Today’s highly sophisticated property management company does much more than collect rent and screen tenants. The right manager will be a brand ambassador for your real estate – maintaining tenant relationships, the preparation of leases, serving as the point of contact for any maintenance issues and maintaining a budget to name only a few.
With so many critical responsibilities, does it make sense to turn this over to just anyone? When you are looking to bring a new individual onto any team, you don’t just pick the first person that walks through the door. Typically, what follows is an extensive interview process, a check of their references, and making sure they have the knowledge and skills to meet your objectives. This process shouldn’t be any different when selecting a commercial property manager.
Provided are several critical factors to help you better understand what to look for when engaging a professional third-party property management company:
There is no substitute for experience and specialization. Find someone that has a background and extensive knowledge in commercial property management. More importantly, their experience should match your property type and verify they truly understand the local market its located in.
References, References and More References
Nothing speaks more about a company’s qualifications than a strong list of references. Make sure you not only ask those questions important to you but verify how long the client has been with the management company.
Addressing Tenant Retention
It’s important to work with a company that understands the importance of customer service and its impact on retaining your tenants. A skilled property manager understands this and remembers that a key aspect of their job is being responsive to those who pay you rent.
Clarify Processes for Maintenance
One of the perks of having a property manager is passing along specific tasks and responsibilities to them so that you can concentrate on other things. Maintenance issues will come up, there’s no way around it. Will the property manager have the authority to make maintenance decisions and if so, what financial limits? Of equal importance, learn about the vendors they use and related experience.
Determine what accreditation the company and its management team maintain. In particular, confirm that they are an AMO – Accredited Management Organization through the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). Higher level certifications speak to the culture, caliber of leadership and standards set by the company you are hiring.
Take Your Time Making a Decision
Finding the right property management company can provide peace of mind while having a tremendous positive impact on your real estate — the future value of the property, financial operations, your tenants, and how issues are dealt with.
Entrusting someone with something as important as your investment is a big step. Take the necessary time to find someone that will bring meaningful value to you and your real estate. Further, that they possess the knowledge and skills to ensure that the management of your commercial property meets both your short and long term goals.