This is an important question, and is therefore deserving of serious deliberation. Most landlords choose a property manager to serve one or more of three purposes
A good start to the process would be to get referrals from landlords you know who are happy with the services they are receiving. However you select your prospects, you should consider at least three different companies. But you will be already off on a good footing by simply obtaining the referrals in the first place.
Once you have identified your prospects, devise a list of services that are important to you, such as: price of management and leasing services, company marketing presence, proximity of office or agent to your property, property management experience, property maintenance policy, property visit policy, level of owner involvement in daily decision making, etc. Judiciously compare your list of expectations to each prospect, objectively measuring one against another.
Note: While the price of services is important, don’t let this lone criterion sway your objectivity. One thing I have learned is that there is a difference between the price and the cost of services. Rarely do cheaper services translate directly to better services. In fact it is probably just the opposite. You might ask why a company might do it for less. The real reason may not be flattering, and a job poorly performed may cost you dearly in the long run. Bottom line, you get what you are paying for, but don’t expect $1.00 worth of services for $.50. It just doesn’t happen like that.
After comparing service expectations, I strongly suggest a face-to-face meeting with the person or persons that will be performing the services. This might be an inconvenience, but the time spent on this is probably the best expenditure of resources that you can invest in the decision making process. Communications will be the most important part of your relationship going forward. If you cannot relate to the person or persons handling your property, you will be miserable. So do take the time for this.
Finally, find out how the property management relationship can end. Are there penalties for termination? Is a service guarantee offered? Thoroughly read the management agreement, and ask questions about anything that is vague or just doesn’t sound right. It is also a good idea to have an attorney review the management agreement. And if you’re going this far, also have the attorney review the company’s residential lease standard form. The big question here is: What civil and liability protections are afforded you in these documents?
Now you are all set to shop for a property manager. Good luck!
Daniel R. Wilhelm
3 Options Realty, LLC.
If you are in the Atlanta area, please consider 3 Options Realty for all of your residential property management needs.
If you have been rummaging through web results for “property management companies near me,” then you are at the right place. 3 Options Realty’s property managers in Atlanta are experienced and trained to deliver top-tier service. Call 3 Options Realty to speak with a friendly representative today to learn more about our property management & real estate services. We are ready to take your call.
We use professional market research to determine fair-market rent, and we use broad market advertising to reach a large audience. Our agents will also help you prepare your property and skillfully present your property. Prospective tenants will undergo comprehensive interviews and background screening before we negotiate with them the rental agreement using our proprietary, attorney-reviewed forms.