Getting into the world of investment properties can be a great asset to your portfolio and financial health. Owning real estate property allows you to collect a reliable income without having to necessarily invest a lot of time and commitment on your part. As a property investor, you’ll have two main options to consider when it comes to the operations of your property. You can choose to take care of the property yourself.
This is ideal for investors who don’t plan on taking on too many properties. This also means that as an investor, you are responsible for the day-to-day operations of securing tenants, scheduling maintenance, handling marketing, and all the other aspects that go into operating a rental property.
Your other option is to take advantage of a property management service. A property management service takes care of all the different aspects of operating and maintaining your property. A property management service handles several different responsibilities such as advertising and marketing, screening applicants, adhering to city and state laws and regulations, collecting rent, and working with vendors for maintenance, repair, and remodeling needs.
To put it simply, hiring a property management service makes it easy to expand your portfolio by allowing you to focus on acquiring more real estate versus putting all your time and energy into just one. When it comes to hiring a property management service, there are a few different signs to look out for.
What Does a Property Management Service Do?
A property management service can do a wide variety of services depending on your needs as a real estate investor. What a property management service does largely depends on the role you want to take. A property management service is there to fill in gaps or provide complete operation services for your property.
A property management service can focus on certain aspects of your property such as applicant screening, rent collecting, and unit cleanings and repairs. A property management service can also handle all aspects of operating the property. One option allows you to continue to play a more active role in the operations of your property and the other option allows you to relinquish control to a property management service that has the experience and expertise to meet the demands of your property.
Operation Duties of a Property Management Service
A property management service provides a range of operational duties. Using a property management service is ideal for those who own multiple properties or own a property of a larger size. It is much more involved to operate an apartment complex than a single-family home. When looking for signs of a great property management service, you’ll want to explore service providers who provide quality operational duties for a range of different property sizes. Operation duties include:
- Marketing – The success of your investment relies on the ability to keep tenants on the property. This is important for residential and commercial properties. A great property management service should be able to explain the different marketing techniques and tools they use to maintain high-quality tenants. A great property management service will be able to show you its ability to reach the right demographic and fill vacancies quickly.
- Tenants – You need a quality property management service that has a good track record with both investors and tenants. Happy tenants take more pride in their property, pay their rent on time, and tend to stay longer. You want to look for signs that a property management service can address the needs of tenants quickly and professionally.
- Rent collection – You want to work with a property management service that is going to protect your money. This involves both filling vacancies and making sure that tenants are paying their full rent amount when it is due. A property management service should have a clear outline of how rent is collected, how they deal with delinquent payments, and what steps they take when dealing with tenants who are habitually late or refuse to pay their rent.
- Vendors – Another sign to look for in a great property management service is their ability to work with a wide range of different vendors. You want your property to always be operating at its best. This includes important home services such as plumbing, heating, and air conditioning. A quality property management service knows the best providers in the area. You also want to work with a property management service that is going to take the time to research different rates in the area, ensuring that you aren’t spending more for repairs or maintenance than you should.
- Bookkeeping and record keeping – Another great sign to look for with a property management service is their ability to keep detailed, on-demand records concerning rent collections, late payments, vendor costs, and more. Owning an investment property is a great investment so long as all finances are handled with detailed care.
Signs of Technology Use When Selecting a Property Management Service
Investors and tenants alike prefer to work with companies who make it easy to communicate, find information, make payments, and schedule necessary repairs. A sign to look for is the willingness to adapt to new methods to improve the efficiency of operating an investment property. A great property management service should use:
- Online applicant forms – The majority of potential tenants are going to go online to seek available vacancies in their area. This means having a website that is clear and easy to navigate is key. Providing an online form makes it easy and convenient for new tenants to apply. This allows your property management service to get the information they need to ensure the selection of quality tenants. This includes basic information, employment information, credit check approval, and other necessary information. Having this form online also ensures that everything stays organized and nothing gets lost.
- Online payment options – Allowing tenants to pay online is a convenient way to keep a detailed record of payment amounts as well as when the payment was submitted. This makes it convenient for tenants to pay without having to worry about going to certain banks, mailing checks, or tracking down a property manager. This can also make adding a late fee easy and clear to the tenant. This can also help to make record-keeping and bookkeeping a breeze. When you need financial reports, your property management service will be able to provide them quickly. Many great property management service companies provide a specific investor portal that allows you to access the reports and information you need whenever you need them.
- Maintenance request submissions – Technology also makes it easier for tenants to request any necessary maintenance to their unit. Addressing maintenance concerns quickly is important for both you as the investor and the tenant. Any problem should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent any further damage. Waiting too long can cause more damage, which could end in a repair that is more costly and time-consuming. Having online tools for maintenance requests ensures that a service need will never be lost or delayed. This also helps the tenant to feel heard, knowing their request will be addressed quickly.
Signs of Satisfaction When Working with a Property Management Service
Another important sign to look for is the overall satisfaction of tenants, investors, and vendors that the property management service has. This involves taking the time to carefully research your different options before hiring a property management service. You want to see signs that the company is committed to the satisfaction of both the tenants and other investors who have worked with them. This could be exploring reviews left on their website, and reviews on Google, Yelp, and social media platforms. A quality property management service should have evidence that it can provide quality and professional services that meet the needs of both tenant and investor.
Experience, Licensing, and Certification
Level of experience, licensing, and certifications are signs of a great property management service. You want to make sure that your investment property is in qualified hands. It is beneficial to look for a property management service that is well-established and recognized. This shows that they have the experience necessary to handle different investment properties of various sizes.
Many well-established property management service companies can handle all aspects of operating your property. This includes a marketing department, accounting, and property managers who have the required licensing and certifications to operate in your state. It is beneficial to have a clear understanding of their certification requirements. This shows their commitment to property management service.
Choosing a Property Management Service
As a property investor, you want to look for key signs that indicate a great property management service. You want to find a property management service that has the experience, licensing, and certifications that are required in your specific area. You also want to make sure there is clear evidence when it comes to satisfaction from previous or current investors or tenants. You also want to make sure that your property management service can handle all the operational duties to ensure your rental property operates at its best consistently. Home365 is committed to providing exceptional property management services for a wide variety of investment properties.