Owning a rental property is a dream investment for many investors in South Florida. However, this investment comes with an added share of responsibilities; being a landlord. Being a landlord isn’t an easy task, and it may not be every investor’s cup of tea.
As a result, most investors resort to hiring a property manager to run the rental properties on their behalf. A property manager is an individual or company who oversees the daily operations of a rental property at a fee.
The primary duties of a property manager include targeted property marketing, applicant screening, handling all the legal processes, rent collection, and basic accounting and financial reporting, etc.
Therefore, for the smooth running of your rental property, it’s important to hire a competent property manager. Read on this guide for our top 7 tips on choosing the best property managers in South Florida.
1. Get Referrals From Other Property Owners
One way to get the best property manager is by referrals from other property owners. In most cases, no property owner will recommend an individual or company with a bad reputation.
So, take your time and ask property owners and realtors if they know any property manager who may be a good fit for you. Also, ask them about the strengths and weaknesses of the property managers they recommend. Shortlist the recommended names and reach out to them for further talks and interviews.
Ensure you do a thorough search to ensure the recommended managers don’t have any complaints against them and have the required licenses. You can find all this information online on the property manager’s website or social media pages.
Don’t settle for what other investors say, do your research because what works well for them may not always work for you. Remember, this is your property, and you have the final say in who you hire, so don’t let others decide the fate of your investment.
2. Stick to Local Expertise
The property industry is a complex subject that requires a deeper understanding of the local market. So, if possible, it’s advisable to stick to local expertise.
A local property manager with experience in the property industry knows the specific laws and regulations governing rental properties in South Florida. As a result, they’ll handle all your property’s legal requirements seamlessly.
Local managers also have vast information on market demographics. They know the tenant pool in the area and what they need. Having local market information on the fingertips makes targeted marketing easier and more effective.
Another reason why you should stick to local property managers is vendor relationships. Rental properties need regular servicing and repairs, which calls for services from local vendors. In most cases, a local property manager will have existing vendor relationships, meaning your property can promptly get the required repair services.
3. Check Their Experience
Experience is a vital consideration in the property market. An experienced property manager will take great care of your property and its tenants without worry—they’ll have your best interests at heart.
You can learn more about a property manager’s experience by looking at their customer reviews and testimonials. Don’t just rely on reviews from investors; be sure to check what tenants are saying about the property manager. Remember, happy and satisfied tenants mean less turnover, thus increased profits in the long run.
You can also ask the candidates specific questions to gauge their expertise, such as:
- How long have you worked as a property manager?
- How much do you charge for your services, and what does the management fee cover?
- Have you ever had any disputes with the tenants or property owners? If yes, how did you resolve the issue?
- How will you deal with rental arrears on my property?
- How do you conduct property inspections, and how often do you do it?
- What processes do you use when screening tenants?
- Which strategy do you use to record and maintain financial reports?
- How do you deal with emergencies on the property?
- Which marketing techniques do you use to reduce vacancies?
4. Interview Multiple Candidates
Your goal is to hire the best property manager. Therefore, it’s advisable to interview multiple candidates before settling on a particular one.
Don’t be in a rush; take your time and interview as many candidates as possible. If you feel incompetent to handle the interviews, you may seek help from a professional human resource practitioner with experience in the property market.
It’s advisable to use similar questions on all the candidates for a standard measure of their skill set. Remember, anyone can qualify to be a property manager, but not everyone can suit your needs. So, ensure you screen the candidates thoroughly. Better be slow, but sure!
5. Know Their Personal Impression
Hiring a property manager goes beyond their professional qualifications and expertise. A good property manager should have a great personality too.
Therefore, when choosing a property manager, it’s good to know their personality by asking them questions about their personal lives and interests.
A property manager’s personal impression affects how they relate with you and your tenants. A good property manager should possess people skills, strong communication skills, patience, honesty, and an investor’s mind.
Besides, they should be tech-savvy. Remember you’ll work closely with your property manager; therefore, you should choose an individual or company with whom you can collaborate effectively. Always trust your instincts!
6. Get a Licensed Property Manager
Property managers in South Florida require a broker’s license or a management license as per the existing Florida real estate licensing laws. If the property manager is operating on a commission basis, a broker’s license is mandatory, unlike when you’re paying them a salary.
You can check whether a property manager is licensed appropriately by conducting a licensee search to check their license status. Here, you can use the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Licensee Search webpage.
You should also do background checks on their educational certificates to ascertain their legitimacy.
7. Focus On Quality Over Price
As an investor, you want to lower your costs as much as you can. And while reducing costs may increase returns, this concept doesn’t hold when hiring property managers.
A cheap property manager may not possess the necessary skills and expertise to handle your property needs efficiently. Therefore working with them may cost you a lot in the long run.
So, always focus on quality rather than price and be ready to pay a relatively high fee for quality services.
Wrapping It Up
Setting up your rental property is a major step in your investment journey, but getting the right individual or company to run your property is vital for your investment’s success.
Therefore, ensure you settle for the best and don’t compromise on quality over price.
If you’re looking for property managers in South Florida, the 7 tips discussed above will help you conduct your search easily and efficiently.