How long do you give an agent to get back to you with workable properties? Is it too much to ask who they like to work with for a Mortgage Company? Asking about property management companies in the area? Am I asking for too much help? I don't need help finding a Mortgage Company to go through, but David Greene recommends this so I thought I would try it, but I felt so needy asking, because I do need help finding a property management company. I've called several but they are further away than google lead me to believe, or they just don't do residential.
Finding a good property management company can be tough, but it's worth the effort. You don't want to buy property and then find out you can't locate a reliable manager! Find the manager first and they can help you evaluate properties to purchase because it's going to help them grow their business.
You can start by going to www.narpm.org to search their directory of managers. These are professionals with additional training and a stricter code of ethics. It's no guarantee but it's a good place to start. Regardless of how you find them, try to interview at least three managers
1. Ask how many units they manage and how much experience they have. If it's a larger organization, feel free to inquire about their different staff qualifications.
2. Review their management agreement. Make sure it explicitly explains the process for termination if you are unhappy with their services, but especially if they violate the terms of your agreement.
3. Understand the fees involved and calculate the total cost for an entire year of management so you can compare the different managers. It may sound nice to pay a 5% management fee but the extra fees can add up to be more than the other company that charges 10% with no add-on fees. Fees should be clearly stated, easy to understand, and justifiable. If you ask the manager to justify a fee and he starts hemming and hawing, move on or require them to remove the fee. Don't be afraid to negotiate!
4. Review their lease agreement and addenda. Think of all the things that could go wrong and see if the lease addresses them: unauthorized pets or tenants, early termination, security deposit, lease violations, late rent, eviction, lawn maintenance, parking, etc.
5. Don't just read the lease! Ask the manager to explain their process for dealing with maintenance, late rent, evictions, turnover, etc. If they are professional, they can explain this quickly and easily. If they are VERY professional, they will have their processes in writing as verification that it is enforced equally and fairly by their entire staff.
6. Ask to speak with some of their current owners and current/former tenants. You can also check their reviews online at Google, Facebook, or Yelp. Just remember: most negative reviews are written by problematic tenants. The fact they are complaining online might be an indication the property manager dealt with them properly so be sure to ask the manager for their side of the story.
7. Look at their marketing strategy. Are they doing everything they can to expose properties to the widest possible market? Are their listings detailed with good quality photos? Can they prove how long it takes to rent a vacant property?
This isn't inclusive but should give you a good start. If you have specific questions about property management, I'll be happy to help!
Maybe you need a whole new team in general. If they aren't willing to help you, you might want to consider a different market. Let me know if you need some help. :)
There isn't a hard answer on how long to allow an agent to get back to you with workable properties. In starting out, I used to think my team meant having just one broker. This is a myth to some out there and I realized that you should have multiple ways to gain leads from brokers. Talk to many different ones. There isn't just one that has all the deals - makes sense right? They too, don't have just one client, so even if they do get a good deal, they are likely to give it to the most productive client and the one that will most likely close. Therefore, have multiple ways to get leads and answers.
As far as asking questions, the broker or any professional should be willing and able to answer those questions for you. If they don't, then move on. As a broker, I have to provide options, so don't be surprised if the question isn't answered directly, but with a couple people that we might suggest you call and interview.