I have used Paradigm Property Management for two years and I just decided to let them go last month. You are truly hiring the person and not the company, because a great manager can make or break your business. The owner of the company decided to move to Ocean City Maryland to work with vacation rentals, only she left no one with real estate experience in charge of her residential property management in Baltimore, Md.
The new manager failed to make 6 month inspections for over a year on two of my properties. My tenants pay one month's rent in advance and on two separate nonconsecutive months the management failed to catch a tenant who failed to pay rent. The manager still paid my portion of the rent to me, so I did not know that the account fell down to a zero and then negative balance. The following month the management would ask for double rent from the tenants and the tenants believed they were being double charged. My tenants of five years elected to terminate their lease rather than stay with this bad management company.
Paradigm has failed to pay the tenants security deposit back, 50 days after the tenants have left the property because they are trying to collect a two month's rent early termination fee, despite written notice from me that I am going to waive that requirement for my tenants of 6 years.
I would not recommend this company.
@Andrew Grieb Can I ask who you use now? I have used Bay Management and like them quite a bit, but they don't manage where I am looking to purchase (East Baltimore).
I have actually been doing the majority of the management myself using buildium software and google products. i do have a resident agent that is my primary in person contact for tenants should they require immediate assistance. If I am not able to commute there I pay my local rep to handle items on a per case basis. I still travel there once a quarter and get to all of my properties at least once every other quarter.
On a side note about paradigm, the new owner reached out to us several months ago and asked for feedback on how to use buildium for managing the properties they were still managing. She seemed genuinely interested in doing a better job and I hope she has had success, but I do not know for certain.
Sorry I could not be of more help.
@Andrew Grieb You use a resident agent who the contacts for emergency only issues? What type of fee do you pay on a per issue bais? Are they an independent agent? Most agents want you to sign an agreement.
@Andrew Grieb your agent may be in violation of state statutes for not refunding security deposits due timely. I would check into this. PM companies are probably one of the most widely reported to state agencies for alleged violations. I just fired a totally worthless one in Texas. They let my property go to hell. I live in Florida. When I asked them why they didn't bother calling to inform me of maintenance issues they stated it was not their job! Pathetic at best!
@John Thedford Sorry about the headache. I saw that happend to a neighbor's property in DC. It was rented to a hoarder with a bunch of pets. He had to move out of the area. The PM apparently did nothing. He ended up selling.
@Shadonna N. It is a private arrangement, not typical; everything is up for negotiation when it comes to property management fees.
Hiring the right property management company is important for everyone involved. If you and your property manager aren't on the same page, it is miserable for you, the property management company, and the tenant. I've learned that not all of us are meant to work together so its better to find out before we do:)
Here is list of questions to help narrow down your search.
Once you have it narrowed down to 2 or 3, set up a time to visit the offices. Walking in the front door is the best way to gauge the professionalism of the company and the staff. Fees are important but we all know the real costs happen after the tenant moves in.
The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
ps. narpm.org is a great place to find property managers in your area.
National Association of Residential Property Managers.
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