I currently have a townhouse in Fort Collins, CO and I live in Denver. I have had the same renters for the past 5-6 years and I have been self managing it. The tenants are now talking about moving out at the end of their lease. I am considering hiring a property management company to take over the property now. Does any one have any suggestions/referrals for good property management companies in Fort Collins? Thanks
You can start by going to www.narpm.org and 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.
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!
@Nicholas Denning , I have been using Henderson Property Management for three separate houses over a single lease term for each one (one year). When I first signed on with them they had a rockstar property manager named Jessica Brunk she was amazing in every aspect. However, the company has very recently undergone some internal restructuring and Jessica is no longer with them. Since the restructuring, I am not happy with their service. Here's why:
The new manager has a generic email address and I don't actually know who I am talking to.
It seems like the new company structure hes left my new manager with way more work load than she can handle, which isn't to say anything bad about her but it makes me question if I should keep my business with them.
Communication is slower, usually within 48 hours but sometimes the conversation just dies and I have to remind her that I still had an unanswered question.
There are things that should be communicated to me before they happen but I don't hear a word until afterward. ie lease renewals (kind of a big deal).
They charge 11% for a single property and discount that by one percent for each additional house and the discounted rate is applied to all properties. So, I have three houses and I pay 9%. They are expensive.
On the plus side, they have a huge marketing machine and I feel very comfortable that they will have enough potential renters looking at the property that it will be rented with little to no vacancy. Luckily, these houses are all new-ish and they are basically maintenance free for now, otherwise I would need more attention and I don't think that Henderson would provide the service that that would be needed.
Instead of renewing my contract with them, I am considering paying them just to lease it out and managing it myself from there. I am going to start looking at other property management companies right now and I will start with Stegner Property Management.
Thank you @Nathan G. and @Marshall Easlick for the great information. I will definitely have to check out narpm.org. I will also be contacting Henderson Property Management. Another option I am weighing is Renter's Warehouse. I am using them for a rental I have in Denver and have been pretty happy with them so far. The biggest advantage would be lowering their monthly fee by having 2 properties under management with them. I have a few months before the lease is up, so I have some time to research. Thanks
One more thing, Nicholas. I spoke with AllCounty yesterday and they seem like a great company, too. They have one office in Fort Collins and one in Boulder.
Nicholas, just another follow up. I just spoke with Jim Stegner of Stegner Property Management in Fort Collins and out of three that I have mentioned so far, I would go with his company. Good luck!
The Fort Collins based investor club, NCREIG, did a almost 2 hour class in Fort Collins on how to select and manage your property manager last year. It is the class from Aug 30, 2017 on the podcast and has a ton of info on how to select a local property managers and then, once you have one, how to manage the property manager as well.
Try searching on NARPM.org