Property Manager Hiring Guide ebook stacked multiple

A good property management company can easily become one of your greatest assets.

But deciding on a company to protect your investment can feel like rocket science. Gain the knowledge you need to confidently evaluate and hire a property management company.

A woman smiling while holding a phone looking to here computer screen

Examining the Organization: Size, Staff, Customer Service

The service you receive from a property manager will only be as good as the people doing the work. This step is critical in ensuring that you hire honest, knowledgeable professionals who will be attentive to your needs and the needs of your tenants.

Here’s a list of issues to review and questions to ask any property management firms you interview.

Size

How many people do you have on staff?

There are pros and cons for large and small companies. While these aren’t universal, here are some to consider:

  • larger company benefits
  • smaller company benefits

Staff

What is your staff turnover rate?

The property management industry has higher turnover in general, so bear in mind that this figure is only meaningful when compared to other property management companies in the area. High turnover is a bad sign. You want to deal with the same people, not a new face every few months. Additionally, this may signal poor management and possibly financial instability. If financial stability is a question, you can always run a credit check on the company.

Who is the specific PM you will handle my property?

The interview with management may go well, but if the manager they assign to your property is subpar, it really doesn’t matter how well the rest of the organization operates. Make a point to meet the specific property manager(s) who will be stewarding your properties. Consider the following: 

How do they show? Do they dress and act professionally? 

Do they seem knowledgeable about their profession? (A nice outfit, warm smile and firm handshake aren’t enough. Ask enough questions to the point that you’re satisfied that they know what they’re doing.) 

How long have they been a (insert your type of property) property manager for (working as an actual PM, not an assistant)? Relevant experience is key. They may transition quite well and do a good job, but either way, you’ll want to know their background upfront. 

How long have they been with this company, where and for how long were they with the company before that? Job-hopping is rarely a good sign, and because of the localized nature of real estate, more time spent locally is preferable to a recent transplant from a different rental market. 

How is their compensation package structured? This says a lot about how invested your property manager will be in your property’s performance. Wouldn’t you want your property manager to be rewarded if they do a good job and experience pain if they don’t? Look for pay structures that establish a direct correlation between compensation and key metrics, like low vacancy rate, delinquency rate, etc. 

Who would you be dealing with if that person got sick or went on leave? A day will come when Murphy’s Law comes in full force. Your manager is out of town, and a situation arises that requires immediate attention. Is there a qualified back-up person who will know how to solve the problem, or will it fall on you?

Customer Service

What are your office hours, and do you close on weekends?

Property management is a 24/7/365 vocation, so look for a property manager that’ll work for you and your properties on weekends.

Who handles after hours, weekend and holiday calls?

It needs to be someone who’s qualified to address owner and tenant concerns immediately rather than explaining that you or your tenants will need to wait until Monday morning. If one of your tenants has a pipe burst at 11:30 Friday night, you don’t want them talking to someone who’s not qualified or capable of promptly getting the problem solved. Regardless of the answer you’re given, the only way to really know is to call the given number and see who picks up. If tenant or owner emergencies are met with an answering machine or canned voicemail message, you may want to move on.

How quickly do you respond to tenant and owner calls?

If you have a hard time getting ahold of a property manager during the interview process, or you don’t always get quick replies to your questions, assume it’s a sign of things to come. Why would you consider hiring a property management firm that’s unresponsive? 

Next time we’ll be taking an in-depth look at property management contracts and how they govern your relationship with a management company.

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The Realty Medics are the nation’s leaders in “Rocket Science Renting”: Rocket Science Renting is about keeping your life simple by letting someone else handle the complex work of property management for you. It’s knowing that your property is running smoothly, with no hiccups or glitches. It’s hyper-responsive customer service that gives you property management peace of mind. It’s advanced technology that could only be designed by a former NASA engineer like our owner, Ben Sencenbaugh. And it’s knowing that you’re always getting maximum value and ROI for your investment.

Orlando Property Management Hiring Guide

Let us handle the rocket science of renting for you!

CONTACT US

The Realty Medics
10027 University Blvd
Orlando, FL 32817

Phone: (321) 947-7653
FAX: (407) 965-3312

The Realty Medics are the nation’s leaders in “Rocket Science Renting”: Rocket Science Renting is about keeping your life simple by letting someone else handle the complex work of property management for you. It’s knowing that your property is running smoothly, with no hiccups or glitches. It’s hyper-responsive customer service that gives you property management peace of mind. It’s advanced technology that could only be designed by a former NASA engineer like our owner, Ben Sencenbaugh. And it’s knowing that you’re always getting maximum value and ROI for your investment.

A woman smiling while holding a phone looking to here computer screen

11 Questions for Determining if You Need a Property Management Firm

While every investor’s situation is different, certain factors typically predispose owners one way or another.

The following questions will help you determine whether or not to hire a property manager.

1. How far do you live from your rental property, and how frequently can you visit the property on a regular basis?

If you’re close, you might be able to make the regular visits required for maintenance, inspections, collections, etc. Otherwise, the farther you live, the higher your travel time and expenses will be. The longer the distance, the more temptation there will be to NOT keep a close eye on things, and that can be a recipe for disaster. You should plan on making frequent visits, as well as for those middle-of-the-night emergency calls that require your immediate attention. In the long run, is this feasible for you?

2. How do you deal with stress? Do you consider yourself to be a tolerant person?

This is a tough one. We all like to think of ourselves as level-headed and even-keeled, but at the end of the day, it takes a special kind of person to deal with the ups and downs of property management.

Behind the seemingly simple task of collecting rent every month is a litany of unpredictable problems that can push people to their limits. Ask yourself how you would react in the unfortunate event that your tenants:

  • fight with other tenants or neighbors;
  • have domestic disputes;
  • conduct illegal business in the dwelling;
  • throw late-night parties or violate noise ordinances;
  • try to sneak extra people or animals into your home;
  • decide to sue you;
  • trash your property;
  • incite the wrath of your HOA because of repeated deed restriction violations; or
  • refuse to pay the rent because they are a “professional tenant” and know how to work the legal system for the maximum amount of free housing at your expense.

3. Are you currently overwhelmed with your property(ies)?

Managing rental properties can become quickly overwhelming, even for experienced investors. Something always requires attention, and things can quickly get out of hand. Hiring a property manager can help you regain control and restore stability to your properties and your life.

4. How many rental properties or units do you have?

As your portfolio grows, so do your management challenges. It becomes easier for things to fall through the cracks. Investors with large portfolios stand to reap significant benefits by leveraging the efficiencies a property manager can provide. Portfolio size can also constrain investors’ ability to consider purchasing new properties if they’re already maxed out managing their current holdings.

5. How much experience do you have with maintenance and repairs?

If you can’t do it yourself, do you know who to call? Finding reliable handymen and contractors can take a while. In the meantime, you may unknowingly hire people who are unethical, uninsured, do poor quality work, overcharge, etc. Maintenance and repairs are significant components of landlording, and if you question your ability to ensure that the work is done quickly and well, you might want to consider hiring a property management company.

6. How quickly are you able to get your unit rented?

Advertising, fielding calls and showing the unit can quickly eat up your time. But because vacancies can quickly eat into your profit margins, they’re critical tasks. If you question whether you have the skills or time to make this happen, OR if you have historically had an unacceptably high vacancy rate, you may want to consider hiring a property management company.

7. Are you capable of handling the accounting and record-keeping for your property?

From profit and loss statements to tax deductions, this area needs special attention and becomes increasingly burdensome for owners of larger portfolios. Some owners (especially those with a background in finance) will do just fine. Others may opt to hire an accountant to help with the bookkeeping. If you feel like this might be a weak point for you, you might want to consider hiring a property management company.

8. Are you willing to be on call 24/7/365?

It’s important to answer this question honestly, because ignoring emergencies at your property is NOT an option. Your special event, important meeting, vacation or personal crisis doesn’t relieve you of your obligations to your tenants. These emergencies don’t happen all the time, but when they do, you’re obligated to handle them immediately. Can you handle being called at 2 a.m. to fix someone’s overflowing toilet?

9. Are you willing to confront tenants about late payments, and evict them from the property if necessary?

Many new owners dislike feeling like the “bad guy” in a landlord-tenant relationship, so they go out of their way to make exceptions to the rules. The problem: This only invites additional abuses and excuses by tenants. Late payments must be dealt with immediately, and while sometimes a friendly reminder is all that’s needed, other times it can be a very confrontational process that needs to end in eviction. Unlike running a charity, running a successful rental business means enforcing the rules—even if it means evicting a single mother who lost her job and won’t be able to pay the rent anytime soon.

10. How well do you understand the laws governing landlording?

Ensuring that the property is run in accordance with the law is critical in preventing lawsuits and shielding yourself from liability if you’re sued. Familiarity with contracts is also very important, as your rental agreement is the only binding agreement between you and the tenant.

11. From a financial standpoint, is managing your property the best use of your time?

Ultimately, your decision to hire a property management company should hinge on whether or not it fits your lifestyle and makes good financial sense. Individual investors will have to assess the opportunity cost of both options based on their unique circumstances.

Property Management Hiring Guide

Let us handle the rocket science of renting for you!

CONTACT US

The Realty Medics
10027 University Blvd
Orlando, FL 32817
Phone: (321) 947-7653
FAX: (407) 965-3312

The Realty Medics are the nation’s leaders in “Rocket Science Renting”: Rocket Science Renting is about keeping your life simple by letting someone else handle the complex work of property management for you. It’s knowing that your property is running smoothly, with no hiccups or glitches. It’s hyper-responsive customer service that gives you property management peace of mind. It’s advanced technology that could only be designed by a former NASA engineer like our owner, Ben Sencenbaugh. And it’s knowing that you’re always getting maximum value and ROI for your investment.

Areas We Serve in Florida

We’re happy to serve many of the surrounding areas here in Central Florida. Below are the current cities and locations that we operate in. If you don’t see your area listed, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we’ll see if we can work together.

How Can Realty Medics Help Property Owners Like You?

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CONTACT US

Phone: (321) 947-7653
FAX: (407) 965-3312

LOCATION

The Realty Medics
10027 University Blvd
Orlando, FL 32817

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