Finding a partner in property management can be difficult, considering that there are so many property management companies in Fort Lauderdale. But not to worry – we’re here to help. In this article, we’ve rounded up the top tips to narrow down your choices to only the best of the best.
#1 Identify Your Needs
Property management typically comes in two types: partial and full-service. The type of services you’ll avail yourself of will depend on how involved you want to be (that is, if you want to be involved at all). With partial property management, your property manager will only oversee some parts, such as tenant screening, tenant placement, and so on. You’ll still have a role in running your rental. Meanwhile, with full-service property management, your property manager takes care of everything. You’ll get to delegate your whole to-do list to your property manager, who’ll care for your property as if it were their own.
Who you want to partner with is a choice that only you can make, but it would be wise to pick full-service property management. Keep in mind that if you aren’t familiar with the market or if you’re a new rental property owner, it can be risky to run your rental by yourself.
#2 Ask for Referrals
Choosing a Fort Lauderdale property management company can be challenging, because how can you tell if you can trust them? They say they’re the “best”, but are they really? How will you be able to vet them when you’ve never worked with them?
That’s where your connections come in. Get recommendations from colleagues who’ve also partnered with a real estate investment management company. Or, if you purchased your property with the help of a real estate agent, ask them if they can connect you to a good property manager.
Don’t forget to dig deep into their experience with their Fort Lauderdale property management company. Be sure to ask what they like and don’t like about them. Ask if they collect rent on time, maintain constant communication, and what their fee structure looks like. Finally, do your due diligence by checking the company’s website – if you spot bad reviews or too many five-star reviews (chances are, they’re paid reviews), run fast and far.
#3 Always Meet With Potential Property Managers
Even if your colleague says they can vouch for the property manager, it’s always a good idea to meet with them first. It’s risky to work with a property manager whom you’ve never interviewed. Remember, what you see on their website may or may not be true, and what people tell you may or may not be the whole picture. An interview will allow you to collect more information so you can make an informed choice.
Don’t know what to ask? Here are some suggestions:
- How will you advertise my rental property? Will you post them online (on social media, listing sites, etc.)?
- How many properties are you currently managing? What types of properties are in your portfolio (single-family home, multi-family, etc.)? Where are these rental properties?
- How do you handle maintenance? How do tenants communicate their repair-related complaints to you? Have you partnered with vendors to handle repairs, and if so, who?
Be comfortable asking more questions – the more questions you ask, the clearer things will be. The interview is a great time to get a general “reading” of who they are and find out if they’re responsible and reliable.
#4 Ask About Their Vacancy Rates
A vacant property is a property that isn’t making any money, so you’ll want to make sure your property manager can fill vacancies fast. To find out of a company is up to the task, ask what their vacancy rates are. The vacancy rate contemplates the number of days that a property is empty over a certain period. For instance, a property that’s vacant for 10 days over a 365-day period would have a vacancy rate of 2.7 percent.
Obviously, it would be best to choose a company with a low vacancy rate. High vacancy rates might be a sign of poor property management, too steep rental rates, and so on. A trustworthy property management company will be transparent about their vacancy rates – however, if they don’t want to disclose it, that’s probably because it’s no good.
#5 Read Their Lease Agreements
If you’re going for full-service property management, that means your Fort Lauderdale property management company will prepare all of your future lease agreements for you. Be sure to read the lease agreements that they let the tenants under their management sign. As the property owner, you’ll want the best for your tenants, but if your manager’s terms are unreasonable, you might not be able to retain them. On the flip side, if their rules are too loose, you might end up dealing with late rent payments, property damage, and more.
For example, let’s say your property manager imposes a $100 pet fee on pet-owning tenants. The problem is that comparable properties in the vicinity have a pet fee of only $35. This too-steep price may drive away your prospective tenants.
If something doesn’t sit right with you and if they refuse to make changes, they might not be the best property management company for you. You should be comfortable with the way your property management company does things.
#6 Ask About Their Tech
Real estate can be competitive. If your property management company doesn’t use property management software, your property won’t stand a chance. Today’s tenants want the convenience of being able to do everything through a tenant portal, such as paying rent, communicating with property managers, and more. If prospective tenants won’t have access to those conveniences when they rent with you, chances are they’ll choose your competitors’ properties. Property managers and owners who use software simply have an advantage over those who don’t.
Besides, property management tools can streamline your day-to-day operations. You can store data in one place and download that data at any time. You’ll also be able to contact your property manager from the platform and maintain records of all tenant communications (this can be helpful in case of disputes!).
Looking for Fort Lauderdale Property Management Companies?
Be sure to start (and end!) your search with Luxury Property Care, an expert company that’s been providing full-service property management to Fort Lauderdale for years. By working with us, you’ll get to tick all of your boxes. We do it all, from screening tenants through our foolproof procedure to keeping them happy to get them to renew. We’ve managed a variety of property types, from small single-family homes to massive mansions. Whatever you need us to do, we can do it.