Brought to you by Evernest:
There are hundreds of property management companies to choose from, but not all of them are reliable and trustworthy. This seems to be the case in most industries, but gambling with your property isn’t worth it.
Finding a reliable property management company that you can trust is critical to prevent unsatisfactory service and even potential legal issues. So how can you find a reliable property management company to trust with your property? What are the benchmarks to look out for in this journey?
Schedule a Meeting
Old school folk usually say, “you can never truly trust someone until you’ve stared them in the eyes and shook their hand.” This is true when you’re looking for a reliable property management company to trust with your property. Although most business operations are conducted virtually nowadays, you shouldn’t sign legally binding documentation until you’ve had a sit-down meeting.
Since the real estate industry is so lucrative, some untrustworthy individuals scam property owners. Establishing an in-person relationship is the first step before signing your property to be managed by any property manager. For example, you can meet with Atlanta property managers at your convenience to discuss the services Evernest, Mynd, Excalibur, or PMI Georgia offer. Taking this precaution will prevent you from being a victim of online scams proliferating the real estate industry.
Review the Legal Documents
Each property management company will have a set of legal documents for you to sign, including a Service Level Agreement. Ensure that the terms of that agreement are clearly defined and explained to you with legal representation present. The terms of that Service Level Agreement should be consistent with the vision and aspirations you have for your property. Ensure that you’re aware of the extent of alterations, maintenance, and renovations that the property manager can conduct.
Although property managers should take up the bulk of the workload, they should not have the latitude to make unilateral decisions. Be open and ask questions regarding any points you don’t fully understand on the agreement so you’re sure you sign something you fully understand.
Also, review the lease agreements used for tenants sourced and found by the property manager. Be in complete understanding before signing any binding legal documentation with the property manager.
Assess the Tenant Screening Procedure
Depending on the type of property you’re renting out, it could be best to have a strict tenant screening procedure attached to the onboarding phase. To get higher sales, some property managers could conceal their screening procedure. This could be because it’s lenient and has loopholes leading to tenant problems. The tenants should meet the standards of your property to prevent any potential problems and differences.
Most importantly, the tenants should meet the affordability criteria of the property you’re renting out. You can use various methods to determine whether or not a tenant is a good fit. For example, the use of application forms and credit checks can help find the best fit. Also, assess if the property management company has an established watertight screening procedure for potential tenants interested in living in your building.
Request a Comprehensive Services Proposal
If you’re satisfied with the legitimacy of the property manager and all your legal concerns have been addressed, it’s time to assess their services. Each property manager could be offering varying services with different pros and cons. For example, some property management companies might provide cosmetic services such as landscaping. In comparison, others could focus extensively on maintaining the main building elements such as plumbing, electrical, and HVAC.
Other property management companies could be limited to building maintenance and security. The latter does not offer business-related services such as collecting rent and managing relationships with tenants. The service package you choose is up to your requirements but getting a comprehensive package is the best option. Request a services proposal that lays out all the costs to avoid any hidden expenses you might incur once you’ve begun using the property manager.
Get Credible Reviews
Hearing what others say about property management companies can guide landlords to make the best decision. You can search for credible reviews by looking for online testimonials and even word-of-mouth opinions. If you know of any property owners, anonymously inquire about the management company you’re considering.
This means networking with other property owners is essential and can help you find the best manager. There are also third-party rating websites such as Hellopeter that you can use to get credible and honest reviews. Utilize every tool at your disposal to confirm if the management company is indeed what they claim to be. Then, if you’re satisfied with the results of your research, start negotiating with the property manager and get the best quote.