Finding someone to manage your rental investment is a big decision. Doing a little research before can really save in the long run. Anyone can claim to be a property manager, but how do you know you are going with the right one for you. Here are a few tips:
Look for Experience
Any management company can claim that they know what they are doing. In Utah there is little training required to become a licensed property management company. A real estate broker can open up a property management company by filling out an application, filing a certificate with the Utah division of Corporations, and turning in a few simple pieces of documentation. But what actual Property Management training do they have? Look for a management company who not only is licensed in Utah, but has experienced licensed managers that have training specifically in property management, fair housing, and federal/state/city laws.
An incredible salesman may be able to make you think they know what they are doing, but do they actually know? Look for long term experience, not just a 5 star review. If a property manager is doing their job well, not everyone is always happy.
Good Property Management companies will network within our industry so that they can fully understand and stay up to date on best practice standards that are established by professional affiliations. At Vision Real Estate our property managers are licensed real estate professionals, many of which have acquired their UPRO designation (Utah Professional Rental Operator). They are members of various affiliate groups such as IREM (Institute of Real Estate Management), NARPM (National Association of Residential Property Managers), and/or the Utah and National Apartment Associations.
Sometimes, finding a great property manager can be a hard task. Positive feedback from clients is an incredible tool for finding out a companies real reputation. Keep in mind that in property management sometimes doing your job means getting a bad review. Tenants aren't always happy when their deposit is withheld for cleaning or damages. Look for the reviews from owners and vendors who do business with the property management company. Are they taking care of their responsibilities? Are tenants being screened properly? Do they do regular inspections? Is there clear communication between the manager and the owner.
Look at their Management Agreement
The management agreement should clearly state what the responsibilities of the property manager are. If this is vague you may want to steer clear of that company. A few other items to look at are:
- Additional fees - What does their management fee include and what will you be charged additional for? Are you up-charged for maintenance
- Cancelation clauses - If you sell the property or decide to go a different direction, what are you charged to leave? Some companies will make it nearly impossible to make the change.
- Auto renewals - Does the management contract automatically renew? What type of notice do you need to give? There are companies out there that to opt out of the auto renew you must notify them MONTHS in advance.
No one likes to get down to the nitty gritty but it is still one of the most important aspects of a property manager. Don't forget to ask about:
- Trust Accounts - Is there a designated trust account for their property management business? Does everyone in the company have access or just those who need it to pay bills and do disbursements?
- Licensing - Are they licensed with the state
- Standards - Property management can be a highly unregulated business. Does your property management company hold themselves to a higher standard than just getting by?
Vision Real Estate prides itself to holding a higher industry standard. Our managers work to achieve these 5 standards on every rental property we manage:
- Zero Vacancies
- Zero outstanding balances
- Regular inspections
- Monthly reports
- 24 hour response time
To find out more about our management services please call: