Even if you LOVE being a property manager, practically everyone hits a point where they realize “You know what? Maybe I don’t want to be managing all of my own properties forever.”
When you get there, there’s only one thing to do: start hiring. But when it’s time to hire, how do you make sure you find a great property manager, co-host, or hosting company? We’ve narrowed it down to eleven things to look out for when you’re hiring help.
Try and find their online presence. If they haven’t been doing property management long, what were they doing before and could it lend itself to that experience?
You are going to be working closely with the property manager and you need to be able to trust them. Set up an interview where you can start asking about the points that follow.
Find out what their fee structure is going to be. What percentage are they looking for? (We’ve generally seen between 15-25%). Also keep any ancillary fees and add-ons in mind, and ask them for a sample invoice to see the line items.
It’s impossible for any manager to do all of the work themselves. Find out what cleaning teams they use, whether they have their own employees or contractors. Look into their maintenance team, inspectors, and more.
Make sure everyone working on your team is insured. You are liable if anything happens to those team members in your home.
Many states require property managers to be licensed real estate professionals working under a brokerage. Verify your state’s requirements and what you need to know before working with them.
Contracts can be tricky, and we definitely recommend working with an attorney on this. But one key thing to look out for is the length of the term of the contract. If your life changes, you want to have a way out. And if a management company gets sold, you want to make sure you have a choice of working with the new owner or not.
You should be all about safety. When you have other people working in your homes, you want to make sure that they are operating as safely as you would. Look at their quarterly or yearly maintenance and find out what they feel they have permission to do with or without your feedback.
If you’re passing on the day-to-day activities of your property, marketing is going to be one of them. Find out what your property manager is planning to do to take care of that. What marketing are you going to do, and what is the property manager going to take care of? Don’t leave this ambiguous.
You want to see the other properties that they manage. If possible, you would even like to stay at them.
Have a conversation with them and make sure they are on the same page with you. Make sure they are doing the job that you hired them to.