What kind of things should an owner look for in a prospective property management firm?

In Property Management - Asked by Todd M. - Feb 6, 2012
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john i.
Houston, TX

Common sense. Judgement. Work ethics.

Feb 7, 2012
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Jeff G.
Houston, TX

stay away from management co if you can i have a apt complex i run myself if your in the houston area give me a call ill be ready to run another place tks jersey mike 281 338 6512

Feb 7, 2012
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Loren A.
Denver, CO

My advice is to focus on establishing a personal relationship that you feel comfortable with. Are you dealing with a PM "sales rep" or actually the person who will manage your property? Are they experienced in landlord and tenant laws and regulations? Do they manage so many properties that it is difficult to get personal attention? Are the fees charged reasonable and competitive?
We have managed up to 12 properties at a time with the largest being 40 units. The integrity and trustworthiness of the relationship is what makes it work.

Feb 7, 2012
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Tayyar E.
La Jolla, CA

The owners should look at the properties managed by the property management company and visit them. If the way the properties managed looked gives you the comfort then look at the management company exposure in the market location . If the management company is active in the neigbourhood ,then its a second good sign that they will be visting property more often. The third thing to look at the reports they provide and the fees they charge in addition to the property management fees. Finally meet the person who will be running your property to see if you are comfortable with as you are going to be turning over management of your business.

Feb 22, 2012
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Chris R.
Denton, TX

Interview several that offer services for the type of property you have need for management. Inquire as to their expertise, experience, credentials. Ask for references. Review their policies and procedures. Review the monthly report that they offer to see if it is acceptable to you. Determine the size of their management porfolio and the number of property managers and other personnel that they have to service your property. See if any of their folks are "credentialed" - ie: CPM - Certified Property Manager - or other suitable professional designation. Ask for some of the properties they manage similar to yours - and go look at them. Likely how they look is how you can expect yours to look. Talk to owners of similar properties and see how the service they receive compares with your expectations. Make sure they are properly licensed as required by the state they are in.

Mar 15, 2012
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Dawn S.
Spring, TX

How To Find The Right Property Manager
Making the decision to enlist the help of a property manager in maintaining your business or commercial property is a great first step, but the actual hiring process can be intimidating to veteran investors and first time owners alike. It?s important to hire a property manager that you feel comfortable with- and that includes aspects such as management style, industry experience, and cost.
Outline Your Objectives

The first thing you should do is determine exactly what you are expecting the property manager to do. It doesn?t matter if you have the jargon exactly right, but be as specific as possible in regards to what tasks need to be performed and what the duties will be. You may choose to do this step before you even approach a management company about the position, or you may feel more comfortable using the company or potential property manager as a resource in specifying these duties. Some things you will want to consider include the process for securing tenants, collecting monthly rent payments, eviction (if necessary), tenant disputes, maintenance and repairs.
Do Your Homework

Research the potential management company or property manager to find out as much information about them as you can. Start with the company?s website, as well as using internet search engines to yield any newsworthy items. Feel free to ask friends or fellow investors about their experience with property managers and for recommendations and contacts. Come up with a list of questions to use when meeting with a potential property manager, which are a combination of general industry questions and requirements as well as items specific to your property and expectations.
Questions For The Property Manager

There are going to be many items that will be important to consider when it comes to a property manager, some of which include: How much experience does he/she have in property management? What insurance, state licenses and credentials does the property manager have? Does he/she have experience in complying with housing regulations (such as the Americans with Disabilities Act)? Does he/she have proper qualifications and knowledge to handle booking and accounting information? What expenditures will be included in the property manager?s fee (such as advertisements for vacant properties)?
Know The Cost Structure
When it comes to the cost of employing a property manager, most fees are determined by a combination of property location, number of properties involved in management, and the services that will be performed on behalf of the manager. Some property managers charge a flat monthly rate, while others operate on a percentage of the property?s rent. Be sure that you are completely clear on the property manager?s cost structure, and that you and the property manager agree in advance on the financial treatment of any additional services.
Make It Official

Talk with a qualified attorney, as well as the property manager, to discuss safeguards that will protect you from misuse of funds and embezzlement. It?s important to sign a written agreement on all terms you have settled on with the property manager before any services take place. The paperwork should include the length of time that the property manager will be employed, including a date for renewal, as well as contingencies for a breach in contract.

Mar 19, 2012
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Michael J. T.
Brooklyn Park, MN

I run a successful property management business in Minnesota. I would have to say the biggest thing I have found working on the front lines of major renovations and lease ups is that the following is key.
1. Track Record - A company should be able to show results, not tell you what they could do.
2. Financial Consistency - Book keeping and overall finacial records are critical. Make sure they have a solid system and qualified people in place.
3. Marketing, marketing, marketing - If you read the book the "E-Myth" you will see that it focuses on having a marketing manager as a key point of any business success. Our company uses every marketing edge possible to fill vacancies fast. That is what has helped us build a tremdous track record. There is not a more expensive expense than an avoidable vacancy.

May 19, 2012
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