Let’s talk about the things you need to consider when you’re hiring a property management firm
Find out what sort of designations a property management company has. You need to work with members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). That should be the number one thing you look at before making a decision
What sort of experience do they have in the marketplace? You want to find out if they manage only residential properties or if they do both residential and commercial. Perhaps they have separate divisions. That might work, but you may be better off with a company that focuses strictly on the specific type of management you require.
Ask about the accounting systems in place. You will need something that matches your needs and the needs of your CPA and attorney. The sytem should be a fully automated process that can generate reports on a regular basis. You need to discuss these details before you hire a new company.
Staffing is an important part of working with a property management company. You’ll want to know if they have various departments you can speak to when you have questions, or if one person runs the whole show. Each format has its benefits and challenges, but you need to know how the company works.
An important question to ask is whether the property management company has its own maintenance staff. You also need to know if they use licensed vendors who use permits when necessary. A property manager needs to proactively replace items in your home that need repair. For example, spending $300 to fix a water tank instead of spending $400 to replace the water tank is not the best use of your funds.
When you’re speaking with the property management firm that you may hire, ask if they keep up to date on the changes in the rental laws. Here in Florida, we had a major change that took effect in January of 2015, pertaining to smoke detector requirements. Any new rental unit that is purchased or any new lease that is executed requires a hardwired smoke detector or a 10 year lithium ion battery.
These are just a few of the things you should ask a property management company before you hire them. If you’d like to hear more about our recommended screening process, please contact us at Florida Property Managers, and we’d be happy to help you.