Working with an apartment manager should be a non-negotiable. Not only will they make your life a lot easier, but they can also reduce the risk that comes with such a massive investment. But how will you know who the best one is, considering how many management companies there are in the country? To make sure your property is managed properly, we unpack some of the most essential questions to ask when choosing a management company.
#1 What property management services do you offer?
There are two main types of property management services offered: partial and full-service. If you want to have a certain level of control over the day-to-day operations of your rental, your best bet is the former. Partial property management means you can delegate certain duties to your property manager, while you deal with the rest. For example, you could ask them to take care of tenant relations only (e.g. screening, rent collection, etc.) so you can be a bit involved.
Full-service property management allows you to give up all control. It is a great option for people who don’t have the time (or willingness) to manage their properties. Your dedicated agent will take care of everything for you from marketing to maintenance.
What type of service you need will depend on you, however, we recommend going for full-service property management. An apartment is a big responsibility, and you may not have the time to run it by yourself.
#2 How many properties are you managing?
Want to judge how well a property manager can manage your apartment? Ask how many properties they’re currently juggling. Too few properties could indicate they’re new to the industry, while too many could mean that they won’t be able to concentrate on yours. You have to find the “sweet spot” and choose a company that can efficiently handle its current workload. The property manager-to-client ratio should be reasonable – one property manager shouldn’t be handling more than 150 units (take note, units not properties).
#3 What types of properties have you managed?
You will want to choose a company that has experience with the type of property you own. After all, it would be risky to ask a company to manage your apartment when they’ve never managed apartments before. In general, the more property types they’ve managed, the more reliable they will be. When a property management company has a wide range, it shows that they have a vast knowledge of relevant laws, practices, etc.
You might not need all of their know-how right now, but who knows? Their experience will be valuable when you expand your portfolio to other property types.
Pro Tip: Not all property management companies provide luxury property management. Luxury apartments require more care than what an “ordinary” company can offer, so it’s crucial to ask if they can handle luxury properties.
#4 What’s your marketing strategy?
What kinds of platforms does the company use to market its properties? Do they stick solely with the MLS, or do they use social media as well? You’ll want to partner with a company that uses a variety of channels to advertise your property. That way, you can make sure your properties don’t stay on the market for too long.
Aside from multi-channel marketing, they should know where your target tenants are most likely to look for rentals. For example, if your property is best suited for “baby boomers”, they should post your property in newspapers, and follow up by phone call. Or, if your apartment is marketed toward students, your company should post it on social media sites because that’s where your market’s age group spends most of their time.
Don’t forget to choose a property manager who can write descriptions that capture your apartment’s charm. And remember – it’s a red flag when the company takes photos with their smartphones! A professional property management company will know how important it is to work with a photographer.
#5 Do you have a property maintenance plan?
An apartment management company that puts off maintenance will only put your property at risk. Failure to stay on top of maintenance can result in more costly repairs and tenant turnover (who’d want to stay in a poorly maintained apartment?).
To preserve your property’s value, avoid costly repairs, and retain tenants, you’ll need a solid maintenance plan. Allow your potential company to explain how they handle maintenance problems and whether or not they have a preventive maintenance plan. Also, ask them if they’ve partnered with vendors, and if so, who? Inquire as to whether or not they have a network of vetted vendors who can conduct last-minute maintenance requests.
#6 Will I have some control over the lease agreement?
It’s not uncommon for property management companies to prepare the lease agreement for you. However, if there are certain rules or clauses you want to be included, be sure to ask if you’ll be able to do this. A good property management company should aim to set terms that are tailored to you. For example, if you don’t want to allow subletting, you should be able to tweak your rental contract, even if your company’s standard contract allows it.
#7 How do you calculate the rent?
A good property manager wouldn’t merely guess the rental rate. To determine the ideal rental rate, a reputable property management firm should dig into market trends and the rates of comparable properties in the area. In addition, they should consider any special features your property may have, such as an indoor pool or smart systems, as these may warrant a rent increase.
Need an Apartment Management Company Near You?
When choosing a property management company, make sure to ask these – and more. In that way, you can rest assured you put your property in the hands of professionals.
Don’t waste your time Googling “apartment management companies near me”. If you require a partner in real estate, choose the experts at Luxury Property Care today. We’re sure to meet all of your criteria. Ring (561) 944 – 2992 or complete our contact form to discuss your property management needs today.