Request more info or a showing

10 Traits to Look for In Local Property Management Companies

A landlord's average week can be busy and varied. Maintenance requests, rent collection, paperwork, budgeting, property marketing, planning property upgrades, and investment planning.It's enough to make even a superhero tired. It's no surprise that many landlords opt for help instead in the form of a property management company.But where do you start looking for a helping hand? In this article, we'll provide some answers. Read on to learn about 11 must-have traits in the best local property management companies.

1. Choose a Company With Local Market Knowledge

You must pick a property management company that understands your local market. That knowledge will help you receive a superior service in many ways.First, it means that the company will understand local real estate trends.So they will know the demand at any point in time. It will help them price your property accordingly, pitching a price that will maximize your profit and be attractive to tenants.That local knowledge will also offer an advantage for marketing your property. Local property managers will better understand what tenants want in a property.They can ensure those features stand out on your property listings. For example, they may know your neighborhood is up-and-coming with a specific demographic.Armed with that knowledge, they can ensure they use that in marketing your property and securing the right tenant.Property managers can also help you time your next investment. They can advise you on local market trends and point you toward the most profitable neighborhoods.

2. They Make Communication a Priority

Any relationship needs excellent communication.That's true of the landlord and property manager relationship, too. You need a company that keeps you informed while working efficiently in the background to look after your property.Excellent communication skills are fundamental from your tenant's point of view, too.If your tenant has an issue with your property - like broken air conditioning- they want a property manager who will keep in contact with them.You'll keep hold of loyal and dependable tenants if you have a good property manager for your rentals.When assessing potential property management, look at their communication style, too. Make sure it matches your own. You might be someone who wants regular phone calls with a named contact.Or you may prefer the hands-off approach and getting your updates online via a portal. A good match will help build a trusted and long-lasting relationship.

3. Experience

Learning the ins and outs of property management takes time. An experienced company will get going from day one and allow you to focus on other things. That's why previous experience as a property manager is vital.Look for history in managing similar properties to yours when you shortlist companies. If you can, obtain some client references to research this further.Experience must cover the breadth of property management, too. That includes maintenance work. Ask prospective companies if they have a list of readily available contractors to work on rental properties.You also need a property manager with expertise in tenant administration, including screening and writing watertight lease agreements.You also want a management company that excels in property marketing so that you can get a tenant fast. Ask prospective companies for their average turnaround time between listing a property and securing a tenant.

4. They Have Tried-and-Tested Marketing Strategies

In a buoyant market, you might find it easy to secure a tenant. But that's not always the case. When the market dips, it can often be a nerve-wracking time for a real estate investor.You want a company that's on your side and knows how to market your property and secure a tenant, whatever the challenge. Lower vacancy rates mean higher profits.The most popular marketing techniques for real estate include search engine-optimized listings, social media, and open-house events.Find a management company with experience in different marketing strategies and knowledge of the most effective ones. Get a prospective company to offer evidence of effective marketing from past clients.

5. A Comprehensive Approach to Tenant Screening

When screening a potential tenant, you must not miss anything. Even a minor oversight could result in the wrong person for your property and future issues like evictions and non-payment of rent.Choosing a property management company with excellent attention to detail is vital. It will reassure you that you'll have a team who will take a comprehensive approach to the vetting process.Background checks must include a range of things, including the tenant's financial history and credit records.It must also show evidence of a solid employment history, plus an excellent reference from a previous landlord. An experienced tenant screening service will give you the best chance of finding an ideal tenant.

6. Financial Acumen

One key responsibility of a property manager is budget and financial management of your property. They'll collect rent, track repair costs, and ensure you get regular reports.Financial management will be crucial as you grow your real estate business. It's what will determine your profitability.A lack of oversight could leave you with unexpected and unwelcome costs. So you need a company you can trust.They must know how to track finances, use the latest financial software, and be prompt and accurate in their reporting to you. A good management company will also recommend where you can save money. 

7. An Organized Approach to Maintenance and Repair

When your tenant reports a problem, you want a company that will get the problem fixed without hassle. That means choosing a property management company with an efficient and organized approach.They might have software to help oversee this, and it can be a valuable way of tracking maintenance and keeping to timescales. The latter is essential for two reasons.First, you don't want to keep tenants waiting if they have reported a problem.Second, a delayed repair could risk a more significant expense in the long run if something major (like the HVAC unit) breaks because a minor issue wasn't addressed. So, you need a company with a diligent approach to maintenance.

8. Legal Knowledge

There will be laws and regulations that will impact you as a landlord.That includes health and safety rules and laws like the Residential Tenancy Act. Your property management company must understand these laws in-depth to protect you and your property.Without that, you are at risk of many issues, which could cost you money and time. For example, if a management company doesn't follow eviction laws, you could face a legal claim from a tenant for unfair action.Many legal aspects of property management require expertise and experience. That includes writing a fair lease agreement, arranging property inspections, and anti-discrimination laws.Ensure your property management company is fully versed in all aspects of the law. 

9. They Embrace Technology

Modern property management requires something more sophisticated than a desk and phone. It demands the latest technology. Technological innovations can help to speed up property management and keep things organized.At a minimum, a good property management company will digitize all their records about your property and tenant. Focus on companies that use software to manage key aspects of properties, like maintenance and finance. You should also look for businesses that offer tenant portals, as these can benefit you and your tenant.Some management companies also provide payment options on portals, which can help tenants keep on track with their rent. Marketing is another area where technology can offer an advantage. Choose a company with the latest tools to market your rental investment property, such as virtual tours. 

10. A Passion for Customer Service

Responsive management companies who put clients first should be your first choice as a landlord. It means you won't be waiting for someone to return your call and will have a professional to listen to any concerns or answer questions.That approach will also help you attract a high-quality tenant.Tenants will be more likely to choose a property if they interact with a professional and courteous company. High tenant satisfaction levels will serve you well in the long run as they are more likely to renew their tenancy.

A Can-Do Attitude for Problem Solving

Sometimes, things go wrong with properties. And it needs a bit of problem-solving and ingenuity to put it right. You don't want a company that hides behind processes but one that embraces any challenge.When you have a property manager who helps figure out problems, it's like hiring someone who is an extension of your team.Issues will get sorted faster and more cost-effectively. And you can always rest knowing that your property manager is proactive. They'll take steps to spot problems before you do, leaving you to focus on other priorities.

Finding the Best Local Property Management Companies

Getting a property manager can have a transformational effect on your real estate business. But only if you find the right match. Use this guide to help you shortlist the best local property management companies.Axford Property Management is the premium real estate company in Vancouver and is trusted by many landlords. To find out how we can help you, head here to contact our team