If you buy a rental apartment in different state, you may find it quite difficult to manage the properly yourself. Even if the property is in your state or nearby your area, you would have several other responsibilities to handle other than taking care of your rental property.
That’s why you will need a reliable, responsible and skilled property manager to not only collect rent, but also handle day-to-day maintenance and tenant communication on your behalf. You may prefer using a property management software such as SimplifyEm if you are just concerned about collecting rent and paying for maintenance. Sometimes your tenants or neighbors may want to talk to the owner or authority to resolve an issue and you could use a person handle it all without your direct involvement.
The following are some steps that will help you to find the right property manager for your property:
Ask for References
One good way to evaluate the experience and reputation of any candidate is through referrals. Ask your family, neighbors or friends with rental properties to get some quality managers. Plus, check the state’s Real Estate Commission and the Better Business Bureau to find out some good managers and ensure that your prospective property manager is licensed and without issue. Shortlist candidates and interview each one of them.
First Impressions Matter
When you meet prospective candidates in person, keep eyes on their confidence level and body language. Check if the candidates are together and well-spoken. Ask questions about their experience, problems he or she faced in his career related with rent collections or tenant management. It is an added advantage if any candidate is tech-savvy and has used property management tools to speed up tasks and proper management. Even if you do not get such candidate during interview, then find out someone who is willing to learn as property management software such as SimplifyEm is easy to operate and a non technical person can operate it without any hassle.
Command Over Advertisement & Vacancies
To get tenants for your vacant rental home, he or she must know how to advertise vacant homes. Ask what kind of signs they put in front of the property and what media they choose to promote the property such as newspaper, website or anything else. Ask if he is managing or has managed any vacant homes and how.
Negotiate Contract Terms
After you finalize one candidate to hire, it is the time to negotiate terms of the contract. Both parties must read the owner/ Property manager agreement carefully and have a thorough discussion to ensure you both are on the same page. Make sure that you are able to communicate with your property manager via different ways such as email, phone, etc.
While checking, you need to ensure that the monthly fees as well as the leasing fee for placing a tenant are documented. You must have an idea about average fee in the area to know if the fees are too high or low. Define the notice period the property management has to terminate the relationship. You also have to give enough time to him or her to find a replacement in case you are firing.
Review the Manager’s Tenant Lease Agreement
Sit with your prospective property manager and ask how much of a security deposit is required of the tenant. Ask him how he calculated the proposed rent amount and also ask how the compares them to other properties. The rent should be good enough to get tenants else your property will remain vacant due to high charges. The agreement should also outline tenant’s responsibilities clearly.
Finding a trustworthy and professional property manager is not easy, but devoting some extra effort in the start will save you from headaches later on. You can bring transparency between you and your property manager by asking him to use a property management software for rent collection, maintenance and report generation. Ask him to provide you detailed financial report of each property so that you can track all transactions, income and expenses related to your rental property.