Hiring a Property Manager
It’s a brave new world for landlords in 2020. The post Covid 19 business landscape will bring unprecedented changes. Outdated habits and workstyles will fade further.
Work is so complicated today (when you’re managing a lot of units) that you will need some help. And your property manager or your property management company will be at the core of your plan.
New Challenges for Landlords
In the next 8 months, you’ll be losing tenants, having to write off uncollectible rent, handling a deluge of delayed maintenance requests, trying to control contractor costs, and finding it tougher to attract good tenants. And you’ll be cash strapped too.
How will you restructure your property rental business and find an ideal property manager? The process is easy if you believe it’s worthwhile. Just cover the points we outline below, and you’ll likely choose a great property manager.
New Rental Landscape, New Property Managers
We’ve discussed the move to virtual property management, adoption of new technology including new property management software and apps, along with new business models and improved property management strategy. That was before the Corona Virus pandemic hit us.
The Federal Government’s programs of small business loans and grants for landlords is very helpful. But will it be enough to keep landlords balance sheets healthy for the rest of 2020?
Time, Cost, Cash Flow, Regulations
Everyone is going to start wondering if there’s a better way to carry out property management.
And if you own 50 to 500 units, your property manager is the person you rely on to make your business viable. They are the most important asset you have and they need a good range of professional skills to generate the results you want. That’s what this post covers — mistakes to avoid and the key criteria in hiring a really good property manager.
Don’t get quick and dirty in hiring a property manager because they are a value added component. The better you choose, the greater the value you get back.
Just as it is for any business, finding the best technology and property manager for a manageable price will be a new priority.
8 Biggest Mistakes Landlords Make when Hiring a New Property Manager
- not having a detailed job description
- hiring a company with the wrong mix of services
- not hiring for the future or the new business situation
- hiring someone with the wrong or limited tech skills
- someone who is a poor communicator and has weak people skill
- not professional enough, treats the role like a hobby
- not paying them well enough and ensuring the property management fees you pay are competitive
- doesn’t have a strategy to assess the prospect’s skills
Will the real estate market rebound perfectly after the pandemic passes? If unemployment grows in the US, Canada, UK, Germany and Australia, the rental housing market will be impacted. The exodus of tenants and rent defaults may not subside.
Of course, landlords who use professional level property managers rely on them to manage these threats. If a recession is ahead for us, a property manager knows how to rejig the business to keep it viable.
Professional, skilled property managers can add a great deal of value, far beyond what they’re paid. To that end, we would like to offer our criteria for hiring a property manager.
Check out our post on how Property management companies add value to rental housing asset portfolios.
Property Manager Qualifications
There’s a lot to consider when interviewing and hiring. Let’s get our criteria prepared. The better your candidate is in all of these criteria below, the stronger the likelihood you’ve got a good property manager. Big gaps in these criteria shows this person may not be fully vested in their career.
A few standard points to a standard hiring process generates a standard candidate. Let’s be thorough!
25 Points to Hire Well:
- has solid property management training and perhaps a property manager certification
- personal poise, solid reasoning skills and a consistent repeatable process to their work
- relevant property management experience, perhaps as a landlord too
- high level of maturity and integrity to handle money and people and business relationships
- familiar with local, state and federal laws related to business and tenants
- a quality education, strong analytical skills and problem solving skill
- solid marketing skills including a marketing website with an active marketing effort
- skilled and intelligent about advertising and filling rental vacancies
- tech savvy and ability to use a quality online property management platform
- skilled in screening, interviewing, and leasing quality tenants
- solid financial management skills including professional bookkeeping and accounting skill
- sets realistic benchmarks and strives to meet established goals
- understands what needs to be communicated to landlords and tenants
- skill in managing people including tenants, staff and contractors
- good communicator who keeps you informed in a clear, concise way, and up to date
- creates informative, reliable reports on your income, expenses and financials for each specific rental property
- firm in setting clear tenant guidelines and enforcing tenant leases, policies and procedures
- knows how to write rental ads and customized leases, and record vital documentation
- has good judgement in hiring contractors and property management staff and managing them professionally
- firm dedication and commitment to you — his or her boss
- takes ownership of tasks and accepts responsibility for outcomes
- manages maintenance and repairs, following up in a timely way to ensure completion and fraud prevention
- charges a reasonable salary based on proven performance and is interested in performance bonuses
- has made mistakes and can tell you what was learned, avoided or changed
- has ideas and a strategy to improve revenue, lower costs, and improve tenant management
All the above criteria for hiring a property manager can be laid out in a spreadsheet so you’re sure you’ve got the big picture taken care of. When you consider everything they’re going to do for you, they’ll need an efficient management platform to keep it all together.
Ask open ended questions, as they bring out the candidate’s ability to express and communicate. Communications is critically important to success in any business.
When hiring, you’ll be guided by your own criteria and intuition, which are very relevant. If the applicants have education and experience, but aren’t motivated and willing to modernize, your instincts will warn you.
Pay attention to big negatives and red flags, because even superstars can derail and leave a mess of your business. Having a test for integrity, perhaps a personality/character test is wise if this individual is going to play a key role in your business going forward.
Find A Property Management Company near You
In need of a property management firm near you? Get your sourcing started with property management companies in California, property management companies in Arizona, property management companies in Hawaii, property management companies in Florida, property management companies in Colorado, property management companies Chicago and property management companies in Boston.
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See also: Rental Property Management Software | Reviews of Rental Property Software | Property Maintenance Checklist | Best Time to Sell Property | Landlord App | Property Management | California Housing Market | When to Buy Rental Property? | Will Rent Prices Fall? | Rental Property Management Software | Time Management for Landlords |Apartment Rental Price Growth | Energy Efficiency Tips | Apartments for Rent | Renters Insurance |Best Cities to Buy Rental Property | How to Reduce Tenant Turnover | How to Use Rental Property Software