One of the first tasks landlords choose to outsource is property management. This is really the nitty gritty of being a landlord and if you don’t enjoy dealing with tenants or the day to day operation of your property, you might quickly look for some help from a property manager.
Often times investors will just hire someone based on the fees without much discussion on what is included or what the expectations are. To have a good working relationship with your property manager, it is important to be clear on the expectations on both sides of the table.
The first thing many investors will look at is the pricing. Each property manager has their own rates, and some may be all inclusive while others may charge extra for additional services. Most typically the fee will be a percentage of gross rents with an additional lease-up fee for filling new units. Other managers may use a set price per unit.
The most important consideration with pricing is to know what is, and what is not included in that fee.
With a handle on the pricing structure, you’ll want to get clear on what services are included. Here are some services to ask about to get started:
- Lease-up / tenant location
- Move-in services
- Rent collection
- Accounts payable / bill payment
- Monthly updates
- Co-ordinate building maintenance
- Consult with owner for expensive repairs
- Landscaping and/or snow removal
- Evictions and tenant disputes
When looking to hire a property manager, make sure you know what is included, what is not, and what is available for an extra fee.
Another key thing to get clear on is the level of investor involvement expected by your property manager. Some managers like for their owners to be somewhat hands on, while others will feel micromanaged if you become too involved in the details. Be sure to clear this up early on so you can setup a harmonious working relationship.
For more details on selecting a property manager see 8 Tips for Hiring the Best Property Manager and Things to Consider when Interviewing Property Management Companies. Be sure your manager has experience working with investors and look for referrals from other investors as the easiest way to locate the best managers.
photo credit: Walt Stoneburner