Many new  landlords believe that property management is as simple as just showing up and handing over the keys.  The reality however is that property management can take far more time and effort than you ever estimate.  There is a reason why there is an entire industry around just keeping your property investment in a good healthy condition.  The biggest responsibility you have towards your investment is to find the person that can guarantee the bests return on investment. If that person is you, well then you should manage your property portfolio.  But if you are willing to accept your limitations, your level of experience and often simply a lack of time, well then my friend a property management company worth their salt can be the answer to your problems.  Property investors often find themselves in the dilemma of not knowing how to effectively vet a property management company, because let’s be honest, it might be a long relationship.

Considering your property management hunt no different than as a with any other employee hire… a property management interview of sorts.

 

1. Credentials, check them out

A reputable property management company should have several credentials available for viewing.  Use their website and their social media presents to get a feel for the company.

 

2. What are their fees

Professional property management companies don’t charge arbitrary fees, instead they are open about their charges.  You should ask your prospective property management company what they charge for and what that exactly entitles.  Every company will manage their finance different to another, but understanding what you pay for is a must.  

Taking the time to ensure both parties understand their responsibilities and expectations will bring success to your investment property.

 

3. Testimonials, they have their value

It seems obvious to say, check your property management company’s social media, but so many new landlords often forget

Having a read what others have to say about your prospective property management company can be of great value.  You would want to not only see good things, but rather look at how the complaints are handled. There are always two/more sides to any conversation, consider all sides, from all angles and perspectives.

To put this in a real example I would like you (a property investor) to consider the type/quality/income of the potential tenants regarding a particular property/testimonial.  Keep this target market in mind when considering another company’s testimonials.  Not all properties call for 5 Start tenants, this is a reality you should consider when purchasing your investment property

4. Is property management their primary business?

Property Management is a highly specialised field, you should make sure that your prospective property management company consider this their primary business, and not a side business.  

Mafadi Property Management is an ideal example in this case.  They focus on providing their landlords a complete package in regards to your property investment.  Mafadi manage your property from a maintenance perspective as well as a marketing perspective.  Ensuring your property grows in capital, while keeping the cash flow running.  Managing the daily runnings is but the start, they also ensure that your investment property is rent ready, with a continues flow of potential tenants available at their fingertips.

5. How financially stable is your property management company

You want to make sure that your property management company manages enough units to guarantee them a steady cash flow.  Small property management companies often run into the problem of using your rental profits as payment for others.

 

It is important that you consider all the factors in an objective manner when hunting for your new property management company.  Consider the quality of the neighbourhood, the quality of the buildings, the quality of the tenants and then the quality of communication from your property management company. Do your research, because changing property management companies can become a costly and time consuming job, while your property investment stumbles along.

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Written by Lizl Brink, Lizl is copywriter and designer based in Johannesburg, she is also a frequent contributor to the Mafadi blog, and as an Urban investor and rejuvenation shares a passion for urban regeneration, go check out her personal portfolio here
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