18 May How To Find A Vacation Home Property Manager
Whether you are still in the “considering stage” or you have already invested in rental properties, you may find that it can be difficult to manage the property on your own. When you put your hard-earned money on the line to purchase investment rental properties, you’ll want to know that the property is being managed by a trustworthy and responsible property manager. The property manager you hire to oversee your rental property will have a lot of responsibilities, from collecting the rent to handling day-to-day maintenance, so you should make sure that you hire a property manager that is up to the task. Hiring the wrong person may lead to increased vacancies and a loss in rent, so here are a few tips to help you find a reputable property manager.
Sometimes the easiest way to find a reliable property manager is by talking to others that either own rental properties or have rented from a property manager. Another great option is to talk to the real estate agent that sold you the rental property. Ask the realtor if they have sold other properties in the area that are used as rental properties, if so, visit these properties to get an idea of how well they are taken care of. Once you have a list of several potential candidates, you’ll need to do some research to find the right person. Some of the best advice came from Ike Callaway who owns a home watch company on Hilton Head Island called the House Butler. he said the easiest way to vet a good property manager is to talk to their current clients. If they say no, then that is a red flag!
Do Your Homework
One of the most important things to do when hiring a property manager is some homework. You’ll need to research the property managers that have been referred to you as well as others in the area of your vacation property.
- Make a list of the local property managers
- Visit their website and read reviews from both renters and other property owners
- Look for information about their fees, staff information, and other properties they manage
- Visit the Better Business Bureau to make sure the property managers you are considering are licensed and do not have any unresolved complaints against them
- Is the available rental list easy to find on their website and is it up to date?
Interview Potential Candidates
Once you have narrowed your list of potential candidates to three or four that have a good reputation, you’ll need to interview them. Take mental notes throughout the interviews so that later on you can compare their services, the cost of their service, their experience, and your first impressions. It’s best to meet the potential candidates in person. This will allow you to see first-hand how they respond to your questions. Put yourself in the place of a prospective renter, would you feel comfortable renting from this person? Most importantly, do you feel as though you can trust them to manage your property? Some questions to ask during your interview may include:
- How many properties do they manage?
- Where do they advertise the vacation homes? For instance, do they advertise on websites, local newspapers or provide brochures in tourist attractions?
- What type of vacation properties do they specialize in?
- What is the average amount of time it takes for them to place a tenant?
- How long have they been in the business?
- What services do they provide?
- Do they only hire subcontractors that have experience? For instance, landscapers, cleaners, and maintenance staff
- Will you be working directly with them or do they have several managers in the agency?
- How often do they inspect the properties?
- What do their inspections entail?
- How often will they contact you about your property?
- Do they contact the property owners before work is performed on the property?
- How do they handle tenants that damage the property or fail to pay the rental costs?
Review the Tenant Contract/Lease Agreement
Carefully review the contract or lease agreement that the property manager has with their tenants. You’ll want to look for things such as whether or not a deposit is charged, how much the deposit is, the consequences of breaking the lease, and how transactions are handled between the renter and the property manager. If you have questions or concerns about the contract, address them right away and if the property manager refuses to answer your questions or hesitates in their answers, you may want to consider moving on. You may find that a property manager that hesitates to answer your questions may end up not being honest with you in the future.
Finding a reliable, trustworthy property manager isn’t an easy task; it will take time and research. However, putting in a little extra work, in the beginning, will save you time and money later on. The property manager you hire can either make or break your investment, so take your time and trust your judgment.