As a landlord, you know that the right property management company can not only save you time and stress but keep money in your pocket—where it belongs!
Not all property managers work with the same commitment to excellence and care for your property. It's critical to vet a property management company before trusting them with your rental home. Here are the top questions to ask when choosing the property management company in Clayton that's right for you!
1. Which Company Do Other Landlords Use?
Chances are, your rental property isn't the only one in the area: what property management companies do other landlords turn to?
One of the first and most important things to do is to ask other landlords about their experience working with local property management companies. You can learn a lot from a landlord's perspective before you spend time interviewing companies yourself:
- Consult with other landlords in your area
- Check online reviews
- Talk with contractors that work with property management companies
When you find property managers with a good reputation among landlords and contractors, narrow your search down to those companies.
2. Are They Local and Experienced?
You don't have to be local—but you need a property manager that is.
When it comes to listing and marketing your rental property, your property manager needs to understand the local market. They should know everything about the area and what renters want in Clayton. Some critical points of expertise should be in knowing:
- How the market impacts the rental price of your home
- What amenities renters want
- How to craft a listing that appeals to potential tenants
- What is attractive about the location of the home
Local property managers also know the best nearby contractors for repairs and maintenance. Plus, in an emergency, a local property manager can act quickly on your behalf. Look for a history of experience in the property management industry: more experience often brings better quality service.
3. How Do They "Work?"
Choose a property management company that works not just for you, but with you:
- Do you prefer only critical "need-to-know" updates or frequent communication?
- Do you prefer phone calls or emails?
- How often do you want to see financial reports?
- How do they interact with tenants and how often?
- What are their fees?
The personality of your property manager needs to interact well with your management style. Remember, your rental property is a form of passive income: you should see the benefits of profit without having to be involved in the day-to-day operations. It's critical to find a property management company that you trust to be the eyes, ears, and hands of your rental property.
4. Are They Properly Licensed?
You don't need licenses to own a rental property. However, your property manager should have all required licenses and certifications required to provide hands-on management.
Property management is a strictly regulated industry in California: don't trust all property management companies to have the required licenses just because they say they do. Using publicly available information, be sure you confirm their licensing details on your own.
5. What Are Their Vacancy Turn-Times?
When your property sits empty, you lose money: you need a property management company that minimizes the downtime between tenants.
As you interview property management companies, ask about their average length of vacancies for their other properties. Talk with them about their property advertising strategies and review listings for other properties they manage:
- What is the quality of those listings?
- Do they use eye-catching photos?
- Where do they market their properties?
- Do they provide printed marketing pieces and yard signage?
- How do they stage and show your property?
- How do they find and screen tenants?
It's not enough to market a property well: your property management company must have a thorough tenant screening process to make sure they choose quality renters for your property.
The only thing worse than an empty property is a bad tenant in your property. It's critical to get a new tenant in your property quickly to avoid vacancy, but an excellent tenant takes priority over speed: taking the time to screen a tenant is time well-spent.
Property managers have the resources to screen an applicant's finances, criminal history, employment, and past rental history. With that information, they can select the best tenant for your property—without bias.
Choose the Right Property Management Company
Don't rush your decision to choose a property management company in Clayton: take the time to research and review your options before trusting "just any" property manager with your hard-earned investment.
All County Heritage Property Management is always available to talk about our extensive services—for free! Local to Clayton, we offer full-service property management, including rental analysis, maintenance, property marketing, tenant screening, and financial reporting. Let us treat your investment with care: every property we manage is a priority!