Markets can fluctuate and tastes can change, but real estate is still a solid investment.
Renting out properties is a great way to make passive income and gives you assets to work with in case you ever find yourself in financial trouble. Managing a rental property or two on your own can be simple, but things get complicated when you start to invest in more properties.
If you want to invest in more properties but worry about managing them, consider using rental property management services teams to help you keep things on track.
Rental property management services have helped countless real estate moguls make their fortunes. Hiring a team of expert property managers allows property owners to focus on making the right investments, as these managers handle the day-to-day tasks of managing both the properties and the renters who call them home.
The 6 questions you should ask your rental property management services team in Rockville, MD are:
- What Kind of Properties Do You Manage?
- How Do You Screen Renters?
- How Do You Manage Disputes with Residents?
- Can I See an Example of Your Monthly Reporting?
- Who Handles Maintenance Work?
- Do You Have Any References?
But before we will go over the benefits of utilizing rental property management services and the best ways to find one that can meet your needs.
The Benefits of Rental Property Management Services
Some people see rental property managers as people who collect rent and contact plumbers when there’s a pipe leak. The truth is that a great property management service is worth its weight in gold because of all the good it can do for you. Here are some of the best benefits of hiring a rental property management services team to help you manage your rental properties.
1. You Competitively Set Your Rents
How do you currently determine how much you charge for rent? Some people simply charge a little more than their mortgage rate, while others may look at a few listings in the neighborhood to get an idea of what they should charge.
A good property management company won’t just collect rent, but will help you determine the best rental rate for your property. They’ll study the market and be able to suggest a rental rate that can appeal to renters and help make you money. These services can come in very handy if you’re just starting to expand your real estate holdings. You can learn a lot about proper pricing, the local real estate market, and other helpful business tips from the right management service.
2. You Get Expert Marketing Help
Digital advertising has changed the way people rent out properties. Aside from traditional real estate listing websites, you also have the option to advertise on social media or in search engines. You can create virtual walkthroughs, do video tours, and more.
Managing everything you’ll need to properly market your property can be difficult when you’re busy trying to focus on making new investments. Luckily, this is where a rental property service can help. Modern and effective property management companies know exactly what they need to do to market your home, condo, or apartment to the right renters. They’ll be able to focus on getting the word out about your property and you can focus on finding more investments.
3. You Expand Beyond Your Current Area
When you first start out renting properties you have to be relatively close to the properties you own. You have to be able to manage any problems with tenants and the property quickly and efficiently, after all. This can work out fine if you have just one or two properties, but you’ll want to get a foothold in different markets if you want to truly invest in real estate.
Business-savvy real estate buyers use property management services to beat this problem. These owners are free to invest in other areas regardless of how close they are to them because they no longer have to be close by to manage everything.
4. Truly Manage Tenants
Managing tenants goes beyond making the occasional repair and picking up the rent. If you want to keep your tenants happy and in your properties, you need to be able to manage their needs. One tenant may want to replace the carpet in the house or paint the walls a different color. Another could be thinking about moving in with their significant other or could be interested in learning more about other properties you manage.
Landlords who can’t be found to answer questions or manage tenant needs are landlords who won’t have tenants for long! A property management service can ensure your renters stay happy and are well taken care of — no matter what their needs or questions might be.
Six Questions to Ask Rental Property Management Services Candidates
Now that you know some of the great benefits property management services have, you’re probably feeling eager to start finding a firm you can start using ASAP. Rental property management services can be very helpful, but only if they manage things the right way. Picking the wrong company to manage your properties could be a costly and annoying mistake to fix.
You need to ask the right questions if you want to ensure that you’re getting the best property management services possible, and some are essential for determining the right fit. When you’re talking to rental property management services companies, remember to ask these six important questions.
1. What Kind of Properties Do You Manage?
Managing a block of apartments or a few condos is very different from other commercial properties. Before you bring on any rental property management services firms, make sure they specialize in residential rental properties. Bringing on a property management company that doesn’t understand how to deal with residential needs can cause a lot of problems for you.
There are so many laws that come along with renting residential property in the state of Maryland, for example. Rules need to be followed around charging application fees, drafting leases, and taking deposits, among other aspects. Not understanding the proper way to handle them can cause paperwork problems for you at best — and potential legal problems at worst.
This is especially true when you’re dealing with evictions. If you bring in a rental property management services company that doesn’t understand the legal way to evict someone, you could find yourself in a lengthy court battle.
It’s also important to ensure that they’re familiar with managing properties of your size. A rental company that’s used to managing a handful of houses may not be the best choice for someone who owns several condos or rows of apartments, after all
2. How Do You Screen Renters?
One of the most important tasks your property manager will handle is screening rental applicants. Bad renters are difficult to deal with. Individuals who aren’t properly screened could be late with their payments, may cause issues with other residents, or could damage property.
You’ll want to make sure the company you work with has a stringent screening process. Ask if they run credit and background checks. Learn about how they verify employment or how they determine a renter’s ability to pay month to month. Also, see where they stand on speaking with other landlords. It’s important that you also understand who makes the final decisions on approving renters. You’ll want to ensure you’re on the same page about how ideal renters look.
3. How Do You Manage Disputes with Residents?
Managing rental properties involves a lot more work than simply collecting rent when it’s due. If anything, some people view managing rental properties as being more about managing people and relationships than about maintaining the property itself.
Rent can become an emotional subject on both sides: It can be easy to become frustrated with a tenant who’s late on payments, and tenants can become frustrated because of their personal economic situations. Hiring a company with representatives who don’t have good people skills could make an already-tense situation even worse.
It’s also important to note that other problems could arise around maintenance and care.
Residents may become upset if they notice that snow isn’t shoveled, lawns aren’t maintained, or if resident services like gyms and pools aren’t well-kept. They may even demand a partial rent refund if things get too out of hand.
Ask your potential rental property management services team to give an example of a difficult residential dispute they handled, including how it came about and how it was resolved. Another good question to ask is when they’d consider getting you involved in a dispute.
4. Can I See an Example of Your Monthly Reporting?
Everything is data-driven in today’s world. The more information you can get from your property manager, the better business decisions you’ll be able to make.
Reporting should be an important part of every property manager’s routine. The way they report financial data is going to be absolutely crucial for you to continue to make money off of your properties. When you ask for a sample monthly report, take things a step further and ask them to explain everything on it to you. A good property manager shouldn’t have any issue answering your questions. See how confident they sound when explaining things to you.
Be sure to communicate how you’d prefer to receive reports, too. You may want a small update at the end of each week and a larger report at the end of the month, for example. It’s also possible that you’d be fine with a phone call every now and along with a large quarterly update. Regardless of what you want, make sure you figure it out early on.
Also, make it clear if there are certain things you want them to pay close attention to. Some owners are more concerned about repairs and on-going property maintenance over other issues. Others may want to focus on renter retention, late payments, and new residents.
5. Who Handles Maintenance Work?
It isn’t unusual for property management companies to rely on in-house maintenance crews, single contractors, or a network of specialists — electricians, plumbers, landscapers, etc. — to handle maintenance work.
Unless you’re working with a very small rental property management company, it’s safe to assume the person you’re speaking with won’t be the one handling repairs. Regardless of how they delegate the work, you’ll want to make sure your property is in good hands. It’s important to note that certain steps may need to be performed by professionals with special certifications and accreditations. Other kinds may require permits or inspections by the city or town.
It’s okay to ask if you can talk to some of the maintenance specialists who will be working on your properties. Ask for reviews and about how they personally make sure the maintenance specialists with whom they work are qualified to do the required work.
6. Do You Have Any References?
References are important for any business owner, and that’s especially true when you’re looking for property managers. You may have a great feeling about one company, but you should be sure to ask for references before making your final decision. Don’t just focus on other clients when you ask for references, either. Try to see if you can get reviews from important people with whom they’ve interacted, as these individuals will likely have honest, first-hand accounts.
If you’re interested in eventually selling your properties, ask if they’ve worked with any real estate agents in the area. Other professionals like mortgage brokers and attorneys can give you insights into how responsible they are with financial and legal aspects of the business. Property owners who want to ensure their renters are in good hands may also want to speak with former tenants, as they can give you insight into how effective, responsive, and communicative the rental property management services team is.
Find Your New Rental Property Management Services Partner Today
If you’re serious about investing in rental properties, rental property management services are the way to go. These teams will be able to handle your most pressing needs, can help you make smart investment decisions, and make it easier for you to maintain and grow your property investments.
We’ve helped countless property entrepreneurs in Maryland manage their properties, and we’re ready to help you with yours. Do you have questions about the specific services we offer? Are you interested in finding a new rental property management services team?
Regardless of what you need, we’re here to help. Reach out to us today so we can start talking about the best way to give you the property management help you need.