How would you go about finding a part time reliable property manager? where are the best places to look to find someone that wont steal you?
@Jacob G. Why do you want someone who is part time? What makes you think part time is better than full time? Property Managers by default are thieves. I sold my long distance properties, because of the fact that after struggling for 2 yrs, I couldn't find a PM who does half as good a job as I do managing my own properties. I got tired of firing old, and hiring new PMs...
@Chinmay J. - only need part time atm
You can always ask for references. Make sure you know what's included in the fees (and if there are any added-on fees for additional services).
Everyone here will have different opinions about hiring a property manager, but really, it depends on your needs. Full service is different from someone who is just there to collect rent and handle maintenance.
People get bad tenants because they don't know how to screen or they fail to screen. The same goes for people that can't find good property managers in decent-sized towns. There are a ton of good property managers in Tampa; if you can't find one, it's because you're not looking.
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!