Even if you own and manage just one property, you know that a lot of work goes into making sure things run smoothly. In a way, you must be a jack of all trades; you have to market and advertise your property, vet tenants, handle repairs, collect rent, and much more. When you own multiple properties, handling all these responsibilities can be cumbersome, especially if it’s not your main job.
Working with a property manager can make things much easier and take a lot of the workload off your back. However, you shouldn’t hire just anyone. Let’s review a few questions you need to ask before hiring a property manager.
How Many Properties Are You Currently Managing?
Property managers may have a decent roster of clients and units to look over at one time. You don’t want to get lost in an endless sea of their clientele. However, you also don’t want to hire a manager with too few clients, as it may be a sign of their inexperience. While it depends on whether they work with a third-party system, a property manager can successfully manage 50 to 200 units at a time. Whether you’re comfortable working with someone who manages that many units is entirely up to you.
Do You Have Any Licensing or Certifications?
While this isn’t a hard rule, most states require a person to receive some sort of licensing—usually a real estate broker’s license—to be a property manager. However, even if you live in an area where this is not a legal requirement, you should never work with a property manager who isn’t licensed in some way. Remember, this person will be handling and managing your investment; if they don’t have the expertise, you’ll suffer the cost. Hiring a property manager can be a great way to get a higher return on your property investment, but hiring an unlicensed manager puts your money at serious risk.
What Is Your Overall Level of Experience?
Inquiring as to their level of overall experience is one of the most important questions you can ask when hiring a property manager. You must be able to review their portfolio, look at past reviews, and establish an overview of their track record. Ideally, a property manager should have about three to five years of experience in the field to establish a solid performance history. Plus, they should make it easy for you to contact past clients—if they don’t, take it as a red flag.