If you’re seeking a property management company in Atlanta, GA, you have no shortage of options. However, trusting a stranger to manage one of your biggest investments can be a daunting task. Many property management companies offer roughly the same services at a range of prices, and the price doesn’t always reflect the value of services. A good property manager should be able to minimize expenses while saving the investor time and resources. Other than knowing the best restaurants around the Marietta Square, what questions can you ask to ensure a property manager has your best interest in mind?
1 – How Long Does Your Average Tenant Stay?
The answer to this question may be the most telling when it comes to gauging property management companies. Happy tenants generally renew their lease year after year. If tenants are moving out every year, that can be a sign of neglect or they feel their needs aren’t being met. Situations vary, but good landlords make every effort to respond quickly to maintenance requests and make tenants feel at home. Every day spent seeking new tenants, that’s a day you aren’t collecting rent.
2 – Do They Go the Extra Mile?
Speaking of tenants, tenants are great at providing feedback, especially in public forums and particularly if they’ve had a bad experience. Let’s face it, Yelp is the soapbox of the digital world. A quick search on Yelp or Google+ should provide great insight into the company you’re considering. Keep in mind, a negative review shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. In fact, negative reviews are a great gauge for how a company deals with issues. Look for signs that the company is engaged and actively trying to resolve bad experiences, and not just defending itself. At the end of the day, perception is reality, and a company that puts in the effort to fix problems, perceived or real, is a company I’d bet on.
3 – How Well Do They Know the Area?
You may not have kids in school, but believe me, your potential tenants do. Two identical houses in an area may be zoned for different schools, and that could have a big effect on the asking rent price. Quiz potential property managers on school zones and other factors that contribute to rates. They should be able to pull comps and give you a good idea of rates, even before seeing your property. Other factors include easy access to local amenities and transportation. We all know that Atlanta, and more specifically Marietta, has traffic congestion. If your property manager isn’t familiar with all of these factors, your property may be listed incorrectly and spend more time on the market.
4 – Have They Built Up the Right Relationships?
It’s only a matter of time before your property will need some TLC. Repairs and maintenance should be carried out quickly and professionally. A good property manager will have ongoing relationships with trusted vendors. Even then, they should offer several quotes for any project. And, repairs should never be a source of revenue for the property management company. Ask the company if they charge fees on top of what their vendors charge. Unless the answer is “Never!” – you should look for another management company. Also, ask if their vendors are licensed and insured. This could save you from being on the hook for legal expenses.
5 – Are They The Cheapest In Your Area?
It would be lovely if everything in the world was free, but some good things do come at a cost. You should be very worried about how skilled your property manager is if they’re unable to command a respectable fee from their clients. You don’t want to go with the most expensive you can find, but at the same time, you should stay away from the cheapest too. A negotiated lower fee also means you might fall down the pecking order again if they’re getting more money from everyone else, so be careful if you decide to fight for a better deal. That’s not to say that the cheapest is necessarily poor quality, but you should ask them how they’re able to provide property management services at below market cost before entering into a contract with them.
Don’t Forget These Are All Essential Questions
Before you begin looking into property management in Atlanta, GA, you should consider all the tips we’ve discussed. Once you’re able to answer all of the above points, you should feel more comfortable with your important decision of hiring a property manager. When you hire a property manager it allows you to enjoy life without worrying about your tenants. The only hard thing is finding the right partnership in the first place, but now your job will be much easier because of the information we’ve discussed.