Sourcing Credible Property Managers

12 Replies

Curious to hear anyone’s perspective on the best ways to sourced credible property managers and companies for single family rental properties...

@David White I found mine from posts on BP.  You can start a post but be sure to include the location so members who have notifications setup for your area can get a ping about your post.

You should definitely call a few and speak with them since they all have different fee structures. 

Good Luck!

Originally posted by @David White :

Curious to hear anyone’s perspective on the best ways to sourced credible property managers and companies for single family rental properties...

Referrals and google reviews, 100%. Someone will inevitably come on here and recommend you search through NARPM, but keep in mind there are plenty of great PM companies who simply do not meet NARPMS membership requirements, and thus are ineligible to even apply. (Ask me how I know, lol). 

On the google reviews - give extra weight to reviews left by tenants over those left by clients of the property management company. Remember - your PM has two clients, you are one, and the tenant is the other...and the priority is not always in that order. Happy tenants mean no vacancy and no vacancy means you get 100% rent collection. One mo vacancy, some repairs and 1 mo filling fee will easily cost you over 20% of your POTENTIAL gross income. Scary. 

So if your property manager is keeping tenants very happy and clients happy, hire them. If they are only keeping clients happy and tenants are leaving negative reviews....well - expect high turnover costs, and vacancy. Run. 

Great question to ask while interviewing PMs - what's your covid rent collection rate? What are you doing to get that number up? 

If they don't have a plan (hint: they should) don't hire them. You want a go getter, not some guy sitting back in the corner office...

Just my .02! Arguably worth what you paid for it ;) 

 

@David White I think one of the best tools investors have is here in BP.  I totally believe in the google rating and reviews but adding to your post above something like "Who has had a good experience with a property manager in Atlanta?"  This should give you some exact replies or direction on who to start looking at.  If you get a name or two here, then compare those references to their on line reputation, that is a great start to reducing your risk.

Remember: cheaper doesn't mean you'll make more money.

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!

@David White   Hi David, I'm actually a past President of the Atlanta NARPM chapter and I can echo what others have said above as to expertise and professionalism of NARPM property managers. They really are the "major league" players in a world of farm league companies.

My company manages about 500 properties all over Atlanta including long term, short term and corporate rentals. Happy to assist in any way so give me a call.

@David White Hi David, to echo what Robert said, having been a part of NARPM and previously owning a PM company with over 2200 doors at one point, PM's that belong to NARPM certainly would be the bare minimum place to start.  You get what you pay for...beyond that, my opinion is that you need to evaluate what you want...PM's offer different services, fees and expectations of what you want need to align with their offerings.  Some owners want control, just the basics, and some want white glove, passive roles in management of their properties.  You should definitely interview more than one.  Capabilities, units under management and staff/systems are important to know...how do they handle repairs approval and execution process?  Who does what, single point of contact, team or department?  The nature of the business is that there will be some sketchy reviews because it is hard to please everyone...tenants often complain unfairly on social media and owners also get mad when the PM follows the law and not the owner's wishes...but...also, bear in mind that reviews do matter...ask your PM to provide you with 2 or 3 current owners and CALL them.  It is important to vet your PM as they will also vet you.  Difficult owners are most PM's worst nightmares so good ones will not take on or will quickly cancel owners who want to cut corners.

I don't have any reason to direct you to anyone other than to help as I am under a non-compete agreement having sold my PM company last year but happy to recommend PM(s) if you like.  Robert's outfit is a good one and there are others I would interview if I needed PM representation.

Greg

@David White there is lots of good advice above. As a member of NARPM, I would have to say....it's just another pay to have their sticker program. Yes they have classes but there is no guarantee they are good managers. Even the accreditations they have are earned more for giving time to NARPM rather than skill based. My advise it to use Google. Read the reviews. If they have a 5 star rating they are most likely not really in the business long or manage but a couple houses. Managers get 1 star reviews most often for declining bad tenants that don't qualify. So keep that in mind. But do read the reviews and how the manager responds. This will tell allot about how they run their business. Call and talk to several. Make sure they are licensed, and have insurance. Lots of insurance. I am amazed at how few managers carry errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. Liability insurance, and workman's comp are also important. And of course ask other investors.

I own a PM company and I'm a member of NARPM. It's basically a bumper sticker that we can put on our car. It's absolutely not the only metric to judge if you're hiring someone good. References are always the best way. Ask local realtors who is a property manager in the area, check out Google (stay away from Yelp they are the damn devil for small businesses).