Hi BP community!
I began my RE career by house-hacking two multi family properties near Boston (Malden & Saugus). I've self managed the properties to this point (it's been 1.5 years) and have learned a TON. However, I would like some of my time back and want to hire a high quality property manager to handle tenant inquiries, rent collection, repair management, general maintenance, etc.
Does anyone have a recommendation for a property manager that does a great job and that might be interested in taking on my properties?
I normally recommend you start by searching for a NARPM member but I don't see any in Boston. I also couldn't find any for Memphis so I wonder if their site is having problems. Anyway, I hope the guide below helps.
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 addendums. 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 or problem tenants. 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.
I hope this basic guide helps. If you have specific questions about property management, I'll be happy to help!
Hey @Eric Rosiello We are pretty close to one another, and I grew up in the Lynn / Saugus area, now living in Winthrop. I was in a similar boat as you, but then since I was managing so well my friends started asking if I would manage their stuff as well, and so I have! Im available to chat with you at any time, not a huge company but am super local to you. Let me know if you want to chat more.
Thanks so much for the advice. This is extremely helpful.
Check out NARPM.org and search your area, they are typically better educated and more professional.
@Jason Muth Thanks Jason for the kind words! Always appreciated.
@Eric Rosiello A lot of good comments thus far when looking for quality management for your properties. A couple things I might add when searching and vetting out managers,
1. Referrals, ask to get a list of owners with similar property types and location as yours
2. Standard Operating Procedures: Do they have them and what are they? Can they show you a couple examples? Good management companies will have them and its key to having consistent service.
3. How many properties do they have in the town/city your property is in? Do they have preferred vendors and discounted rates setup?
4. Ask local investors who they use for management and if they're happy with the service. That's how we find new vendors and I would do the same with management.
Thanks everyone for your responses! I believe I've gotten back to everyone on the thread and have also contacted several PMs on NARPM. I could not be more appreciative for the input from the community.
I plan to schedule calls with PMs for next week, so if there are any further recommendations please don't hesitate to respond on the thread or message me separately.
@Rob L (via James E.)
@Eric Rosiello Awesome post, very helpful! I'm curious who you ended up going with if you are willing to share?
I went with @Rob L. at Four Points Property Management. My experience with Rob and 4P has been excellent thus far. Feel free to PM me with any questions!