The decision to hire a property manager is never made lightly. Choosing a manager, similarly, involves a great deal of thought and consideration. However, even if you were initally confident in your hiring choice, you may find that with time, you're just not sure you have signed with the best company to suit your needs. It can be hard to knw when your working relationship has run it's course. Here's how you can tell if it's time to hire a new property manager.
One of the mst important skills a property manager should posses is the ability to communicate effectively. If your property manager is often unreachable, lax with proactive updates, and takes a long time to answer your questions, this is a red flag. If this is how they communicate with you, the clients, it's possible that it's reflective of their communication with your residents. This could impact your ability to keep a good tenant in your rental home.
If a property management company is delivering, you should experience relatively low turnover and short vacany periods. Your property manager should be able to market your properties effectively and know how to find responsible residents. If you find that your eviction rate is higher than average, it's possible that your property manager is missing the mark on screening tenants. However, if tenants are breaking their leases early or failing to resign, your property manager may not be providing the them with good service. Try asking what your tenants' experience is like.
One of the wonderful benefits of hiring a property manager is that they'll always be on call for your tenants, so you don't have to be. Whether it's an emergency or just a maintence request, your tenant should be relying on your property manager for these services. If the manager has limited hours, it's liekly the response time and maintance will be delayed which could lead to an unhappy tenant.
Your property manager should be able to provide you with monthly and annual reports of your profits, you fulfill maintenance requests. All of these tasks require attention to detail and follow-through. If you've noticed that it takes several requests and follow-ups before ur proprety manager completes a task, you have a problem. More worrying, if your property manager has poor follow-through, it's unlikely they're staying up to date on maintenance and compliance checks.
While your initial contract will have outlined what services your property manager is obligated to fulfill, over time you may find that your property manager doesn’t offer quite enough services to add value to your business. While you may not find you need your property manager to “do it all,” they should have the capability to offer all management-related services. These should include, at minimum, leasing your property, advertising to and screening future clients, cleaning your property in between tenants, and managing maintenance requests.
If you’ve decided that repairing the working relationship with your property manager isn’t possible, then you’ll need to take steps to find their replacement.
First, consider what qualities you’d like your new property manager to have. An effective property manager will have excellent communication skills, a reliable portfolio of vendors to draw from, and will ideally specialize in your particular kind of property. They’ll also have the kind of marketing services you’ll need to keep your rental property filled. They should also have a grasp on new technological trends in property management.
Finding a new management company doesn’t need to be stressful. You can seek out referrals from your real estate agent or from friends or coworkers. Alternatively, you can use an online, searchable database to find reliable and well-established rental property owners in your area.
Create a list of property management companies that are of interest and set up interviews to learn more about what services they offer and how they like to conduct business. After you’ve vetted the companies on your list, you should be able to find a property manager who’s a good fit.
Before your new management company takes over, you’ll need to notify your residents that they'll be a change in management. In most states, this is actually a legal obligation. Your state’s tenants’ rights laws should outline what your responsibilities in this arena are. Whether you are legally obligated to do this or not, however, it’s a good idea to connect your tenants with your new property manager as soon as they’ve taken over management of your property.
While it can be frustrating to have a property manager who doesn’t meet your needs, there are steps you can take to fix the relationship or find the right management company for you and your business. In other words, there is no reason you have to settle for less than the best from your property management company. With these tips, you’ll be able to find the right solution for your property management needs.