Landlords and real estate investors are always hopeful that the property management companies they hire will do the best job possible and be worth the money they are being paid. After all, you’re paying them to oversee your rental properties, manage the daily operations, and ensure that your best interests are always protected. However, no two companies are ever alike and some will make promises that they cannot deliver. Once you have signed a long-term agreement or contract, they fail to uphold their part of it and neglect their responsibilities.
So how can you determine whether or not the property management company you have hired is worth the money you’ve been paying them every month? Here are a few helpful tips on how to tell if they’re worth it:
- Lease violations – if you find yourself having to deal with complaints, they may not always be from tenants (see below under “Tenants are your primary indicator”). It may be a neighbor complaining about legitimate concerns regarding your tenant. For instance, if the tenant is violating your lease agreement, the property management employee or team should catch any infractions of this nature. Complaints about barking dogs when pets are not allowed or garbage and trash accumulating on the property are examples of what can happen when property managers are not doing their jobs.
- Regulatory non-compliance – if you have been cited for compliance violations or other code or regulation problems, this may indicated that your property management team is not doing the job you have paid them to do. When managers neglect to inspect your properties on a regularly scheduled basis, it means they aren’t following federal and state rental housing regulations. Not only does this imply costly financial ramifications, it leads to a higher tenant turnover rate and reduced cash flow.
- Tenants are your primary indicator – if your tenants would rather talk to you about their rent payments or unresolved maintenance and repair issues, there could be a problem with the company you hired. For instance, they may not be managing the daily operations of your properties that they agreed on. However, if they are contacting you as a last resort because the property management company does not respond to their requests, it may be time for a change.
Granted, you always want to give a property manager or management team the benefit of the doubt in cases types of circumstances. However, you should be able to discuss your issues with them prior to making assumptions or jumping to conclusions. If these particular issues or problems continue, it may be time to consider switching to another property management company. Remember, you’re paying them to protect your interests and investments by managing them properly at all times.