Author Topic: property management company -- what to look for (or avoid)  (Read 695 times)

bogart

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property management company -- what to look for (or avoid)
« on: July 10, 2019, 03:27:46 PM »
Hi,

DH and I are buying a different house in the same community we live in, and planning to keep and rent out our existing home.  We want to hire a property management company.  I've examined the top 3 in our area and spoken with 2, 1 of which seems appealing (and has great Yelp and similar reviews from both sides in the relationship -- home owners and renters).  They've sent us a lengthy legal document which is their usual contract with homeowners, and I'm wondering if anyone can advise what I should be looking for (or making sure is not in there).

Basic details are a one-time setup fee, they advertise and secure renters (at least on its face they require a minimum credit score and ability to document income), and we pay 10% of rent to the firm while the home is rented, nothing if it's not.  Small deposit (ours) required to be available to cover basic maintenance costs, they manage calling service people (etc.) and do not charge for scheduling services.

What else should I know about/consider?  Brand new to this.  TIA.

twe

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Re: property management company -- what to look for (or avoid)
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 07:36:38 PM »
Not in any particular order, based off my experience (although we live 700 miles from 2 of our rental properties, the other 2 are close by):

What is their eviction process? How often do they have to evict?

How often do they do walk throughs of the property / how do they tell you / what do they look for?

How often will you hear from them? Email, phone, letter, updates on the property?

How will funds transfer and on what date of the month? Paper check, direct deposit, etc?

Who do they use for repairs? In house handyman? Preferred local tradesmen? What rate?

For large repairs, do they charge an oversight fee and if so, what is the level the fee applies at?


bogart

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Re: property management company -- what to look for (or avoid)
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 12:03:18 PM »
Thanks -- this is very helpful! 

E.T.

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Re: property management company -- what to look for (or avoid)
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 04:32:53 PM »
How did you narrow down who the top 3 property management companies were in your area? I feel like every time I try to find a contractor on Angie's list or something similar, it ends poorly. I've only found decent companies through word of mouth. I assumed it would be the same for property management companies, but I don't know many people who own rentals.

Jon Bon

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Re: property management company -- what to look for (or avoid)
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2019, 05:40:49 PM »
Maybe write a case study on the property, you will get better answers.

bogart

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Re: property management company -- what to look for (or avoid)
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2019, 09:06:23 PM »
How did you narrow down who the top 3 property management companies were in your area? I feel like every time I try to find a contractor on Angie's list or something similar, it ends poorly. I've only found decent companies through word of mouth. I assumed it would be the same for property management companies, but I don't know many people who own rentals.

Basically, google.  I live in a town with a big university, so rentals are pretty common.  I think I just googled "property management" "town name" together. 

Of course, we don't know yet whether I've found a good company, so there's that.

bogart

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Re: property management company -- what to look for (or avoid)
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2019, 09:08:55 PM »
Maybe write a case study on the property, you will get better answers.

Thanks -- probably so, but I try to steer clear of posting much detail about myself on these boards and am not really looking for full-on advice (whether renting this house is a good plan, etc.), which I've noticed detailed posts often attract.  So I'll steer clear of that, though appreciate the point that it may make providing me with advice more difficult and/or uninteresting.

Papa bear

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Re: property management company -- what to look for (or avoid)
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2019, 10:10:53 PM »
How did you narrow down who the top 3 property management companies were in your area? I feel like every time I try to find a contractor on Angie's list or something similar, it ends poorly. I've only found decent companies through word of mouth. I assumed it would be the same for property management companies, but I don't know many people who own rentals.

Basically, google.  I live in a town with a big university, so rentals are pretty common.  I think I just googled "property management" "town name" together. 

Of course, we don't know yet whether I've found a good company, so there's that.

Student rental property management companies are typically terrible.  I would hesitate to go with anyone affiliated that way.  I have rentals in a university area, and the PM firms are notorious for poor management, repairs, etc.


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Jon Bon

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Re: property management company -- what to look for (or avoid)
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2019, 11:39:46 AM »
Maybe write a case study on the property, you will get better answers.

Thanks -- probably so, but I try to steer clear of posting much detail about myself on these boards and am not really looking for full-on advice (whether renting this house is a good plan, etc.), which I've noticed detailed posts often attract.  So I'll steer clear of that, though appreciate the point that it may make providing me with advice more difficult and/or uninteresting.

And that is fine of course!

In my experience most folks who think renting our their former primary residence as a rental is a good idea. They are often horribly wrong.  Maybe its for the best, if I see another post on here where they are like: "yeah rent covers mortgage and taxes and cashflows $1000 a year!" My head might explode

YMMV.

I have campus rentals and as other posters have said the property management companies are generally terrible BUT I think it is because what the owners want, low cost above all things. Don't do expensive repairs because they are just gonna wreck the place again. So if you found PM that was geared more toward single family homes they would do a better job but most likely at a higher price.

Do you have zero desire to self manage? 1 property is generally NBD.

Good luck out there.




bogart

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Re: property management company -- what to look for (or avoid)
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2019, 09:01:31 PM »
Thanks, @Papa bear and @Jon Bon.  To be clear, there are lots of students here, and most of the undergrads live either on campus or in large complexes near campus, or some detached homes (formerly single-family) homes near campus.  The chances of my property appealing to undergrads is about zero, but there are plenty of other renters -- graduate/professional students, post-docs, employees, incoming or short-term faculty -- to whom it might (this is based on having lived here for years and knowing my neighbors).  The firms I'm looking at seem to manage single-family homes like mine.

And no, it probably doesn't make strict financial sense to keep the home as a rental, and yes, I know that a key tenet of Mustachianism is maximizing.  I'm not much of a maximizer, more of a satisficer, and not really looking for a review of the larger decision here, just hoping to find a decent property management firm (no, I don't want to manage property though yes, I know it could well be NBD). 

I hope that doesn't sound grumpy, it's not.  I appreciate the help and understand that there are people here willing to offer advice that could be helpful even though it's outside what I'm seeking advice on.  Thank you again for your help.