We’re guessing you’ve heard that old adage: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That holds just as true for property management as it does for other businesses. Oddly, not unlike dating, you’ve got to watch out for the smooth operator who’s all talk but no substance. Consider this a public service announcement warning you about seven traps to avoid when deciding which company best fits your needs to manage your investment property.
Not All Orlando Property Companies are the Same
1. Property Management Pick-Up Lines
After an initial conversation with a property management company, it can feel like you’re being courted: frequent emails, texts and offers to meet in person. If you reach out, you’ll get a quick response and they’ll woo you with sweet talk. A common complaint (and a big reason that owners leave their existing company) is that once a prospect becomes a client, all that communication halts.
Many owners say they don’t feel informed about what’s going on with their property and want more visibility into the physical and financial condition of their investment. Reasonable requests, right? A property management company should not just talk the talk at the beginning, but also walk the walk throughout the business relationship.
2. Low Monthly Management Fees
If a property management company charges much lower fees than others, be curious. It might seem like a good deal, but every business needs to make money to stay in business. If a company quotes you massively lower rates than competitors, you need to wonder why. Are you a loss leader for a new business, will other fees offset that initial lower fee or will the quality of the management commensurate with the fees? Ask lots of questions! Please, never go with a property management company based solely on a low monthly maintenance fee: you run the risk of getting what you paid for. A company that cares about your investment will typically offer you fee options that will fit best for you.
3. The Attractive Mask
The Realty Medics team is transparent about all our rates, fees and services provided at various levels of management. We feel that, as a client, you should know exactly what you get for your money. Unclear contracts or vague answers should serve as red flags about a property management company. You deserve full and accurate answers to your questions in a timely manner.
4. Poor Process Pit
When you interview a property management company, ask about their processes, policies, and procedures. With a rocket scientist at our helm, we know a thing or two about following procedures. NASA literally puts lives on the line and ensures intentional documented processes for each action. Just as you’d never hear that an astronaut was ‘winging it’ on a spacewalk, The Realty Medics have documented – and easily accessible – processes for each possible scenario in property management. A company without clear policies leaves too much to chance and plenty of room for chaos. Chaos that can impact YOUR property.
5. Maintenance Maneuvers
Do the property managers outsource its maintenance or “know a guy” to refer you to? Bet they also charge you an additional fee for overseeing any work their vendors do. If the company offers to manage the work for an outside vendor, you cannot guarantee you are getting the best rates, that the company has your best interests in mind, or that contracted work will happen in an expedient manner. While we have our own in-house maintenance team at your service, we work just as nicely with any other contractors you choose.
6. The One-Trick Pony Problem
Hearing that a property management company only does property management isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But that means they can only offer limited services. At some point, you may want an Orlando real estate company to buy or sell a property for you, or you may need a major rehab of an existing property. Sure, your property management company may offer a few referrals to outside vendors, but that requires you to spend time interviewing them, likely pay a finder fee and continue on a three-way communication that slows down processes.
7. Golden Handcuffs
Too many companies make it incredibly easy to sign with them, but next to impossible to dip out when you’ve decided you want to move in a different direction. Before you sign anything, read management agreements (getting out your magnifying glass for that fine print). If they want to charge an exit fee to release you from their management, you should proceed with caution as it could indicate a variety of problems.
Curious how The Realty Medics stack up against your current property management company or other competitors? Give us a call today at 321-947-7653 or complete our online form for a free consultation to find out.
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If you want to experience Rocket Science Renting for yourself, The Realty Medics offers the lowest property management rates in Orlando. Contact us today to find out what your home will rent for by calling 321-947-7653 or filling out a FREE Rental Price Analysis.
Ben Sencenbaugh is a former NASA engineer who heads The Realty Medics, Central Florida’s #1 residential property management company. A loyal Orlando resident since buying his first rental home in 1997, Ben brings rocket science to renting, applying advanced technology to make renting single-family homes a better, simpler and more successful experience for owners and tenants.