We all know that owning rental property is an investment, and in order to get your money back and give yourself the best possible returns, investments have to be properly managed. You can manage your property by yourself, but most investors choose to use the services of the professionals and to put their time into something else. They decide they need someone else to manage stuff for them because dealing with the details of maintenance and similar issues daily can be overwhelming and if you make enough money to pay someone else to do it, there’s just no reason not to. But how do you find a property manager?
Here is the thing, property management companies in Orange County are growing fast. There has been a decline in home ownership and many people are looking to rent a property. That’s why, according to data from April 2019, there were 281,345 property management companies in the USA.
You can see how the choice which property manager in Orange County to trust can be a very difficult one. A property manager can maximize your rental property income and take a huge burden off your hands, but they can also lead to increased vacancies and lost income if they’re not doing their job right.
But how do you find a good property manager? We’re here to answer this question for you and give you useful tips on what you should be looking for. The competition amongst Orange County property management companies is huge because this a great place to invest in real estate. Most companies are making huge promises and are good at marketing, so it’s not easy to filter them and choose one that will bring you real results. The first step to getting what you want from your property manager is to know what that is. So we’ve comprised a short list of what you can expect from a good property manager. Don’t settle for less! You’re literally paying them to do this.
What to expect from a good property manager?
• To find qualified tenants for you:
A good property manager has a lot of connections, knows the ins and outs of the market and is savvy to proper marketing so it should be easy for them to expose your rental property to people who are qualified to rent it. Extensive knowledge in running background checks and doing research is also an absolute necessity for property managers because picking the right tenant makes the rest of the management of the property so much easier. The property manager should have the applicants fill in detailed forms, ask for all kinds of personal and professional references and choose from experience.
• To deal with all tenant issues:
No matter how good a property manager is when it comes to screening the tenants, there can always be some issues that can’t be anticipated. The property manager’s job is to deal with this for you. Some of the most common problems are tenants that make too much noise or don’t pay their rent on time. A good property manager knows the local tenant laws and how to make sure the situation is handled in your best interest.
• To collect rent:
It’s an important part of the job. A good property manager makes sure you receive your money on time and in a manner that is most convenient for you.
• To fill vacancies:
It’s crucial for every rental property investor to have their properties fully rented out all the time. That’s how you get maximum returns for your investment. A manager with experience knows how to keep your tenants satisfied so they choose to stay long-term. Having long-term tenants is far better for your income than having to pay for marketing and screenings and all sorts of issues every time the tenants leave and the property needs new ones.
• To manage the maintenance of the property 24/7:
If you find the right property management in orange county company, they will deal with all repairs and maintenance issues of your property. This keeps the tenants happy and the property in good condition. You can rest assured, knowing next time the sink breaks at 3 a.m. it won’t be you getting out of bed to find a way to fix this but your property manager. Another good thing is that the experienced property manager has a list of trusted professionals they work with over the years who can quickly and efficiently fix whatever problem has arisen at an affordable price.
• Organizing and handling documentation and accounting:
Let’s be real, this one can get quite messy. Paperwork needs to be dealt with and it takes a lot of dedication and time. The right property manager handles all sorts of contracts for services, billing, notices, lease agreements and so on. They should keep this organized and transparent so you can easily keep track of everything that’s going on with your property.
Now let’s go over a few steps you can take to make sure the property manager you choose will be able to meet your expectations. We’re moving on to the next step on our guide.
How to choose a good property manager?
• Check the professional licenses and certifications:
Most states require all property management companies to have a license in order to stay in business. Some don’t have such requirements but it’s best to look for a company with more qualifications anyway. Make sure that the property management company’s license is active by checking in with your state’s Real Estate Commission. It’s also very useful to know if the property manager is certified with a trade organization. Look for certificates from NARPM (National Association of Residential Property Managers), which focuses on single-family homes and residential properties, RMP (Residential Management Professional), which means they’ve completed their training process, and IREM (The Institute of Real Estate Management). You can search online to verify the manager’s credentials.
Completing difficult training programs means the property manager is willing to put time and effort and money into becoming better and offering the best services to their clients, which is important.
• Look locally:
A good property management company needs local knowledge. You can’t make good profits in a market you don’t know. Hiring a company with local staff will improve your income a lot. Many large-scale companies hire local experts for this purpose. No amount of training can replace the knowledge of local property managers when it comes to what attracts proper tenants at this place, what’s the right level for rent and which tradies are to be trusted.
• Look for experience – and look for specialized experience:
Many property management companies focus on a particular kind of rental property. If you’re trying to find a good property manager for commercial properties, look for a company that specializes in such. Also make sure the property manager has experience in managing the number of units you own – if someone has experience only with small properties, they might be unable to handle, say, fifty units. Look for skills in finding tenants when the market is dry – this is a clear sign of expertise in the field.
• Ask friends and colleagues:
If you know people who own rental property, ask them about referrals. But don’t forget to take every recommendation with a grain of salt – people may have different standards and expectations or settle for less. And get opinions from a few different people so you can get the full picture.
• Do your research:
The good thing is everyone with a good Internet connection and ten spare minutes can run proper research on a company’s reputation. Google is your best friend. Make sure you also run checks on real estate websites. The BBB (Better Business Bureau) website can show you the company’s rating and reviews. Read customer reviews of property management companies , this will help you get a more intimate insight into their services. Check reviews on Yelp where people share their experiences in business reviews.
One of the key points in finding a good property manager is to look for someone with a solid reputation.
• Ask questions:
Not only just to get information but also because property management is, above all, a business that involves skills in communication and dealing with people. The way the property manager answers your questions will show you if they’re good at communication and have the necessary people skills in order to do this job right. After all, this is the person that is going to talk on your behalf with suppliers, regulatory bodies, tenants and agencies.
Ask for their policies and systems so you know how the property manager operates daily. It’s important to know whether the property management company has good customer service, whether they respond to concerns 24/7 so you can rest assured emergencies will be handled and if the company values transparency because having transparent contracts is something that will benefit you immensely. Don’t be afraid to ask about anything that concerns you; a good rental investor knows that investing your money properly requires a lot of research.
PRO-tip: Organize your questions before the interview. The three categories you should be focusing on are experience & education so you can know if the company is qualified enough to meet your demands, fee structure and information on the services they offer and how they proceed with them.
Here is a list of exemplary questions you can ask the property managers on the interview:
• Do you have a program that measures the satisfaction of your clients?
• Do you offer help with permits and fees?
• What is your screening process for applicants?
• How big is your staff and how much experience do they have?
• What is your process with tenants that don’t pay rent on time?
• What is your vacancy rate?
To make sure you’re picking a good property manager, you need to interview several people and contrast their skills. Don’t compare only the facts they present you but also their reaction to the questions. It’s best to avoid working with people who are dismissive, seem very uncomfortable at some questions or speak unclearly so they can avoid giving a solid answer. Look at the incentive each property management company offers.
• Discuss your expectations:
Sometimes we hire the wrong person because we don’t make clear what we expect of them in return for our money and they can use to their advantage – or simply realize they are unable to meet your standards. That’s why it’s important to speak directly about what you want. There is no standard job description that says “this and that should be included in their services” which is why you should address in detail what you expect them to do for you. Do you need a start-to-finish full-service pack? Or do you prefer to do some of the work yourself? Who will handle evictions, who will oversee the move-ins and move-outs, will you have to make an inventory list yourself? Make sure you know what you’re paying for and if this particular property manager can give you everything that you want. Transparency on both sides is important in property management business relationships.
• Trust your gut:
If something feels off, even if the candidate’s presentation seems great, don’t hesitate to focus on other property managers.
A final tip to get you started on finding a good proper manager: Caris Property Management is proud to offer you qualified and reliable services that can maximize your profit and minimize your hassle. Start here and start now!
Contact professionals from Caris Property Management team for more information.