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.

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Tenant Marketing and Retention

Attracting and keeping the right tenants is what property management is all about. This is one of the most valuable services that a firm can provide, so it’s important to make sure that you’ll be getting your money’s worth by examining their process for each task. Here’s a list of issues to review and questions to ask any property management firms that you interview.

Where do you advertise your rental listings?

The more exposure the better, unless the management company is billing you to advertise in places and ways that aren’t effective. Expect your listings to be on numerous paid and free websites, and expect your manager to use offline channels as well, such as:

  • print classifieds
  • signs
  • the MLS
  • fliers
  • a 24-hour hotline where prospective tenants can listen to detailed information about the property

How effective are your ads? 

It’s a good idea to find some of the property manager’s rental ads to see if they stand out from the competition. How informative and compelling are they? Any management company can list basic information on multiple websites. You need a company that understands how to optimize their advertisements for maximum impact. The ads should include all the information required to answer people’s questions, but they should also incorporate good copywriting that engages the reader on an emotional level.

What’s your current vacancy rate?

This is very telling. If the company can’t get or keep other people’s tenants very well, there’s no reason to think that yours will be any different.

How long does it usually take you to fill vacancies on average?

If it’s longer than a month, keep looking. Regardless of what they tell you, there’s no guarantee it will hold up.

What’s your cost per lead?

If they can readily provide an answer, you know you’re dealing with a manager who closely tracks the impact of their marketing and advertising dollars.

Who fields inbound leads resulting from rental ads?

A property manager’s system is only as good as the weakest link in the chain. If well-placed and well-written rental ads direct leads to someone unqualified to handle them, then all that effort is wasted.

How quickly do you return prospective tenants’ calls and emails?

The shorter the better. You’re looking for a property management company that’s aggressive in responding to and nurturing leads at every point in the sales cycle. This can be an area of weakness for companies who are less sales-oriented, and if neglected, it’ll mean longer vacancy periods. If you want to test the answer they give you, ping the info on one of their ads and see how long it takes them to get back to you.

What do you do to prepare a home for showings? Do you take steps to ensure optimal presentation both inside and outside?

Showings are where tenant decisions are made, so you want your management company to pay attention to the details that matter. 

Will you show a unit if it’s occupied?

This is advisable as long as the current tenant is informed, the unit is presentable and the necessary precautions are taken to minimize the intrusion and disturbance. If the unit is showable, then ads should be placed prior to the move-out date so the vacancy period is minimized.

Who shows the units, and do you allow unsupervised showings from a lock box?

Successful showings require the manager to be organized and ready to sell. Prospective tenants will have lots of questions about the property, the neighborhood, the lease, etc. You’ll want to hire a manager that’s able to answer these questions and sell tenants on the benefits of the property. Using a lock box for showings hampers this process and also introduces the risk of vandalism, theft and rental fraud when unsupervised tenants enter your property.

How many times will you show the unit during the week and the weekend?

Watch out for managers who are not willing to put in the time necessary to maximize the number of showings for your property.

What kind of a tenant retention program do you have in place?

Increasing average tenancy periods will be a huge boost to your business. This translates to fewer turnovers and lower tenant placement costs. It also ensures a steady income stream and usually means that you have responsible, well-behaved tenants. Pay careful attention to how the property manager answers this question. Does it seem like tenant retention is a priority or an afterthought? A good retention program involves providing quick responses to tenant needs, establishing regular contact to assess needs and ask for feedback, providing appropriate financial incentives, giving notice that rent increases are coming, and being willing to explain rent increases. Additional touches that engender goodwill include seasonal cards or gifts, a welcome packet and a newsletter.

As any landlord veteran will tell you, if your unit is priced reasonably, getting applicants is easy. It’s finding QUALIFIED tenants that’s challenging. 

What should you expect from a management company when it comes to tenant screening? Our next post will explain that in detail.

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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.

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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.

The Realty Medics Guarantees

We are very proud to be the highest rated and most reviewed Property Management company in Central Florida. We guarantee results and have the lowest rates to support our results-driven philosophy.

14 Day Rental Guarantee

If we don’t rent your home in 14 days you get one month FREE management.

90 Day Money Back Guarantee

If you, the Owner, is unhappy for any reason, we will refund your management fees

6 Month Tenant Guarantee

If a tenant is removed in first 6 months, We find you a new tenant free of charge.

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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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