Whether you are a small investor with just a few properties or a developer that leases out dozens of homes, using a management company is a sensible approach. Economies of scale mean that property management companies can take care of everything for a lot less than it would cost for you to do the work yourself.
However, you do have to be careful and find the right company for the job. Not taking the time to do your research and choose carefully could potentially leave you out of pocket, and facing problems with your tenants.
Use a local company
Whenever possible, use a management company that is located close to your properties. This means that they can get to properties quickly when there is a problem. In addition, they know the locality. Therefore, they usually have good connections with the authorities and can hire reliable builders to carry out any work that needs to be done.
Before you hire somebody, it is important to find out about how he or she works and makes sure that they have a good reputation. You can do this in several ways.
By far the best approach is to speak to other property owners in your area. They will be able to tell you about their experience with the various property management firms in your locale.
If this is not possible, do not worry. These days, it is relatively easy to find out everything you need to know online. Just search the numerous review sites and forums to learn more about the firm you are considering hiring.
Experience of your type of property
It is also important to hire a company that has the right type of experience. If you are trying to hire out your properties as short-term holiday lets it make sense to use a company that has experience in that area. On the other hand, if you are mainly looking for long-term tenants, using a local estate agent makes sense. They will already have plenty of potential customers coming through the door, which means that they are more likely to be able to keep your property occupied.
It is also wise to check that any agent you are planning to use is properly certified and accredited. Doing so helps to protect the rights on both of you and your tenants. It also means that should anything go wrong you will have a third party who can act as a mediator and sort the issue out.
You can usually find out what their accreditation is at the very bottom of the firm’s website home page. An example of this can be seen on www.linleyandsimpson.co.uk. This agent is a member of several accredited estate agency and property management bodies, and associations. Which means that they voluntary work to a high standard.
Interview your agent
Whenever possible interview any potential agent, and do so face to face. Doing so, will enable to you quickly work out if you can communicate with them effectively, and whether they will do a good job. It is essential that they are customer facing and easy to get along with.
You can find a list of questions to ask your property agent, before you hire him or her, by clicking this link.