I may have an opportunity to purchase a 2-family duplex from a relative in Watervliet, NY. Since it would be remote I would be interested in finding a local property management company that is reliable and competent. In my online searches I have not found much. I am wondering if any of you investors in the Watervliet/Troy area of upstate NY have found a reliable property manager?
In our experience, the #1 mistake owners make when selecting a Property Management Company (PMC) is ASSUMING instead of CONFIRMING.
It's often a case of not doing enough research, as they don't know what they don't know!
Owners mistakenly ASSUME all PMCs offer the exact SAME SERVICES and PERFORM those services EXACTLY THE SAME WAY, so price is the only differentiator.
So, the first question they usually ask a PMC is about fees - instead of asking about services and HOW those services are executed.
EXAMPLE: PMC states they will handle tenant screening – what does that specifically mean? What documents do they require, what credit scores do they allow, how do they verify previous rental history, etc.? You’d be shocked by how little actual screening many PMC’s do!
This also leads owners to ASSUME simpler is better when it comes to management contracts.
The reality is the opposite - if it's not in writing then the PMC doesn't have to provide the service or can charge extra for it!
We have a 14-page management contract that we've added our real experiences to over the years, with the intent of protecting both us AND the landlord. Beyond the Monthly Management, Placement & Maintenance fees, all other fees in our contract are IF EVENT -> THEN fees.
We don’t know any PMCs to recommend in the area mentioned, but since selecting the wrong PMC is usually more harmful than selecting a bad tenant, you might want to read our series about “How to Screen a PMC Better than a Tenant”:
We recommend you get management contracts from several PMCs and compare the services they cover and, more importantly, what they each DO NOT cover.
EDUCATE YOURSELF - yes, it will take time, but will lead to a selection that better meets your expectations & avoids potentially costly surprises!
P.S. If you just hire the cheapest or first PMC you speak with and it turns into a bad experience, please don’t assume ALL PMC’s are bad and start trashing PMC’s in general. Take ownership of your mistake and learn to do the proper due diligence recommended above😊
Full disclosure, I've not invested YET so I have not worked with these two companies, but I've just spoken with both, both seemed professional, and either may be a good option for you.
- Real Capital Group Property Management
- Principles Realty Group
Both operate in the Capital Region that Watervliet is part of. Hope they turn out to be good options.