Your Houston property is an important investment, so hiring a property manager to look after it is important. But how do you choose a residential property management company that will offer the best services at the best price? Read below for our guide on how to find a property manager that is trusted and cost-effective.
Ask for Referrals
One of the easiest ways to find a good property manager that you can trust is to ask family, friends, and coworkers for a referral. By asking friends and anyone else you trust for help, you can be more confident in your choice of property management companies. Your friend either knows them or has already utilized their services and can give you an honest review and recommendation.
Starting your search by asking others is great, but be careful not to take their recommendations blindly. Do your own research before hiring a rental property manager to ensure that they have other good reviews.
Do Online Research and Read Reviews
As previously mentioned, it’s essential to do extensive research and read many reviews to ascertain which are the best property management companies in Houston. This research can be done to find property management companies and to vet the ones that have been referred.
If you’re wondering how to find a good property management company, there are websites available that provide long lists based on location and property size. After you’ve chosen a few, you can visit each company website and go on Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc. to find reviews.
Check Portfolio and Examine Track Record
The next step in the guide on how to hire a property manager you can trust is checking the property management company’s portfolio on their website. This will give you an idea of the kinds of properties they’re managing and whether they work with your property type; do they specialize primarily in residential homes, like single-family, multifamily, condo properties, or in commercial properties.
Checking out their track records with their clients will also be helpful. You can determine how long the company has been in business, whether they provide references upon request, how long their clients have worked with them, and other important factors in their reputation that will inform you on how they operate.
When you contact them, try asking how they would handle specific issues that come up like maintenance needs, evictions, marketing, and more. This will give you an even firmer understanding of how they will operate in the future, not just the past.
Interview Several Property Managers
To find proper property management the next step is to interview 3-5 of your top choices. Meeting or calling them and asking specific questions will help you feel more comfortable when you hand the management of your property to them.
Be sure to compile your list, but here are just a few important questions to include during the interview with the property managers:
- How large is your company’s staff?
- What is your management fee? What are your other fees?
- What kind of licenses and certifications do you have? How familiar are you with local and federal landlord/tenant law?
- Can you help find tenants and screen them?
- Do you have a 24-hour hotline for tenants to call in case of late night maintenance emergencies?
- Do you have a cancellation fee or what is the minimum term of your agreement?
- What other services do you offer?
After asking the above questions along with your own, you can compare the responses of all the interviewees to see which is best for your property.
Set Clear Expectations
Before you hire a property manager, it’s essential to make sure you're on the same page regarding responsibilities. Will the property manager be in charge of evictions, maintenance, marketing, tenant screening, showings, rent collection, and everything else? Or will they only be responsible for some of it and the rest of the duties will be split up? Make sure these expectations are set from the start.
Review Terms of Rental/Lease Agreement
A management agreement between you and your property manager is a binding contract. Be sure that all of the terms set are fair and reasonable, that every expectation and responsibility of both the property owner (you) and the property manager is clearly stated, and that you understand every aspect of the contract before committing.
Also, check to ensure the contract is in compliance with housing laws, that you will be receiving monthly reports, and that everyone involved has proper insurance coverage. Keep in mind that having a lawyer check the contract will keep you better protected in the long run.
Evaluate Property Manager’s Performance Annually
After finding a good property manager, be sure to evaluate their services and performance annually. After reviewing their progress and performance, like how they dealt with unforeseen issues and how well they handled evictions, determine if you should keep working with the company.
Also, your property manager should be on top of yearly rent and fee increases. Any rent increases should be discussed with the tenant months in advance.
In summary, when looking for a property management company, be sure to ask for referrals, do your own research, read reviews, check out their website, track record, and annual performance, and review the terms of your contract carefully.
Now that you know how to find a good property manager, it’s time to start looking! If you’re looking for high quality property management services in Houston, check out Keyrenter Houston!