How to Choose the Right Michigan Property Management Company
Posted by JMZ Property Management on Friday, April 20th, 2012 at 4:52pm.
If you have recently acquired investment property for rental purposes, then you face a common issue every property owner has to copy with: A complete stranger will be moving into the property - property you may have once called home.
Along with dealing with a stranger in that residence, you have more than enough to keep you busy. Managing the details of work, your business, your household and family, etc. is enough to keep your schedule tight. You have little time for handling all the maintenance issues of rental properties.
That's why most local property investors and landlords make the choice to outsource to a Michigan property management company. There's a certain freedom to turning over the maintenance, background checks, service calls, walk throughs and daily grit of owning rental property to an experienced property manager - but how do you find the right one?
Getting Recommendations for a Property Manager in Michigan
There's a lot to be said for networking and referrals. Before you make the decision to hire a Michigan property manager, talk with real estate agents or landlords/property owners you know. Find out if anyone you are connected to has worked with the property management company you're interested in.
Even better, ask if they have a company that they would recommend. Try to get local recommendations, as a larger, nationwide company will have variable performances in different markets.
Exploring your Options for Property Managers in Southeast Michigan
Not all property management companies are the same. Some offer only leasing services, which is typically cheaper than a property manager who provides leasing as well as maintenance. Ultimately you need to know how much time you can devote to the property to determine which services you want to outsource.
Make Sure you Connect with your Property Manager
You typically don't climb into a boat with people you don't know. The same goes for business. If you make a snap decision to hire the first Michigan based property manager you find you could wind up regretting it. Put the same diligence into hiring a property manager as you would interviewing tenants.
Sit down with multiple companies and see how they respond to questions relating to services, emergencies, tenant requests and special case scenarios. If a company responds quickly and connects with you then it's typically a good sign. If a property manager takes days - or even weeks - to make that appointment then that should be a red flag.
Read the Fine Print on Your Agreements
You want to make sure that you're covered and that you ultimately have the power to remove tenants that aren't upholding the lease, and that property damages are covered. Along the same lines of a leasing agreement, make sure that you do NOT have to pay a monthly management fee if your property management company does not collect rent that month. A lot of companies charge their fee whether they collect rent or not. Make them put their money where their mouth is and if they don't collect rent, then they don't get paid that month either.
Great Service Comes at a Cost
You're outsourcing a great deal of work to a professional service when you hire a Michigan property management company. You can expect that most companies will charge somewhere in the range of a month and half worth of rent plus 10% of the monthly rent for the location. While it may be hard to swallow the loss of residual income from an investment property, understand that having a property management team takes a great deal of work off your shoulders. It also prevents experienced tenants from taking advantage of novice landlords. It doesn't take much to get two or three months behind in rent.
Just don't choose a property manager based on price alone. Make sure the company is good fit for your needs, expectations and provides all the services you need to keep your property in top shape and your tenants happy.
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