What is the “best” property management company in the world?
Does one exist?
What would make for a perfect property management company? Other than one who pays you the rental income every month even when there are repairs and vacancies of course. Ha, I wish!
I’ve written a lot of articles on property management and things to look for and avoid and other tips, as have other writers, and even better than our articles are the comments those articles have triggered by the readers who have been able to contribute a lot of helpful insight. A lot of people have mentioned really good traits that a good property management company exhibits and a lot of suggestions as to ones they would like for them to exhibit. I’d like to consolidate all of those ideas. The reason for this is two-fold:
- Investors can use this list as guidance for things to look for (or avoid) with property managers on their own properties.
- Maybe a highly motivated reader will be able to take our newly established ‘perfect property management company business model’ and convert it into an actual business plan that could completely revamp the entire property management industry. I know there would be a lot of excited rental property owners if that happened! I know I would love to see a franchised property management company out there who is extremely reliable. I think there is a lot of room for this to feasibly happen! I’m not one to do it, but maybe somebody is and the information here will help with that creation.
Nothing gets under my skin more than a property manager who doesn’t communicate well or easily with me.
Either they don’t tell me when something happens to the property out of the ordinary or when something is going on, it requires me having to reach out to them to find out the status. I think a perfect property management company would have flawless communication with owners. They are always accessible, if something is going on they provide immediate updates with any new information, and they occasionally just reach out and say hello and let me know everything is going okay and maybe update me if we are nearing anyone’s lease running out and what the status of that is. The occasional reach out is far from required and likely not practical from a manager with a ton of properties, but couldn’t hurt if it was an option. But most definitely, regular communication about irregular events is critical. For example-
- Notice of late or missing payment, if it’s going to affect my month’s statement
- Repairs done on the property, even if they didn’t require my approval
- Calls immediately following a tenant’s court date to let me know what happened
- Tenants walking out on the property, likely with my appliances, and the house being put back on the rental market (I know that one from experience… I didn’t find out that happened in one of my properties until two months later when I was bored one day and looked up the Zillow values of my properties only to see one listed For Rent.)
Another thing I would require out of a perfect property management company, related to communication, is statements that I can actually read. I can’t tell you how many property management software program statements are completely unreadable in my opinion. Either they use weird negative signs that would suggest an expense but they really mean income, or the order of the line items and the consequential math makes no sense, or I really don’t know what goes on with those statements but I can rarely understand them. I have a degree in Engineering, I feel like if anyone should be able to read a spreadsheet with numbers, I should and those things just baffle me.
I’ve got the list started. Now it’s your turn to add to it. I want input about procedures relating to:
- Tenant screening and placement
- Tenant management
- Tenant sustainment
- Tenant eviction
- Anything else related to property management that is key
We are going to create a template for the business model for The Best Property Management Company in the World.
What are the must-haves and the must-have nots that make up the world’s most perfect property management company?