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Managing Your Property

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Cierra Butler
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In Search of a Property Manager

Cierra Butler
Posted Oct 2 2022, 04:12

Hello everyone. Does anyone have any good recommendations for property managers in and/or near the Killeen/ft. Hood area? 

I have been self managing my property in Killeen for the past 4 years. As I am now being stationed overseas, I'm strongly considering hiring a property manager to manage my property while I am away. I know there are some great property managers out there but I've heard plenty of horror stories about outsourcing the management of your property.  Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

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Nathan Gesner
Agent
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cody, WY
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Nathan Gesner
Agent
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cody, WY
ModeratorReplied Oct 2 2022, 06:07
Quote from @Cierra Butler:

I don't have any personal recommendations, but this list may have some tips to help you on your search.

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. You can also search Google and read reviews. 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 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 6% management fee but the extra fees can add up to be more than the other company that charges 10% with no additional fees. Fees should be clearly stated in writing, easy to understand, and justifiable. Common fees will include a set-up fee, leasing fee for each turnover or a lease renewal fee, marking up maintenance, retaining late fees, and more. 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, particularly if you have a lot of rentals.

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 policies are 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 that a tenant is 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!

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Drew Sygit
Property Manager
Agent
#2 Managing Your Property Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Royal Oak, MI
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Drew Sygit
Property Manager
Agent
#2 Managing Your Property Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Royal Oak, MI
Replied Oct 3 2022, 05:36

@Cierra Butler

In our experience, the #1 mistake owners make when selecting a Property Management Company (PMC) is ASSUMING instead of CONFIRMING.

It's often a case of not doing enough research, as they don't know what they don't know!

Owners mistakenly ASSUME all PMCs offer the exact SAME SERVICES and PERFORM those services EXACTLY THE SAME WAY, so price is the only differentiator.

So, the first question they usually ask a PMC is about fees - instead of asking about services and HOW those services are executed.

EXAMPLE: PMC states they will handle tenant screening – what does that specifically mean? What documents do they require, what credit scores do they allow, how do they verify previous rental history, etc.? You’d be shocked by how little actual screening many PMC’s do!

This also leads owners to ASSUME simpler is better when it comes to management contracts.

The reality is the opposite - if it's not in writing then the PMC doesn't have to provide the service or can charge extra for it!

We have a 14-page management contract that we've added our real experiences to over the years, with the intent of protecting both us AND the landlord. Beyond the Monthly Management, Placement & Maintenance fees, all other fees in our contract are IF EVENT -> THEN fees.

We don’t know any PMCs to recommend in the area mentioned, but since selecting the wrong PMC is usually more harmful than selecting a bad tenant, you might want to read our series about “How to Screen a PMC Better than a Tenant”:

https://www.biggerpockets.com/member-blogs/3094/91877-how-to-screen-a-pmc-better-than-a-tenant-part-1-services-and-processes

We recommend you get management contracts from several PMCs and compare the services they cover and, more importantly, what they each DO NOT cover.

EDUCATE YOURSELF - yes, it will take time, but will lead to a selection that better meets your expectations & avoids potentially costly surprises!

P.S. If you just hire the cheapest or first PMC you speak with and it turns into a bad experience, please don’t assume ALL PMC’s are bad and start trashing PMC’s in general. Take ownership of your mistake and learn to do the proper due diligence recommended above😊

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Kyle Mccaw
Agent
Property Manager
  • Property Manager
  • Keller, TX
908
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1,081
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Kyle Mccaw
Agent
Property Manager
  • Property Manager
  • Keller, TX
Replied Oct 4 2022, 13:47

@Cierra Butler in reference to the "PMC." The Texas Board of Realtors has a property management agreement that is used by property managers here in Texas. 

@Marc Stevenson has brought on a good number of properties in Killeen recently. He would be a good person to talk to.

  • Property Manager TX (#0562767)

McCaw Property Management Logo

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Marc Stevenson
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
68
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Marc Stevenson
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
Replied Oct 4 2022, 14:01

Happy to help anyway that I can.  Kileen is a great area

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Cierra Butler
3
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4
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Cierra Butler
Replied Oct 9 2022, 01:32
Quote from @Nathan Gesner:
Quote from @Cierra Butler:

I don't have any personal recommendations, but this list may have some tips to help you on your search.

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. You can also search Google and read reviews. 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 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 6% management fee but the extra fees can add up to be more than the other company that charges 10% with no additional fees. Fees should be clearly stated in writing, easy to understand, and justifiable. Common fees will include a set-up fee, leasing fee for each turnover or a lease renewal fee, marking up maintenance, retaining late fees, and more. 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, particularly if you have a lot of rentals.

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 policies are 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 that a tenant is 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!


 Thank you

User Stats

4
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Cierra Butler
3
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4
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Cierra Butler
Replied Oct 9 2022, 01:34
Quote from @Drew Sygit:

@Cierra Butler

In our experience, the #1 mistake owners make when selecting a Property Management Company (PMC) is ASSUMING instead of CONFIRMING.

It's often a case of not doing enough research, as they don't know what they don't know!

Owners mistakenly ASSUME all PMCs offer the exact SAME SERVICES and PERFORM those services EXACTLY THE SAME WAY, so price is the only differentiator.

So, the first question they usually ask a PMC is about fees - instead of asking about services and HOW those services are executed.

EXAMPLE: PMC states they will handle tenant screening – what does that specifically mean? What documents do they require, what credit scores do they allow, how do they verify previous rental history, etc.? You’d be shocked by how little actual screening many PMC’s do!

This also leads owners to ASSUME simpler is better when it comes to management contracts.

The reality is the opposite - if it's not in writing then the PMC doesn't have to provide the service or can charge extra for it!

We have a 14-page management contract that we've added our real experiences to over the years, with the intent of protecting both us AND the landlord. Beyond the Monthly Management, Placement & Maintenance fees, all other fees in our contract are IF EVENT -> THEN fees.

We don’t know any PMCs to recommend in the area mentioned, but since selecting the wrong PMC is usually more harmful than selecting a bad tenant, you might want to read our series about “How to Screen a PMC Better than a Tenant”:

https://www.biggerpockets.com/member-blogs/3094/91877-how-to-screen-a-pmc-better-than-a-tenant-part-1-services-and-processes

We recommend you get management contracts from several PMCs and compare the services they cover and, more importantly, what they each DO NOT cover.

EDUCATE YOURSELF - yes, it will take time, but will lead to a selection that better meets your expectations & avoids potentially costly surprises!

P.S. If you just hire the cheapest or first PMC you speak with and it turns into a bad experience, please don’t assume ALL PMC’s are bad and start trashing PMC’s in general. Take ownership of your mistake and learn to do the proper due diligence recommended above😊


 I appreciate this. I was also only considering the fees instead of looking into exactly how the services are performed. This gives me more insight on what to look for in a potential PM

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Drew Sygit
Property Manager
Agent
#2 Managing Your Property Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Royal Oak, MI
4,041
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7,469
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Drew Sygit
Property Manager
Agent
#2 Managing Your Property Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Royal Oak, MI
Replied Oct 9 2022, 08:08

@Cierra Butler we're so glad our point makes sense to you! Let us know if we can assist with anything else:)

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Eliott Elias#3 BRRRR - Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat Contributor
  • Investor
  • Austin, TX
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9,861
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Eliott Elias#3 BRRRR - Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat Contributor
  • Investor
  • Austin, TX
Replied Oct 9 2022, 09:54

I use Colonial property management. Get with Ethan and Tonya over there, happy to connect y'all 

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10
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Shilpa Patel
  • Austin, TX
5
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10
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Shilpa Patel
  • Austin, TX
Replied Oct 10 2022, 00:10

@Cierra Butler

J R Grace Realty https://g.co/kgs/z9Zuna

Talk with Patrick, he's the owner.