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Looking for a Property Management Company? Focus on These Traits.

5 miniature houses sitting on 5 piles of coins
A Great Property Management Company Can Help You Meet Your Investment Goals

A good property management company can make all the difference between your experience as an investment property owner being financially and personally rewarding or it being a seemingly-endless nightmare. This dichotomy escalates as the physical distance between you and your rental property grows. This reality makes excellent property management companies worth the effort to locate.

What traits should you focus on when you’re looking for a property management company? Here are 6 essentials:

1.    Excellent Communication

Healthy relationships—at any level—depend upon communication that’s clear, timely, and flows both directions. Get feedback from other clients, read reviews, listen to what the property management rep says about how communication is handled. Does everything you discover indicate that this company values good communication?

Then, address the issue of accessibility. Is this company accessible 24/7? If an emergency arises, can you—or a tenant--reach an actual person?  What response time does the company guarantee? Combined, these factors, create a picture of the company’s level of commitment to healthy communication. That’s critical, since complaints about communication top a recent list of reasons why people dislike their property management company.

2.    A Solid Pipeline of Service Providers

Finding talented and reliable vendors to make necessary repairs or perform routine maintenance has always been an essential part of a trustworthy property manager’s role. However, the pandemic and the resulting labor shortage heighten the importance of obtaining and maintaining service providers who consistently provide quality work efficiently.

This is particularly important if you’re considering employing a start-up company. The benefits of dealing with a start-up company that’s energetic, customer-focused, and attentive to detail will be overshadowed if repairs take forever and maintenance is neglected because of a shortage of service providers.

3.    Knowledgeable Leadership

You need knowledgeable leadership backed by a support team that understands everything from vetting possible tenants and handling finances ethically to marketing your property on social media outlets. Experience may provide much of that expertise, but no one can keep up with everything, especially in our technology-driven society. As you interview possible property management companies, be sure to inquire about the breadth and background of the leadership team.

4.    Procedures That Are Consistently Applied

It’s essential that a property management company establish standard guidelines for how things are done, who’s responsible for them, and when they need to be completed. However, companies that go beyond that standard to make sure the procedures are followed consistently rise to the top, because they treat everyone equitably—and can be transparent.

5.    Professionalism That Balances Firmness and Patience

You entrust your property to a property manager so that it will meet your investment goals. To meet those goals, the property manager you choose needs to understand the community your property is part of, interact well with existing tenants and service vendors, and maneuver the delicate area between firmness and patience when dealing with difficulties that will inevitably arise from time to time. Managing all of these things requires a level of professionalism that’s missing with some people.

6.    Ability to Think Outside the Box

When the inevitable thorny issue occurs, the best property managers demonstrate the ability to address it efficiently and creatively. They can function within established procedures, but still find a way to solve a problem that falls outside what is normal.

These 6 traits don’t encompass every aspect of what makes a property management company excel, but they provide a solid foundation. If you will commit to shopping around, talking to people who have used a company you’re considering, and carefully reading online reviews—particularly on sites other than the company’s site—you’ll be on firm footing as you interview potential companies.

At Walker’s Riverside Properties, we regularly deal with property management companies. Contact us if you need professional advice concerning property management or the purchase or sale of a home. We’d love to “Do the HOMEwork for You.”


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