Crash Course: Property Management

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If you are reading this blog post, you have probably decided that you will need to enlist the services of a reliable property management company. You may even have a pretty good idea of what criteria to keep in mind during the selection process.

In your hunt for the right partner, it is important to recognize that there are excellent property management companies out there who can completely change your investment experience. Being able to identify the traits of an effective property management company can get the right people in place to turn your property into a success. It’s okay to add to this list as your experience with property management companies broadens, but these are the 4 key elements that will make or break your relationship with them.

  1. Trust: You have to be able to feel confident that your property manager will contact you if there are any issues with your investment. You also have to feel confident that in the event they cannot reach you, they will handle your property with intelligence, and without incurring ridiculous expenses. This feeling of trust isn’t difficult to identify and isn’t something that needs to be overanalyzed – you either have it or you don’t.
  2. Communication: Nothing can be more frustrating than if you can’t get in touch with your property management company, or if you can’t get a question answered promptly. Some managers have to be called daily for a week or more before you can get an answer to a simple question. Good management companies email you back within a day or two with the answer you need.
  3. Maintenance: This is a big one. Calling a contractor out for every maintenance request is unacceptable, but this is what most property management companies in Edmonton do. If you can call a contractor yourself, why pay someone to do that for you? It is important to know that if a tenant calls and says the toilet is not working that the manager will send the correct trade for the specific job. This is what you pay a monthly fee for.
  4. Tenant Relations: Although any period of vacancy can be quite stressful for an owner, being patient in finding the right tenant is essential. Good management companies may not find you a renter quickly, but when they do, the tenant will be a good fit and demonstrate all of the qualities that you are looking for. Having fewer turnovers with respectable tenants will cost much less than saving vacancy time in the short-term and compromising on the type of person who rents from you.

Other Factors to Consider:

  • Pricing: It is important to thoroughly understand a property management group’s pricing structure when evaluating them for a job. Consider what the company offers, and try to get the best value for your money.
  • Repairs and Emergencies: One of the main advantages of hiring a property management company is that they can handle emergencies for you. This could quite literally make or break your investment.
  • Rent Collection: Finding out how the property management company collects rent will be crucial to your relationship with them. It would be wise to get this item cleared up in order to avoid unnecessary conflict.
  • Listing of Units: Not only do you want to make sure that your units are getting the right exposure, but you will want to be confident that the very best tenants are being sought after and selected.

By asking these questions you may not find out everything you need to know, but it will definitely head you in the right direction. It is best to research, question, analyze and then decide based on all of the information you have. This will enable you to make a choice that you will be happy with for years to come.

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