Property Management 101

Choosing a Property Management Company

Though it is more complicated than just posting an ad, signing a lease, and collecting rent, using single-family homes to create extra income is becoming increasingly popular. To maximize the potential of your property, you need to navigate the complexities of property management. Some owners choose to manage themselves; others decide to find a property manager to handle the process. If you are in the latter group, here are some tips you should consider when searching for property management companies to ensure that your investment is in good hands.

Shop Around

Take the time to search for local companies and select a few that you would be interested in working with. Most people shop comparatively for any significant investment –from purchasing a car to a new smartphone. With an investment as substantial as a home, you owe it to yourself to compare multiple companies to find the best fit. Narrow down your selection to 2-3; this should give you a proper sample to research.

Ask for References

Most of us would not hire a babysitter without personal references, or onboard a new employee without a background check. The same concept should apply to selecting a management company. Ask for a list of references and do your research. Before calling, make a list of questions to ask, and then speak with other owners who have worked with them.

Here are some suggestions for questions you might ask:

  • Would you work with this company again? Why or why not?
  • Was the property well maintained?
  • Were there any problems?

While this isn't a foolproof method, people can be biased; it will give you a good idea from other owners of what to expect from the company.

Research the Company

Most home rental management companies will have available listings online. Follow these links to see real examples of current listings. Do they take time to write compelling descriptions of the home or only list the basics such as beds, baths, and square footage? Are there high-quality photos? Are the listings easy to locate and navigate? If you were a tenant, would you want to rent from this company?

Interview the Company

The final step is meeting with the company to interview them. You are the client, and a good company will be happy to spend time explaining their advertising, leasing, and management policies. Additionally, this is a great time to discuss management fees and gather any other information you need.

Ultimately, hiring a property management company is a big decision, and taking the time to select the right one can make or break your success. A good management company will be open, share references, and make you feel at ease. Checking their references and doing a little research beforehand will ensure you are prepared to ask the right questions and see the big picture. If you are searching for a property manager in Fort Leonard Wood, Walker would be excited to meet with you to speak about your needs.