How to Find and Choose the Right Property Management Company20 October 2023
Investing in property can be a lucrative venture, but it also comes with its fair share of responsibilities. As a property owner, you must manage everything from tenant relations to property maintenance, which can quickly become overwhelming. That’s where a property management company can make all the difference. In this guide, we’ll walk you through finding and choosing the right property management company to help you maximise your investment and minimise your stress.
Assessing Your Needs
Before you start your search, it’s crucial to understand your specific property management needs:
Determine Your Needs and Goals: Are you looking for full-service property management, tenant placement services, or something in between? Define your objectives and expectations.
Identify Your Property Type: You may wish to choose a management company with specific experience and expertise with your type of property. This could be whether the property is commercial or residential, the size of the property and a number of other factors. At LevelUP, for example, we are uniquely experienced with managing flats above shops.
Evaluate Your Budget: Consider your budget for property management services. Knowing your financial constraints will help you narrow down your options.
Set Expectations: Establish clear expectations for your property management company regarding communication, property maintenance, and tenant relations.
Researching Property Management Companies
Now that you understand your requirements, it’s time to start your search for the right property management company:
Local vs. National Companies: Decide whether you prefer a local property management company with a deeper understanding of the local market or a national firm with broader resources.
Use Online Resources and Referrals: Utilise online directories and ask for recommendations from fellow property owners or real estate professionals.
Check Licenses and Certifications: Ensure that the property management companies you’re considering are properly licensed and certified. (Check out our guide to navigating letting agent regulations for more details on the accreditations and memberships to look for.)
Read Reviews and Testimonials: Research online reviews and testimonials to gauge the satisfaction of their clients.
Interview Property Management Companies: Set up interviews or consultations with potential property management companies to ask questions and gauge their suitability.
Key Considerations When Choosing a Property Management Company
As you evaluate property management companies, consider the following factors:
Review the range of services to ensure they align with your needs. A full-service management company such as LevelUP will handle everything, starting with finding tenants. However, you may only need some services. For example, you may not need the property advertising if the property is already at full occupancy. However, remember that this may change, and you may wish to access other services later.
Property manager services include:
- Advertising the property
- Arranging and overseeing property viewings
- Identifying and vetting prospective tenants
- Coordinating tenant credit checks
- Managing the collection of security deposits
- Conducting and maintaining a property inventory
- Drafting and finalising the tenancy agreement
- Handling rent collection and transfer to your account
- Organising and overseeing property maintenance and repairs
- Performing routine property inspections
- Managing lease terminations and the property’s re-rental
- Addressing any legal matters that may arise during the tenancy
Understand their fee structure and any additional costs involved. Financial transparency is essential between a landlord and a property manager. You should fully understand what you are being charged for, how much you pay, and how and when the money is collected. For example, there is a big difference between paying based on money collected and money owed. Paying for money owed means paying fees based on the due rent, even if the property manager still needs to collect the rent from the tenant.
Reputation and Track Record
Research the company’s reputation and track record in managing properties similar to yours. Begin your assessment of a property management company by reviewing online reviews and testimonials. Additionally, you can request references directly from current or past clients to gain insights into their experiences. Consider the views of tenants, too, not just landlords. Happy tenants are the aim of the game – it’s vital to keeping your properties at full occupancy and avoiding the costs of finding new tenants. Look into the company’s portfolio to understand its property management expertise and the property types it manages. This will help ensure their reputation is specific to the services you are looking for.
Communication and Responsiveness
Evaluate their communication skills and responsiveness to inquiries. Good communication is essential – a property manager needs to effectively communicate with you, your tenants, contractors and more. When reading reviews, speaking with the management companies’ clients, or dealing with them directly, pay close attention to the quality of the communication. When assessing communication, also consider accessibility – how easily can you or your tenants contact your property manager in an emergency or outside of regular business hours?
Technology and Tools
Inquire about the technology and software tools they use to streamline property management. The technology and tools a property management company employs are crucial for efficient management. If used well, technology can help property managers deliver everything from communication to financial management to a higher standard and more efficiently. Look into how the property managers use technology to their advantage, from taking and managing maintenance requests to providing you with detailed and accurate financial information. Also, consider the agents’ commitment to data security and privacy. A tech-savvy company stays current with industry trends or, even better, is ahead of the curve, ensuring streamlined processes, timely communication, and a seamless property management experience.
Tenant Screening and Eviction Processes
Learn about their tenant screening procedures and eviction processes. One of the most critical functions of a property management company is tenant screening, as it directly impacts the quality of tenants in your property. Check out our guide to finding good tenants to learn more about what to look for from your property management company’s tenant finding and screening services.
Maintenance and Property Upkeep
Discuss their approach to property maintenance and upkeep. Maintenance and upkeep are vital for property management. Ensure the company has a proactive preventative maintenance strategy, reliable emergency response procedures, and a network of trusted maintenance providers. Budget transparency, effective communication, and a strong commitment to regulatory compliance are also crucial for successful property maintenance.
Expert property management from LevelUP
At LevelUP, we know our property management services are unparalleled. That’s why we are happy to give you all the tricks and tips for finding the right property management company. We know we can deliver results if you think we are the right fit. From finding tenants to collecting rent and handling maintenance, we help you get more from your property investments. Learn more – speak to our property management experts today!
Learn more about property management
- Understanding Letting Agent Fees for Landlords and Tenants
- LevelUp’s 5 Top Tips for Landlords to save money
- How to deal with a tenant not paying rent