According to reports, there are almost 310,900 property management companies in the US.
If you’re on the hunt for a property management service, it can be hard to know which one to pick.
If you don’t vet your property manager options carefully, you could put your investment at risk, and run into unnecessary stress.
Want to make sure you choose the right property management service from the get-go? Keep reading to find out everything you need to consider when looking at property manager options.
One of the first things to consider when choosing a property management service is whether or not they are licensed.
No matter what types of property they oversee, most states require property management companies to carry a license.
However, exact property manager licensing requirements can vary somewhat between states.
In Delaware (and the majority of other states) property management services must hold a real estate broker license. However, in Maine, no licensing is required to manage property. In Kansas, it’s only required for commercial property management.
Some of the other states that don’t require a license from property management services are:
- Kansas for residential property management
Certain states require property management companies to take out a specific property management license.
Make sure that prospective property management companies are in compliance with state law before you hire them.
A great way to gauge the quality of a property management service is by reading online reviews.
Online reviews can give you a relatively reliable insight into how a property management company treats its clients. As well as their tenants and the properties they manage.
When looking at online reviews for different property manager options, try to gauge the overall trend of reviews. Rather than focusing on individual or polarizing reviews.
Once you start reaching out to property management companies, take note of their response times.
Were they prompt in getting back to you, or did you have to wait to hear from the company?
A reliable property management service will prioritize prompt communications with both their clients and their tenants. If a company is slow to respond to you, this can be a sign of disorganization, bad management, and a lack of customer service.
Another thing to think about in today’s age is what virtual solutions are available.
According to reports, a fully digital experience is the new normal for renting an apartment, with 70% of renters willing to lease a home without seeing it thanks to virtual solutions such as 3D tours.
What’s more, virtual services don’t stop at the apartment hunting process. Now, some property management services also offer virtual lease management solutions, both for tenants and landlords.
Traditionally, you would have to reach out to your property management service to get access to documents and reports. Now, depending on the company you choose, you can access many of these things online.
For instance, here at Delaware Realty, we have an online portal for both tenants and property owners. Here you can access online reporting features. Tenants can report maintenance issues, give notice, and more.
This streamlines the rental process for all parties, saves you time and hassle, and gives you increased transparency.
Range of Services
Besides vetting for virtual solutions, you should also consider the range of services potential property management companies are offering.
Do they only provide a limited range of services? Even if you’re initially only looking for a stand-alone service, such as tenant screening, you might find in the future that you want to utilize more property management services.
If so, you don’t want to go through the hassle of switching to a new company.
Instead, look for a property management company that offers a full range of services, including:
- Tenant screening
- Rent accounting
- Management of day-to-day operations
This way, should you choose to utilize more services in the future, the upgrade will be quick and easy.
Besides prioritizing property manager options that offer a full range of services, you should also look into flexibility levels.
Can you pick and choose what services you want to utilize? Or will you be locked into a service that’s more comprehensive than you need?
Ultimately you want to make sure the property management service will match their services to your needs, not the other way around.
Property Management Experience
Another important criterion to consider is property management experience.
If you land up with an inexperienced property manager or a new company that doesn’t have sound processes—you run the risk of losing income and peace of mind.
Your property might also become damaged in the process, you could run into legal issues, problematic tenants, and more.
In short, hiring a property management service that’s not founded on experience could land you and your real estate investment in hot water.
On the other hand, if you engage a property management service that’s been in business for many years, you can rest assured that your investment will be well looked after.
Property Manager Fees
The final consideration to keep in mind is property manager fees.
As with most things, cheaper isn’t always better when it comes to property management services.
You don’t want to get ripped off and have to pay above-average prices for the services you receive. However, picking a company purely because they charge low property manager fees isn’t usually going to save you money in the long run.
Instead, try to look for the option that provides the best value for money, rather than the biggest bargain.
Are You Looking for a Trustworthy Property Management Service?
Selecting a property management service isn’t something you should do without due diligence. Keep the above considerations in mind when researching your property manager options.
Looking for a property management service that ticks all the boxes? You have come to the right place.
Here at Delaware Realty Management, we offer a full range of property management services. Backed by 30 years of industry experience, we offer our clients flexibility, virtual solutions, and top-notch customer service.
Contact us today to discuss your needs.