In the lettings industry, a property management agency’s main role is acting as a third-party between the tenant and the landlord. A good and experienced company will take on everything from handling complaints, organising repairs and maintenance, and taking care of admin tasks. They make sure properties are maintained to a high standard so that every tenant enjoys the home they live in.
However, not every property management company can live up to its promises. That’s why if you’re thinking of letting out your home and hiring a property management company, it’s useful to learn a few things about how to find one that’s worth its salt.
Here are three things you should ask a potential property management company.
1) How Close Are They to the Property?
You want your chosen company to serve your needs to the best of their ability – and in many cases, that means having an office or representative close to the home in case something goes wrong.
The first thing you need to find out is where the office is located. It needs to be local to the property you want to let. You’ll need to make sure of this before you consider setting up appointment. If the office is far from the property, ask if a representative lives nearby or if they’re able to easily travel to the area.
Your chosen manager should be visiting your property regularly to ensure they know the goings-on of the residence at all times. They should be able to conduct annual inspections and be available to answer maintenance requests from the tenants quickly.
To make sure that the management company can handle all of your tenants’ needs, we highly recommended that you choose an agent located within driving distance from the estate.
2) What Are Their Advertising Strategies?
For consistent cash flow, you are going to want to make sure your units are always occupied. With this in mind, you’ll need to find out what your property management company’s plans are when it comes to advertising for tenants.
Your management company should have a clear marketing strategy when it comes to rentals. They should not only post your property on relevant online forums but also make sure that each post is updated online regularly. This ensures that your property doesn’t get lost in the mass market online.
Make sure the company takes advantage of social media, too. It’s imperative to have your property posted on sites such as Facebook and other social media sites, not just the company website. They should have contacts with photographers who can come and take appealing photos of the home to attract viewers and secure new tenants.
3) What is Their Process for Tenant Screening and Applications?
Every homeowner wants to have tenants that are respectful not just of the property, but of the neighbours as well.
You should make sure your management company has a strict tenant screening process. At the very least, potential tenants should provide:
- A credit report
- A background check
- A reference from former and current landlords
- Employment verification
You may also ask that the tenants have guarantors, although this isn’t mandatory. These simple checks ensure that there will be no headaches further down the line. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that your property is exclusive, and only the most trustworthy tenants will be considered.
This is an important factor, so be sure to ask your property manager to provide you with the full details of how they plan to execute their application and screening processes. The agent should pass along the details of prospective tenants to you for vetting – you have the final say about who inhabits your property. If your chosen agent isn’t sending over the kind of tenant details you want, ask them to change their strategy.
Property management companies are supposed to take the stress from you when you are renting out your properties. They are committed to offering services that will help you succeed, whether you are a first-time landlord or you have an extensive property portfolio.
Just make sure you research the different companies in your area. There will be one out there for you, and they will make your life that much easier!