Real estate investment is a substantial commitment and requires you to make several crucial decisions that can have long-lasting ramifications. If you intend to focus on building a residential rental home empire, hiring the right property manager is a choice that should not be undertaken lightly.
Finding a property management company that offers competent, professional services at cost-effective rates takes more than an online search for a list of potential companies. Here are some vital steps you should follow:
Predetermine your criteria
Before hiring a property management company, have a clear picture of what you expect from its agents. Think of it as hiring an employee using a set of predetermined criteria. As with any job interview, you compare a candidate to your selection criteria to find the best one. This should be your approach when searching for property managers in Colorado Springs, Denver, Jackson, Fort Collins or any other city as such.
In addition to apparent criteria like price and services offered, another selection criteria could be a property manager’s area of operations. Some landlords prefer to hire multinational rental property management giants like Cushman and Wakefield or Greystar Real Estate Partners. However, it would also be advisable to consider local operators, such as Dorman Property Management or Cornerstone Real Estate Team Property Management.
Evernest has an established reputation in Colorado Springs for offering outstanding service from qualified professional agents while still charging reasonable rates that landlords do not find prohibitively expensive. This has made it popular among Colorado Springs rental property owners.
Narrowing down the field
With your selection criteria in mind, start researching property managers in Colorado Springs. Scrutinize their websites to see what services they offer and their fee structure. You can also read online reviews to get an idea of the experiences other landlords and tenants have had with the company.
Another way to reduce the pool of potential companies is to ask other landlords which companies they would recommend. Insight from a practical perspective can be helpful when deciding if a property manager would be a good fit.
Once you have determined which companies you think are compatible with your needs, create a shortlist of at least two but no more than four potential rental property managers. Then schedule appointments to interview one of the company’s agents.
Prepare a lengthy list of challenging questions to ask during your interview with property managers. Their answers should demonstrate their knowledge of the Colorado Springs rental market, how proactively they handle problems, and how their company can make your life as a landlord easier.
Ask questions about when the company was established, the agent’s qualifications and length of experience, and how many properties they currently manage. If an agent seems to have many properties to manage, they will not have sufficient time to devote to yours.
Discuss the company’s fee structure and what it includes, and the nature of the contract you would sign with it. Find out how the agent will set about marketing your home, how they screen and vet tenants, and what they will do if renters do not pay.
Read the fine print
Once you have decided which property manager to engage with, ask for their standard rental contract that tenants sign and the agreement you as the landlord must sign. These are vital legal documents, and you need to understand what they contain.
Ask an attorney to go through the agreements to ensure that they are fair and protect your interests. If a lawyer feels some adjustments are necessary, take them back to the property manager for discussion.
Monitoring and evaluation
Do not rest on your laurels after entering an agreement with a property manager. Make a list of key performance indicators that you rate as necessary to maintain a good working relationship.
For example, proactive communication from the agent could be one. If you find yourself constantly chasing after an agent, take the issue up and see that it is rectified.
Other indicators of success include rental collection rates and how the property manager manages primary job functions like repairs and maintenance. The working relationship might take two or three months to settle down as both you and the agent learn to work together and what you expect from each other. After a few initial hiccups, you will know if you have the right property manager or not.