Know what to expect from your property management company
Whether you have real estate as an investment or you have one or two properties in your portfolio, professional property management can be an asset. The right property manager for your portfolio in St. Louis will save you time, save you money and keep your property filled with tenants so that you can focus on investing, family, running your business or whatever makes you happy. While every client’s needs are different, here are some factors to think about as you look for the right property management company for you:
Three Initial Screening Factors
Before getting into the details, there are three factors that can serve as tools to qualify or disqualify companies. If a company gets these basics right, it bodes well that it could be a match for your industrial space in St. Louis.
- Responsiveness. To a large extent, a property management company’s business is answering the phone. Whether it’s being responsible to you as the owner, tenants or to prospective tenants, it’s important that the company be responsive. If you can’t get a call back as a prospect, imagine what might happen when the company has earned your business.
- Reputation. Talking to a few people in the market will quickly let you know about how the company is perceived. If you don’t hear good things, consider talking to someone else. Don’t always pay too close attention to ratings and reviews on social sites, these can be misleading. Tenants often use these sites as a sounding board when they are upset about evictions, fees or being asked for unpaid rents.
- Experience and Focus. Your property manager should be experienced in the type of building that you want to have managed. The best manager in the area for a multi-tenant space in St. Louis probably won’t know what to do with a single family residence. It is important to find a management company that has a melting pot of properties. This type of experience and knowledge is a huge asset.
Getting Down to Details
Once you’ve established the basics, here are some details to look into:
- Your Particular Manager. Try to find out who you’ll be working with and ensure that you and (s)he click well.
- Reporting Capabilities. Get a description of how the company will report to you on the work it does and the results it achieves.
- Management and Repairs. Find out which repair tasks are handled in house, which are subbed out and how you will be billed. Good maintenance costs money, but it can be unwise to spend too much on inflated travel costs, unreasonable minimums and the like.
- Response times. Have the manager explain how it responds to tenant calls and what kind of turnaround you and your tenants can expect. Given that property management is a big change, it’s important to keep your tenants happy.
- Insurance and Licensure. Confirm that the property management company has appropriate licensure and the right insurance to protect it — and you.
- Tenant Screening Process. If the manager will also be leasing your space, find out how it screens tenants. At Real Property Management Gateway our tenant screening is top notch!
The Bottom Line
One factor is missing from this check list — pricing. The right property management company probably won’t be the least expensive one. However, as long as the firm is within the ball park of what other companies charge, it’s worth the money to get good service and to have your portfolio in St. Louis managed properly. Ultimately, a good manager will more than pay for itself.