You decide to hire a property manager or property management company to make your life easier, take great care of your properties, and to provide a high-quality service to your tenants. However, every property has unique needs, and every residential management company has a unique way of serving them. This means that you need to research before hiring anyone or any company to manage your property. Here’s a checklist of the top seven qualities to look for in a property manager. By reviewing your potential managers for these qualities, you will make certain the right person is hired for the job.
1. Financial knowhow. Turning over your business to a manager can be a bit nerve-wracking because of the monetary aspect. Your property manager will often be working with some of your most critical data and potentially large sums of money. A good management company will follow rigorous accounting protocols that assure your financial health and long-term stability. In doing this, the manager is serving you, but he or she builds an excellent reputation for himself or herself, too.
2. Superior communication skills. You may not be aware that a property manager has good communication skills, but if he or she has poor skills, you will notice. Today, thanks to technology, your manager can reach you by text, phone, email or even video chat. There is no reason for you not to have a direct line of communication. In addition to contacting you, good communication also means the management firm should be responsive to your questions and concerns.
3. Well-developed vendor relationships. A property management company that has stable relationships with repair companies, suppliers and other vendors will be able to give you a better value and will also save you time. These relationships and their effect on a manager are something that cannot be overlooked.
4. Good leadership qualities. A property manager is, above all else, a manager. Excellent leadership skills are vital. This person or company will be leading other employees and vendors in keeping your property up and running. You want to work with someone who can keep things running smoothly when you are not around to do it yourself.
5. Transparency. When you turn over the reins of your property to a representative, you deserve to know what is happening behind the scenes. A property management firm that hides the details from you is not a company you want working for you. Look for a firm that is transparent or someone who is willing to show you the details if you ask. You’ll find it helps you feel more confident about the future of your business and transparency is good for company morale.
6. Accountability. You hope nothing will go wrong with your investment when it is in the hands of a property manager. But what happens if it does? Accountability is huge! A great company should be willing to accept feedback and take action as a result of that feedback, too. You don't want to wait until something bad happens to find out if someone is accountable or not. Spend some time talking about what-ifs during the interview process.
7. The desire to learn. Expert management and service is only provided by a knowledgeable and well-trained team. Look for companies that are committed to providing continuing education and for managers that have a thirst for learning. This way, the manager is equipped to deliver fantastic service to each and every person he or she encounters.
While your property is one of a kind and your needs are unique, the above seven qualities will be important for every property manager to have to keep your property running its best. Beyond these seven factors, go with your gut. Your instincts are often spot on when it comes to choosing the best manager for the job.