Hope this finds everyone well. Does anyone have a good property manager in the Huntsville, AL area? I had previously been told AHI Properties was good. However I've left them two voicemails and 3 emails to zero response. So wanted to consider other options.
Hey Adam! I don't have any specific recommendations for you, but here are some steps you can take and things to look for as you vet potential property managers!
Of course the management company you're looking for will need to be in the same area as your investment property, so do a Google search on management companies nearby. Remember, the first one is not always the best one, just because a company pays to be at the top of the listings, does not automatically mean that they're the best fit for you!
2. Response Time
If you are unable to get a timely response via email or phone from a property management company, this is likely how they'll treat you down the line, and how they treat tenants and prospects as well, keep looking for a company that will be quick to respond!
Contact a few management companies and ask what their associated costs are, below are some good costs to know and what to ask:
- Management fee | typically a percentage, ask whether it's based on charged rent or collected rent. Often the percentage will lower if you have multiple properties, so ask them if that's the case if you are thinking of doing more investing in this area
- Maintenance costs | ask for an hourly rate for general maintenance, any routine maintenance that you should be aware of, and if they have an in-house maintenance team or if they use third party maintenance. If they use third party, try and find out what they charge on top of any vendor bills that come through
- Placement fee | placement fees are charged when a new tenant is found and placed into the property. These fees can vary from a flat fee to a percentage of the rental amount.
- Renewal fee | when a current tenant renews, the property management company still has a significant amount of work tied up into this renewal, so often they will charge a fee or percentage for a renewal. It can be the same amount or lower than the Placement fee.
- Miscellaneous Fees | What do they charge for pets? Do you receive that fee or do they keep a portion of it? Do they charge a cleaning fee? What portion of that fee is coming to you? Utility charge? Late Fees? Make sure that you know where the money goes once it's received from the tenant.
You'll want to see what kind of capabilities the property management company has for providing your investment's information, how will you get financial data, vacancy data, and maintenance data? Several management companies are able to automate specific reports and will work with you on what you'd like to see and how often you'd like them to send this data, other companies may have an online portal designed for investors so you have all of that information at the tip of your fingers at all times.
Of course it's wonderful if the property management company has excellent reviews by both tenants and investors on Google and Facebook and other venues, however keep in mind that in property management, there are going to be a number of upset tenants. Whether it's losing a security deposit (most of the time rightfully so), or a late charge being added to their account, or a maintenance request that wasn't dealt with immediately, etc..., these are often arbitrary personal opinions that should not reflect poorly on the entirety of the management company.
6. Property Management Company
Ask the property manager what sets them apart from other companies in the area, how long have they been in business? How many units do they have under management? What is their typical turn-around time? What is their current vacancy rate? How do they market their units?
Check out the management company's website, is it user friendly? Would potential tenants be able to navigate the site with ease?
8. Property Classes
Is your property a B class property? A? C? Check out the other properties that are under management of the company you're vetting, see if they're in the same class as yours. Most management companies will manage a couple of different classes, however if you are seeing class C-D properties on their website, and your property is in class A, you may want to keep looking. It is important to ensure that the management company knows how to manage properties in the class yours is in, and that they're able to get the highest rental amount possible.
9. Management Contract
See if you can secure a copy of a blank management contract, find out how long their contract term is, are you going to be signing up for a year? A month? Do they offer trial periods? What is the minimum reserve required per unit? Go through the contract thoroughly, make sure that you agree with what you're signing up for!
In conclusion, there are many factors to finding the right property management company, the key is to do your research, make the calls, and to go with the company you think will be the best fit for you and your investment!
Rosenblum Realty has an overall good reputation here. I personally think the only good PM is yourself, but it looks like you're doing a distance play here.
@Adam Rey Although I self manage my properties here in Huntsville, I have heard good things about Dennis Norton with Rocket City Property Management.
@Adam Rey I'll 2nd what Tim said.
I personally use Independence Realty. I've used them for a year, and so far they have been good. Whenever a repair is required, they have a very fast system in place help expedite it.
It has been about a year since the last post on this thread. Are you guys still happy with your property managers? Specifically those below?
Dennis Norton with Rocket City Property Management
Astro Property Management
Home South (Matt Curtis Real Estate)
@Josiah Halverson , came across this thread and also this BBB page re: Dennis Norton.
Looks like there are complaints. Reading into the company's response, it may have been taken care of. But take what you will from the article.
@Kay Jay thanks, Kay! Any other advice/reccs for property managers?