If you’re new to being a landlord or a seasoned do-it-yourself property investor, it can be confusing choosing among Atlanta property management companies? There are a number of factors you need to consider. After all, if you’re going to pay someone to manage your property you need to make an informed decision.
Understanding what you need a property manager to do for you is the first step of the process. If you’ve been acting as your own property manager than you’ve likely identified the items you want to rid yourself of. If you’re new though, it might be hard to understand the various duties that need to be performed by you or your property manager. After all you don’t know what you don’t know.
Filling you property is great but not just any tenant will do. You want to make sure that your property management company finds the right tenant. The quality of tenant could be impacted by where they advertise your property. Be sure to ask where they plan to advertise.
You also want to know how they go about vetting prospective tenants. Do they do background checks, verify employment and check resources and past rental history. A lot of red flags can be identified and you want to ensure that they are more interest in finding a qualified candidate rather than just a warm body.
If this is the first time you are renting a property you’ll want to get feedback from the company as to any repairs or upgrades they feel is necessary to attract the right type of tenant. Even if the property has been rented in the past, you still want to get the companies input. Making a few repairs, changes or upgrades could be the difference in the quality of tenant you can get to sign the lease.
Once you have a tenant in the property its inevitable that something will break, wear out, or stop working. In addition, items like AC units, water heaters, the lawn need to be properly serviced and maintained. How does the property management company handle maintenance and repair requests? Do they have a system in place that allows both you and the tenant to track progress?
There are a couple of other questions to ask, including:
It’s important that your property is kept in a rentable condition so make sure you understand how they will address these issues.
Typical property management fees range from 4-12%, but when comparing Atlanta property management companies, make sure you’re looking at an apples to apples comparison. Be sure to read the contract diligently as any hidden fees should be detailed.
In addition to the management fee there might be additional fees such as a Vacancy Fee. Does the company charge a fee even if the property isn’t rented. Is it the full fee or a discounted fee? You’ll want the contract language to stipulate that fees are paid based on “Collected Rent” and not “Scheduled Rent”.
Additional fees might include:
The key is to understand what is and isn’t included in the property management fee structure. You wouldn’t want to pay a property management fee of 12% only to find that all of these additional fees are included separately. On the flip side if the fee is 10% but includes these fees as a whole, that might be a better option than a 7% property management fee that lists the items above as separate charges.
There is a lot to think through and verify when choosing among the many Atlanta Property Management companies. Setting clear expectations and understanding how your property will be marketed, maintained and the fees included will put you on the path of success. The most important thing is to be prepared to ask questions when you sit down and conduct hiring interviews with the property management companies you have chosen to vet.