In the first part of our discussion on evaluating the price of property management fees versus the service you are getting, we explained that your expectations are important. Today, we will talk about what good service looks like from a property manager.
Adequate management, with proper response times, requires systems, staff and resources to be in place. An absentee landlord wants the confidence that their management team will be able to respond quickly and appropriately. For example, if there is a flood on a Friday night, you do not want your property management company to be spread so thin that the staff cannot get to it right away. It’s all about managing your risk.
Consider the philosophy of the management company you are considering, and the benefits to you as the owner as well as your tenant. Make sure the philosophy matches your goals as the investment owner. You also want their attitude towards tenants to be such that it contributes to a successful relationship which results in a long term tenancy.
Another option for the investment property owner who is more hands-on and doesn’t mind monitoring the property during the tenancy is a tenant placement service or what some companies call a Lease-Up. This is where a management company handles only the finding, screening and placement of your tenants. I do not typically recommend this type of program for investment owners who do not live in the same area as their property. If you are managing the property yourself and you live in San Francisco while your property is in San Diego, it can be problematic if you have a delinquent tenant or a maintenance emergency to deal with. This type of program does work well for the local owner who is familiar with maintenance issues and can manage residential rentals with experience.
At Walters Home Management, more than 90 percent of our clients elect full service management. They feel more confident having a real estate professional manage the process and – most importantly, the risk. Think of hiring a professional property manager as part of your entire investment strategy, not just an added expense. The fees associated with property management services can be considered an insurance policy of sorts. You are paying a fee to your property manager not only for what they do each month on your behalf, but what they might have to do at any moment and at any time. When a water pipe breaks at 1:00 a.m. on a Saturday, you know your property manager will be on top of it.
I see myself as part of my client’s risk management team. We combine our knowledge, expertise and experience to create effective outcomes. If you have questions about property management or the fees that come with it, please contact us at Walters Home Management.