The right stuff: finding a great property manager
Finding – and hiring – a great property manager takes some effort, but it is time well spent.
A good property manager lightens the load and reduces stress for residential and commercial property owners. The property manager’s job is to assist the landlord with a variety of tasks and responsibilities from collecting rent to handling maintenance issues. A trusted property manager is necessary when a property owner lives out of the area.
Where should you look to find a great property manager?
- Ask several sources for their recommendation. Realtors, the Internet, business associates and other property owners all can be sources for names of potential property owners.
- Do not rely on one referral. Check reviews online, however, always interview potential property managers before moving forward. Just because one reviewer had an excellent review does not mean the property manager is the best fit – or in the case of a poor experience, that the property manager should be discounted. Always interview potential managers, even property management firms with 5-star reviews.
What interview questions should be posed to potential property managers?
- First and foremost, you want to ask them how many properties they are managing currently. Other questions to ask include: How many properties have they managed previously? What types of properties have they managed? And, ask yourself if these properties are similar to the ones that you own.
- A good property manager is aware of the latest trends and regulations. Typically, property managers complete professional education courses to stay informed. What is their knowledge of state real estate laws and local rules and regulations? How do they stay on top of these new laws, ordinances and regulations?
- One of the biggest headaches for property owners are vacancies. Be sure to ask potential candidates how they handle vacancies, including how they market vacancies.
- Do they use specific software or technology to assist with the property management efficiency such as tracking leases, maintenance reports, work orders and owner and client communication?
- How do they monitor the competition to stay abreast of rental rates, amenities and how the property can be improved?
- How are the fees handled? Some property managers fees are based on the number of actual doors they handle while others charge for vacant space.
What qualities are important for a property manager to possess?
- Great customer service skills
- Can handle complaints and stressful situations with grace
- If a candidate does not have direct property management experience, be sure that they have some sales or customer service experience, and they are someone who can track down late rental payments
- Ability to be patient at times and assertive at other times while being professional
- Able to get along well with residents, contractors and others in a kind but firm manner—especially when dealing with sensitive business matters
- Treat others with respect
- Excellent communication skills: strong writing skills and able to speak in a professional manner
- Clearly communicate and able to resolve disputes
- Able to multi-task and be highly organized
Murfey Company has a strong property management team who adheres to the highest professional standards. For more information, visit www.murfeycompany.com.
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