Tips for Finding a Great Property Manager
Finding the appropriate person to manage your investment can be quite troublesome and relies a great deal on judgment. You want to find someone that you can trust to take good care of your rental property. Look for traits like organization, integrity and most importantly experience. The list below will help you to find and choose the best manager for your property.
We all know that word of mouth is by far the best reference. A great way to find out about property managers is through real estate agents and other property owners. They may be able to tell you who they have worked with in the past or know of some ideal candidates that you can approach. Ask for a list of property management companies they recommend and be sure to find out about the experiences they have had with them.
Remember, even word of mouth referrals tend to be biased. Make sure you are getting referrals from different sources to get an accurate account of these property management companies. Consistent feedback is key; good or bad.
Do Your Research!
There are many websites you can use to search for property management companies. By entering in your location and the size of your property into the search engines on these sites that will produce a list of property management companies closest to you.
Throughout your search make sure to check reviews for the companies on sites such as Yelp before you start interviewing. This will help to save you time in the search for a reputable property management company. It may even be helpful to contact the Better Business Bureau to find out about any complaints that have been filed.
Property Manager Screening
Once you have narrowed down your search it’s a good idea to then take a look at some of their current rental advertisements. What is the scope of their properties, do they represent reputable properties and are the ads professional and catching to the eye. Have a look at the properties in person to ensure that the property management companies have cared for the rental property.
If possible see if you can speak to the tenants themselves about their experiences living in specific rental properties. Find out if the manager on site as well as the property management company were available and helpful to the tenants. What was the maintenance schedule like, were they friendly and easily approachable? Are they planning to renew their lease, would they recommend this rental property to other renters?
See if you can get a monthly report of complaints or maintenance from the management company, this will help you to determine the type of upkeep they have experience with as well as the length of time it takes them to conclude any issues.
Conduct Multiple Interviews
Having done all of your research, you should begin by interviewing several property managers so you can compare and properly screen the applicants. By interviewing numerous applicants you will be able to determine the good from the bad as well as those that are knowledgeable as those who are not. Are they forthcoming in your questions, what is their tenant placement and duration record? Find out about their education, experience and how familiar they are with the Residential Tenancies Act. Ask them a series of hypothetical questions to see how they would handle certain situations.
Proper Background Check
Most provinces in Canada require that a property manager or management company obtain a real estate broker’s license. Upon your research into reputable companies, you should also consult with your province’s Real Estate Council or Association to ensure that the property management company has a valid brokerage license. In Canada the laws that govern property management will differ for every province, so you should look into what a real estate or property manager/management company require in order to conduct business.
You should also look into the different types of designations or certification a company or individual can achieve to further educate and thus advance their knowledge within the property management industry. A property manager/management company that is willing to spend time and money in order to further educate themselves tells you that they are committed to their job and the level of service they can offer.
As in all things you should also trust your instincts. A property manager may have lots of education and credible references but you want to ensure that they practice what they have been taught and are passionate about their jobs. Make sure we are looking at each potential property manager/management company as a whole.
Draft a Management Agreement
Upon choosing the candidate you feel is the best fit for you and your rental property you will want to draft a Management Agreement. Much like a Rental Agreement, ensure that you clearly outline the expectations and responsibilities you require your property manager to accomplish. Make sure that everything you had discussed during the interview process remain the same and are reiterated in the contract.
Make sure to include sections that clarify any extra fees charged for services provided, clauses that require compliance of all laws pertaining to the Residential Tenancies Act and any city-by laws, terms and reasons for cancellation or termination of the contract and any other details you wish to include in order to protect you and your new property manager.