Own a Vacation Rental? Here's What to Look for In a Property Management Company

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Oct 11, 2018

Oct 11, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

Do you know what to look for in a property management company?

As a responsible property owner, you respect the value of your investments. You understand that renting out your property requires constant care and maintenance to keep tenets happy.

At the same time, it's understandable that you also value your independence. Especially if you own more than one property, property management is time-consuming, as much as it is a worthwhile investment.

Still, you have other responsibilities and concerns to fill your time and energy. That's why you're considering hiring a property management company.

If you aren't sure what to look for in a trusted management company, that's okay. Detailed below is everything you need to know about hiring the right one.

Thorough Understanding of Local Market

This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. A property management company needs to possess an understanding of the retail market in which it operates. It needs to be able to navigate the ins and outs of proper rental pricing for your property.

Consider what the rate of homeownership throughout the United States tells us. Since the rate is at a record low for the past fifty years, many families are looking to rent.

A property management company worth its salt is going to be able to express what you can expect from your property rentals. Don't be afraid to ask them plenty of questions about the area to ensure they can remain competitive within their market.

Legal Knowledge

To really trust a property management company with your investment, they should have a solid legal knowledge. Part of their job is to manage your tenants, which means it's crucial for them to know tenant rights in their location.

They should be able to easily avoid crossing tenant legal rights. To be thorough in researching this, ask the potential company about any possible court cases they had to go through. Then, you can look up public files to verify the company represented the property owner's interest.

Research Their Reputation

The good news about the modern age of technology and the internet is the availability of information. When it comes to hiring any professional services, it helps to check out online reviews. This way it's easy to see whether previous customers did or did not appreciate a company's services.

Then, take a look at the property management company's website. Is it functional and engaging? Is it clear that the site is updated and maintained?

A sophisticated web presence helps confirm that a property management company is invested in their work. This is also evident when the company has a reputable social media presence.

In addition, check with the state's Real Estate Commission. Does the potential property management company have a history of complaints?

Research as much about a company's reputation as you would like. You deserve to have peace of mind over your property investment. If you don't trust a company, for whatever reason, don't be afraid to look for a better one.

Read more here about the benefits of hiring a reputable property manager. You deserve the peace of mind and flexibility that comes with those benefits.

Customer Service Availability

There's another quick way you can tell whether or not a property management company is worthwhile. After you've ensured you're comfortable with a company's reputation, it's time to connect with them.

All it takes is a phone call to determine their commitment to customer service.

Testing the customer service of a property management company is crucial. Remember that you will have to interact with them on a regular basis. You want to be able to negotiate and come to reasonable terms about managing your property investment.

Plus, many professionals who work from home or are self-employed love a consistently available management company. Don't waste your time if a company is difficult to contact. You should also avoid company representatives who are more focused on selling to you than problem-solving.

Ask Detailed Questions About Their Management Style

When you initially communicate with a property management company, be prepared with questions. The ways in which they interact with you will be telling of future problem-solving on your behalf. Make sure their style of professionalism and management aligns with your own values.

Perhaps you're fairly relaxed when it comes to expectations of rental tenants. On the other hand, you might be inflexible when it comes to allowing pets or interior design, for example.

That's why it's important to talk with your potential management company ahead of time. Will be able to follow through and carry out your expectations? What do their rental agreements look like, and is there anything you would like to add to it?

Make Sure They Market Vacancies Well

As mentioned above, it's important that a property management company works well within its local market. That also means they should be active enough in the community to be able to market your rental vacancies.

It's yet another reason their online presence should be engaging and functional. Can potential renters quickly find your property when they search for availability in their area online?

You need to be able to trust that your property management company can keep your vacancy rate as low as possible. It might help to compare their vacancy marketing of other properties they already manage. If it seems like they're on top of ensuring plenty of property is rented, you can trust they'll do the same for you.

Remember That Hiring a Property Management Company Is an Investment

You should be able to completely trust the property management company you hire. These are the professionals who will keep you property investment maintained and profitable.

It's important to have an investment mindset when it comes to property management. We encourage you to read additional information investing in real estate as a career in and of itself.