By Mark Coulter, Managing Director of Coulters Property
For professional landlords, choosing the right property management company is not just about protecting your investment; its also about protecting your business and your livelihood.
It’s a sad fact that there are some unscrupulous companies operating in the property world, and making the wrong choice when it comes to deciding on the right company to manage your property can have disastrous effects on both your finances and your business reputation.
Practically every company out there will tell you that they offer a comprehensive service – that they will fully vet tenants and oversee the day-to-day running of your rentals. What you need to ensure is that you are not just relying on empty words and promises or just looking at the cost without really considering in full the service you will get in return. You do not want to find yourself with unpaid rent and a property that has been allowed to fall into a costly state of disrepair.
First and foremost, when looking for a property management company, consider its background and reputation. Look at the experience of the team, and research everything from the company’s website – after all, this will be used to market your property – to the firm’s proposed practices and the credentials of the owners and staff members.
Secondly, spend time talking to a specialist from the company you are considering using. Good property managers will always have time to discuss what they can offer you and to listen to your personal requirements. Don’t just call once either – do it on multiple occasions.
You want to know that your chosen representatives will be on hand if ever you, or your tenants, need to contact them. Calling or emailing an office where no one ever responds is not a good reflection of business quality – and your tenants may think the same of your enterprise if they suffer similar problems. The way in which you are treated when you speak to the company representative should also be a deciding factor when making your choice. Remember that this is also likely to be the way in which your tenants are treated.
It is often a good idea to choose smaller companies with specialist knowledge of an area. These can offer a more personal service that is easier to access and allows for the creation of mutually beneficial long-standing relationships. They may also be best placed to offer area-specific advice and source suitable tenants.
In the age of the internet and property portals, gone are the days when you had to think big in terms of the property management company you choose. Today companies of all sizes have access to a world of potential tenants and technology to improve the rental process. What you need to ensure is that your chosen company is taking full advantage of the technology on offer, both in terms of the marketing of your property and to ensure that you have quick and easy access to the information you need relating to your own property’s management.
Image courtesy of Coulters Property