, mobile homes, gated communities, etc.)
- Ask how maintenance is handled: What procedures are in place in regard to emergency issues and maintenance? Are their maintenance solutions cost-effective? Is there a retainer for emergency repairs?
- Review their contracts: Thoroughly read the contracts, paying attention to the services included. How long does the contract last? How much notice is required for termination? Are there penalties/fees for early exit? Are there benefits to renewing? When and how will you receive rent? What eviction procedures are used? Consider having your lawyer review the contract. If possible, negotiate terms.
- Learn about their fee schedule: What do they charge for their services (monthly fee, placement fee, retainer)? Is the information regarding costs transparent? Is the fee structure inclusive or are there additional costs for special services? Are marketing costs separate? Do you pay fees on unoccupied properties? Ask questions for clarification.
- Compare the information gleaned about each company on your shortlist to assist in choosing a property management company that is right for you.
Though the process of finding and retaining a property management company may seem complex, it’s crucial that you find a trustworthy firm that meets your individual needs. It’s worth the investment of time and effort to find a company you can rely on for many years.
Are you looking for an efficient, effective residential property management company? GIL Property Management & Sales Ltd. is a trusted residential real estate partner. We support the success of your rental property(s) by paying attention to details. Our two levels of service packages allow you to determine how much help you require, customizing assistance that meets your unique needs. We provide exceptional service! Contact us today!