How to choose a property manager for your buy to let
You would never give your property investment to a complete stranger, so why would choosing a property manager be any different. The most important thing is to find an agent that you trust.
As a landlord you are entrusting one of the biggest investments that you will ever make into the hands of someone else. It is vital that you find someone that is dependable and trustworthy are two things that you should keep in mind when giving your property to a third party. Here are six factors to consider while you are looking for a property manager.
With so many people involved with letting a property, someone that is a good communicator is essential. Some investors prefer daily updates, while others only want a few updates. Regardless of the amount of communication, the quality of the updates is essential.
A property managers response time and availability rate are at the core of their job. When you initially meet the property manager you should always look for clues about their availability, speed and courtesy.
When it comes to renters, it is your property managers obligation to find you quality residents and to make sure that the tenants are treated fairly. When tenants are happy, they will usually stay in a property longer and are more reasonable for anything that breaks. With this in mind, it can be difficult at times to find high quality tenants.
Evictions are expensive, it can be particularly costly when a forced to forgo several months rent, and damage can be extremely costly. That is why it is essential for a property manager to run a credit check and to do background screening for any criminal activities and eviction reports.
Property management fees are standard practice, usually the fee is between 7% – 15% of a month rent but most commonly it is around 10%. The property owner is also responsible for any maintenance costs, and typically pay for a finder or leasing fee which may be up to a full month rent. Therefore, it is important to ask whether you will be charged, even if the property is empty.
Property managers may also charge a lease renewal fee and sometimes a project management fee if they are handling excessive paperwork such as insurance claims. As a property investor you should always verify the fee structure and services before signing any contract with a property manager.
When it comes to inspections, a property manager should be very proactive. This means that they should come and view the property at least twice a year to ensure that everything in the property is still in shape.
This is a time-consuming task means that it can be difficult for a property manager to conduct these types of viewings when they have a large portfolio. However, they should never lose that personal touch with you as a landlord.
To get the maximum amount for your property, property managers should know how to deftly the market so that the property isn’t empty for long. This includes everything from marketing the property and taking high quality photos to gain attention.
A property manager should also ensure that your property is leased at market rate and conduct regular reviews. This will ensure that you are not being shorted on income by charging too little rent.
It is also worth checking what software that property manager has available to them. Collecting rent and submitting maintenance requests online can make interactions by everyone involved a lot simpler. As ultimately a property manager should make life easier not more difficult.