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80 Smart Questions to Ask BEFORE Hiring Your Next Property Management Company

80 Questions to Ask BEFORE Hiring Your Next Property Management Company

1. Will I have one specific property manager? Who will be my property manager?

You want to know who will be your specific property manager and know their name. I am all about accountability, and you want to know and meet with your property manager, not just the marketing director or whoever is in charge of new business.

2. Who is the head of the office?

You want to know the broker in case something goes wrong. Brokers have PMs who work under their license, so ultimately it is the head broker who runs the show.

3. How long have you been a property manager?

The length of time is important to know. That being said, a hungry newbie who wants to learn, in my experience, is often times better than the most advanced person, because they care.

4. How many units do you manage?

For me this is more so food for thought because large and small management companies both have their pros and cons. There are benefits to a large office and also to a small office; the key is to know which one you are getting and to make sure you are comfortable with the pros and cons.

5. What is the average length that clients stay with you?

You want a property manager who is in it for the long haul. While this might not be a truthful answer or able to be substantiated, it is still good to ask.


Six Steps to Prepare for Heavy Snowfall at your Property

Dec 09 2014
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Snow and other forms of precipitation in the Northeast are expected to rival that of a record-shattering year last year as winter gains momentum in January and February. Other parts of the country will be no doubt affected as winter begins to enter its stretch run.

For a home owner, a heavy snowfall can be particularly damaging and dangerous. November’s blizzard in Western New York that posted snowfalls up to seven feet took its toll on numerous homes and businesses. Collapsed roofs from the heavy weight of the snow were among the nearly $50 million in damages reported.

5 Forecasting Tips to Help Managers Find Hidden Profits

Nov 27 2014
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 Budget forecasting is one thing that many portfolio managers don’t often relish. Investors demand to see how expenses are tracking with the budget, requiring operators and third-party managers the often arduous task of crunching numbers and looking into that crystal ball.

“It is a task that all too frequently is ‘have to’ instead of ‘want to’. ” says Christine Fisher of RealPage, Inc.

What to Consider When Hiring A Property Management Company?

Aug 04 2014
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Property managers in the industry today are leaning towards hiring a property management company who looks after the property and deals with the daily operations of the business. Like every other industry, there are some good companies and some bad ones. Therefore, a property manager must choose a management company that is going to make their work easier rather than harder. The amount of properties an owner has does not have any bearing whatsoever on the process of hiring an effective property management company.

See How Property Management Can Save You Stress

Apr 26 2014
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Is it time for you to find a new property management company? Has your current company grown lazy and not doing the job required? We are here to help. Rental Choice (.com) was designed to connect property owners with a qualified property management company that knows how to keep your property top-notch. We believe in property management and realize the need for it. You may be a landlord ready to have tenants that will take care of your property and pay their rent on time. Maybe you are a property owner that lives far away from your property. Maybe you just received a promotion at your job and your boss is moving you across country. Let us take the stress off you finding a management company.

Do You Have Perfect Property? Where Are The Perfect Tenants?

Apr 18 2014
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Everyone has heard of them, a movie or horror stories, some have even experienced them as neighbors, but the worst of all is when you are the landlord of this frightening tenant. The one that never pays rent on time, always has complaints, and leaves a sloppy mess in your property. There is a solution to such a problem, searching for a good tenant. We are here to encourage you with the fact that good tenants really do exist. But, the hardest thing about getting a good tenant, is finding one.

It’s Hard to Say No to New Property Management Accounts

Jun 20 2012
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Property management is all the buzz these days, as it is becoming the saving grace of the real estate industry. Across the country, real estate agents and realtors who are unable to maintain consistent listings and sales have turned to property management as a steady income stream until the market “picks up” again. This increase in competition for property management accounts by quasi real estate agents/managers has lead many who want to build their property management portfolio to take on any and all assets.

Things To Look For In A Property Management Agreement

Apr 15 2012
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For rental property owners who do not have the time and the knowledge to properly manage their business, hiring a rental property manager is the best move going forward. If you are thinking about hiring a manager, there are a lot of things you need to consider to ensure that you will be able to choose the right one. After you have decided on the right manager, you then have to look at the agreement to make sure that you protect yourself and your business.

Property Management - Activate Passive Income

Apr 15 2012
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There are a lot of people who are getting into the real estate business, because this can help them produce passive income without all the risks of building their own business. However, there are still a lot of things that you need to do if you are going to get into a real estate, and this is not what "passive income" really is.

Important Components of a Property Management Contract

Sep 07 2011
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Hiring a building management company has become one of the preferred ways to manage ones building assets and get high rate of returns. In order to get the full benefit of employing a managing firm and avoid hassle, it is essential to carefully choose a good licensed firm and read the terms and conditions of the contract. This can influence the way the firm will work for you.

Some of the essential components of the property management contract are:

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If you’ve ever considered investing in a few rental properties in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA now might be a good time. Prices are still low in Philadelphia, but have been on the upswing. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing home in a US metropolitan area grew 13.7% between July 2012 and July 2013, the latest in a 17-month streak of year-over-year price increases. 

New landlords can choose from properties that are likely to appreciate and a large pool of potential renters.Licensed realtor Pat Mueller cites a few reasons for this trend: “Many families have lost their homes to foreclosure and are entering the rentals market for the first time in years. Mortgages are also harder to get now, so fewer people are qualifying for a new one.”The more skills you bring to the table to get into Houses for Rent in Philadelphia Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA and the more time you have to devote to your properties, the faster you can make a return on your investment. 

But investing in rentals can also be disastrous (or too stressful to be worthwhile) without expertise. Here are three professionals you may consult about your new rental properties, and what you can do to mitigate how much they cost you:Handyman:  You may need to hire a specialist for some work on your rental. If you need new outlets or new pipes, for example, hire an electrician, plumber or licensed contractor. Handymen usually tackle smaller, more manageable tasks, like:

  • Painting and paint removal
  • Drywall repair
  • Minor appliance repairs (fixing a leaky toilet or faucet, among others)
  • Installing tiling or flooring, moldings, windows, doors
  • Refinishing decks, cabinets and other wood items

When You Could Skip It: You could do any (or all) of these projects yourself if you have the time and interest in learning. Of course, this only works if you live relatively close to your rentals and are flexible enough to service them on short notice. And if you’re willing to respond to the occasional 5 AM basement flooding.

Average Savings: Any base rates or costs-per-hour vary from location to location in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA , but nationally, you can expect to spend an average of $60 to $85 per hour for repair costs. It general costs less to hire an individual handyman than a handyman employed by a company. Expect an additional charge if your job requires a trip to the store for materials.

Resident Property Manager As the owner of a handful of rental properties, you may be able to manage them yourself, but if you want help, a single resident manager would probably be more cost efficient than a property management company. Resident managers may:

  • Serve as a handyman
  • Advertise vacancies in your units
  • Show apartments to prospective tenants
  • Review rental applications
  • Collect rents

When You Could Skip It: Again, the closer you live to your properties and the more spare time you have, the less likely you are to need a manager. The obligations of being a boss will also cut into the time you save on maintenance.

Average Savings: The national median wage for residential managers is just over $25 per hour. Research the wages in your community and adjust according to how much responsibility your manager will take on. 

Real Estate Agent: Once you’ve gotten your financials in order and done your own research on the neighborhood(s) you’re considering, you might contact a realtor to show you potential properties. You can also arrange for a realtor in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA to show rentals once they’re ready to rent.

When You Could Skip It: It depends. Even if you’re a local, or have thoroughly researched the neighborhood(s) you’re considering, a realtor is a great resource for a first-time rental buyer. Realtors have access to data and statistics not necessarily available to the general public and first-time buyers may not know all the right questions to ask. Using a realtor to fill your Houses for Rent vacancies is less of a no-brainer, depending on your other time commitments or whether you plan to hire a resident manager who could do the same thing.

Average Savings: As a buyer of rental properties, as when buying your own home, sellers typically pay most, if not all, of the buyer’s realtor fees. In this case, Mueller points out there’s little reason not to work with a realtor. For help in filling your units in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA, the services of a realtor would set you back between 10-20% of the unit’s rent per month.  Mueller recommends interviewing with several brokers before making your final decision to invest into Houses for Rent .

The Bottom Line: As a new landlord, you can’t necessarily control the flexibility of your schedule or the amount (and cost) of unexpected repairs to your properties. Rentals are a long-term investment. However, to maximize profits from your Houses for Rent, new rentals, you can buy close to home and start small. It is best to begin with just one or two properties. This will allow you to maximize the time you spend on your properties’ needs, and minimize the amount you’ll have to pay anyone else.

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