There are many choices when it comes to selecting and hiring a property manager. With so many options, it can be difficult to know how to select the right one from the beginning. Below we will cover the four main responsibilities your property management company should offer.
Set the Rent Logically
Setting rent may seem like a easy task, but is often times done incorrectly. Many of the do-it-yourself landlords look to Zillow or Craigslist when setting their rent, which is like going to a car dealership to price your 2000 Honda Accord based on the current year’s model; it is not accurate and won’t sell. These websites can be good resources, but when used alone will not give you all of the information you need. That is because it is only showing you what is available on the market, not what has actually closed and accepted terms. What is available may be grossly overpriced, which may be why it hasn’t been leased yet. Basing your price on what’s available, instead of what has actually been leased, will provide inflated rent prices that potential renters likely won’t want to pay.
A good property management company will have a portfolio of rental properties that they have leased. They will keep statistics on rent prices, trends and fluctuations from year to year, and have the knowledge of rent differences for various styles of properties. With this knowledge, they can provide you with a current market price on what you can expect to get, along with the average days it should take to find a qualified tenant for your property.
Maintenance and Repairs
Imagine you’re sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner with your family and friends, you get a call from a tenant saying that they caught the siding on fire because they were trying to deep fry a turkey outside. Sounds like fun, right? No, it doesn’t.
This is a perfect example of why you hire a property management company to take care of your investment. Your property management company should be fully equipped to take care of emergencies like this one, as well as regularly scheduled repairs and maintenance. They should have a maintenance team or a partnership with a company to handle those repairs and attendance to all tenant requests including emergencies.
Ensuring maintenance via your property management company is both cautionary and proactive. A great property management company will have a calendar built out with various annual maintenance items scheduled. Things like spring clean-up, annual heating systems inspections, winterization, and periodic unit inspections are only some of the recommended maintenance items.
Landlord Tenant Act
Utilizing a great property management company can save you thousands just by preventing avoidable lawsuits. The Landlord Tenant Act is a set of rules and regulations that landlords must abide by to stay legal in their renting practices. It covers everything from marketing vacant units, how and when you may enter an occupied unit, how to manage your rent accounts vs security deposits and much more. There are many ways a landlord could break these rules and regulations and not even know it, which is where the property management companies truly save a landlord the most money and prevent risky situations.
When looking at hiring a property management company, check out their legal history, see what lawsuits they have been a part of and how many they have lost or settled. Almost all management companies have been in a lawsuit, it’s the nature of the business. Being a part of one is not a bad thing and should not deter you from hiring them, it is only when they have settled or lost cases that should question.
Run it Like a Business
People who don’t treat their real estate investments as a business tend to run into the most issues with them. When you run a business, you seek to make a profit and constantly look for new ways to add value and revenue. You want a property management company who embodies this as a core value, which will ensure that you as the landlord are in the best position to increase your cash flow. They will keep track of all of your expenses, adhere to a budget and look for ways to to raise your income. This can be done in many ways including strategic property improvements, knowing the rental market and staying true to it, better marketing and finding new ways to add supplemental income.
Property management companies will put an investor at ease by being responsible for all things liable, including emergencies and risky legal situations with tenants, as well as assessing ways to make the investor more money. Hiring a property management company is an efficient way to ensure the success of your investment.
Looking for a property manager for your new investment? Precision Home Group offers resources and referrals to great companies all over Alaska that will provide the best service and care for your property. Contact Matthew Lindsay in Anchorage today! 907.302.1011