The benefits to renting your property are numerous. It can be a great source of income. You can build equity in your home without paying for it. You can take care of the mortgage payment on a home you aren’t ready to sell, so that you can move into a home that better meets your needs.
The downside is that when you are renting your property, you are required to keep up with maintenance and repairs for a home you do not live in. Sometimes tenants are hard to deal with and take advantage of you if they think they can. In these cases, hiring a property management company to take care of renting your property is a good idea. Finding the right real estate management company for managing your property is essential. Make sure you ask the following questions before hiring a solution:
- How many other properties (or units) does your company manage?
This question should be followed by inquiring how many employees do they have to meet the needs of the renters? There are more than 109 million families who rent the home they live in in the United States, while there are 708,923 employees in the property management industry. Some rental properties are managed by the owner, but a majority are managed by a very lean amount of property managers.
Studies suggest that the ideal ratio for rental units to property managers is 30 to 40 units per manager. If the manager you’re considering already has a greater property load than that, they may not be able to be as responsive as you would want to maintain happy tenants. If you want your tenants to have a high level of attention, (for example, perhaps you need help managing your resort property) you’ll want a much lower manager to unit ratio.
- How often do you conduct routine inspections of the homes you manage?
Not every property manager feels that it is within the scope of their duties to conduct inspections unless there is a move-in or move-out. However, many times, critical repairs could go unnoticed or unreported by the tenant until they become a crisis. The roof was missing shingles that could have easily been replaced, but now there is massive water damage to the structure because it wasn’t caught in time. A small amount of mold in the bathroom could have been treated, but because it was missed, the entire shower will have to be replaced. The horror stories go on and on.
The bottom line is, if you find a property manager who conducts property inspections every six months (or a reasonable time frame) to catch necessary repairs, this is a good indication that you should hire them.
- What tenant management system do you use to manage the paperwork of your property?
You want to know that the management company your considering has a management tool for keeping record of payments, repairs, tenant issues, and added costs. Second of all, make sure that you are given a sample report and that you find adequately captures your expectations. If the company doesn’t use a tenant management system or doesn’t allow you to see reports from it, you may want move alone.