If you’re seeking a property management company in Atlanta, GA, you have no shortage of options. However, trusting a stranger to manage one of your biggest investments can be a daunting task. Many property management companies offer roughly the same services at a range of prices, and the price doesn’t always reflect the value of services. A good property manager should be able to minimize expenses while saving the investor time and resources. Other than knowing the best restaurants around the Marietta Square, what questions can you ask to ensure a property manager has your best interest in mind?
1 – How Long Does Your Average Tenant Stay?
The answer to this question may be the most telling when it comes to gauging property management companies. Happy tenants generally renew their lease year after year. If tenants are moving out every year, that can be a sign of neglect or they feel their needs aren’t being met. Situations vary, but good landlords make every effort to respond quickly to maintenance requests and make tenants feel at home. Every day spent seeking new tenants, that’s a day you aren’t collecting rent.
2 – Do They Go the Extra Mile?
Speaking of tenants, tenants are great at providing feedback, especially in public forums and particularly if they’ve had a bad experience. Let’s face it, Yelp is the soapbox of the digital world. A quick search on Yelp or Google+ should provide great insight into the company you’re considering. Keep in mind, a negative review shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. In fact, negative reviews are a great gauge for how a company deals with issues. Look for signs that the company is engaged and actively trying to resolve bad experiences, and not just defending itself. At the end of the day, perception is reality, and a company that puts in the effort to fix problems, perceived or real, is a company I’d bet on.
3 – How Well Do They Know the Area?
You may not have kids in school, but believe me, your potential tenants do. Two identical houses in an area may be zoned for different schools, and that could have a big effect on the asking rent price. Quiz potential property managers on school zones and other factors that contribute to rates. They should be able to pull comps and give you a good idea of rates, even before seeing your property. Other factors include easy access to local amenities and transportation. We all know that Atlanta, and more specifically Marietta, has traffic congestion. If your property manager isn’t familiar with all of these factors, your property may be listed incorrectly and spend more time on the market.
4 – Have They Built Up the Right Relationships?
It’s only a matter of time before your property will need some TLC. Repairs and maintenance should be carried out quickly and professionally. A good property manager will have ongoing relationships with trusted vendors. Even then, they should offer several quotes for any project. And, repairs should never be a source of revenue for the property management company. Ask the company if they charge fees on top of what their vendors charge. Unless the answer is “Never!” – you should look for another management company. Also, ask if their vendors are licensed and insured. This could save you from being on the hook for legal expenses.
5 – Are They The Cheapest In Your Area?
It would be lovely if everything in the world was free, but some good things do come at a cost. You should be very worried about how skilled your property manager is if they’re unable to command a respectable fee from their clients. You don’t want to go with the most expensive you can find, but at the same time, you should stay away from the cheapest too. A negotiated lower fee also means you might fall down the pecking order again if they’re getting more money from everyone else, so be careful if you decide to fight for a better deal. That’s not to say that the cheapest is necessarily poor quality, but you should ask them how they’re able to provide property management services at below market cost before entering into a contract with them.
Don’t Forget These Are All Essential Questions
Before you begin looking into property management in Atlanta, GA, you should consider all the tips we’ve discussed. Once you’re able to answer all of the above points, you should feel more comfortable with your important decision of hiring a property manager. When you hire a property manager it allows you to enjoy life without worrying about your tenants. The only hard thing is finding the right partnership in the first place, but now your job will be much easier because of the information we’ve discussed.
I like that you suggest to ask how long does the average tenant stay. I can see why this would be a good indication of how that company treats and handles problems that come up. I am thinking about buying a town home and renting a couple rooms to some college students. Having a property management service would be nice so that I don’t have to worry about it too much. I’ll have to remember this question for when I am looking around.
In your article, you stated that it’s only a matter of time before your property will need some TLC and repairs and maintenance should be carried out quickly and professionally. I can imagine that managing all the duties that are associated with a rental property might be overwhelming. I wonder what types of tools most management companies use to find potential tenants.
I think the article makes a good point that you would want a property management company that knows the area well. It mentions that the asking price can depend on what commodities, schools, and other factors are near your property’s location. I know if I had rental properties, I would want a good management company that has a good idea of the area so as to get me the best price possible.
I like that you mentioned that property management should be carried out quickly and professionally. Maybe I should ask around to find a company that people trust. It might be a good idea for me to do research, too.
That’s a great point you make about how a good property manager will have ongoing relationships with trusted vendors and will be able to take care of repairs quickly. I’ve heard, too, that some property managers will make sure to visit the property at least once a week to do a thorough walk-through and inspection. I’ll have to keep this great information for when I own property in the future and need to choose a property manager to help with the upkeep.
Public forums are a good source of getting views from tenants but has got some pitfall.In this era of competition in business,it’s prone to scammers ,people out there to write negative views about a certain company so caution should be taken in evaluating the views from these forums.
It’s true – relationships do have high impact on the entire situation. The property manager should treat you nice and professionally, and on the other hand, he should keep his relationships with tenants at its finest.
Very informative article, keep up the good work.
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Hypothetically, I am the landlord of a complex and am in need of some assistance with my property. A suggestion came to me that I should consider hiring a property manager to come help me out. This is something that I am really interested in doing, but I would like to have some ideas of what I should be looking for in one. I like how you said that it is good to ask them how well they know the area, which is great to know since they will be the ones showing tenants the property and they will have questions about it. People like to know what kind of things surround the place they are looking to live, and they hope the people they are asking have the answers. This is something that I will keep in mind when I start interviewing for managers. Thanks for the help!
Absolutely! I can always tell how interested a prospective tenant is by the questions they ask. If they’re really considering the property, they usually want to know a good deal about the area, the schools (if they have children), the community, and especially traffic! Thanks for your comment!
Not a lot of people think about it, but the right relationships really can make or break a property management company. After all, those who reach out and make partnerships with other businesses can really help your property. For example, they may be able to get discounts at local carpet cleaning services for properties they run.
That’s what I call the useful article! :)
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Your tip to consider how well a property management company knows the area was quite interesting. I like how you point out that a property manager needs to know the area so they can attract tenants looking for specific amenities the area has to offer. I feel like this could have a direct influence on tenant turnover rates. If a tenant gets what they’re looking for location-wise, they’d be more likely to stay in your property.
I agree with you in that you can always look at online reviews when looking for a good property manager. It makes sense that taking the time to do a research can help you narrow down your lists and find a reputable manager to care for your property. Personally, I would want to make sure I take the time to check with the BBB and look for rankings for the company I am considering in order to find the best I can.
Exactly! A good property management company can address your issues quickly and benefit you in a long run. One should hire a trustworthy company, these companies know how to build strong relationships with their clients based upon trust. You highlighted significant points. Thanks!
The best way to find a reputable property manager is by referral. Who sold you your home? Does your real estate agent know any good property managers? Do you have friends with investments in the same area?
Thank you for mentioning that a great property management service will have great relationships with repairmen. My husband and I have decided to hire someone to help us with our rental since we just had a baby. I’ll be sure to tell him that we want to find a property management service that also won’t charge us on top of what any repair company would charge us for the maintenance itself.
These are all great things to ask of any property management company you are considering hiring, regardless of where your property is located. I especially appreciate you recommending that property owners ask how long tenants typically stay in the properties they manage. High turnover rates can indicate a lack of customer service which is terrible for your rental property business. I would love to add that asking how they will advertise your vacant property be asked during your initial conversation with a prospective property manager. Having the right resources and dedication to getting your property leased is important for low vacancy rates and increased positive cash flow. Thanks again for sharing!
I like your point about if they go the extra mile. My sister is really picky and wants things done right. She is also looking to hire a property management service. I’ll be sure to talk to her about finding a company that will go the extra mile and satisfies her.
I absolutely love the tip about not choosing the cheapest option available. It’s amazing to me how many people fail to realize that super cheap options are generally cheap for a reason, and it normally isn’t a good reason. I am looking for a property management company to help manage the rental of my condo, and I’ll definitely be using these tips in my search, but I’ll specifically be keeping that tip in my mind.
Hiring someone to manage your investment is a big decision, so you need to do your research before choosing one.
It was nice how you said that just because a property management company has been facing a bad situation means that they’re not reliable. Like you said, before deciding, I have to know first if they’re doing their best to resolve the problem or if they’re just focusing on defending themselves. That’s good to know because my brother and I are planning to hire property managers to maintain the apartment rental business that we built a year ago. Seeing this article will be quite helpful in choosing. Thanks a lot!
You make a great point when you say that you need to consider reading reviews of different property management services. It would be smart to consider these things because it would ensure that they are qualified. My sister recently inherited our aunt’s rental home and wants someone to manage it. Because of this, she’ll have to find someone with good ratings to help her take care of it.
I like that the article reminds readers to ask about whether or not the service knows about the area. After all, if you are going to hire a property management service to look over your buildings then you want them to be knowledgeable about the neighborhood. That way they can know what weather to expect and what kind of tenants they should look for.
Going the extra mile is definitely a key point. My property manager takes care of pretty much everything from tenant vetting, background checks, and maintenance requests. They even have my tenants on electronic lease signing!
Doing your research is important as you pretty much will be giving this person free reins to your property!
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Thanks for pointing out that we should ask about their service since it will be able to give you an idea if their rates match the quality they can offer. I will follow your advice since we will be needing their services in the future. It’s because the land that we bought, which is 8 hectares wide, will be turned into a village soon when we hire contractors we can trust. Their services will be useful to manage the future HOA once people live there.
I like that you mentioned that a property manager should know about school zones and other factors that contribute to rates. I have been considering going with a property management service and wanted to know what to look out for. I would love to reach out to realty rental property management services and see how that works for me.
Thanks, Thomas. Give us a call if you ever want to have a discussion!
Thanks for explaining that property managers should know the neighborhood well, since potential tenants will likely have school age children. My husband and I are in the process of investing in rental property because we think it’d be a good source of long term income, but we don’t want to deal with finding tenants ourselves. I’m glad I read your article because finding a good property management company seemed really overwhelming before, but you helped me feel more prepared by sharing some great questions to ask!
Thanks for giving landlords a great starting point when it comes to interviewing a property management company. You invest a lot of time and money into your rental property, the last thing you want to do is lose high-quality tenants because your property manager is not doing their job. I think it’s important to ask any property management company you’re considering what services they provide. You have certain needs that need to be taken care of, and you should make sure that the property manager you entrust your rental to handles them the way you’re paying them to. Thanks again for sharing!
Hey, I’m a long time fan and reader of your blog, first time commenter. Just wanted to say this post really hit home with the stuff I’ve been looking into. Thanks!
Thanks for the insight! You’re right, after getting answers to these basic questions, you’ll be well on your way to making a good hiring decision. I would love to add however, that you should get a comprehensive list of services provided, learn more about how maintenance and repairs are handled, and even find out if there are any guarantees in place to help you trust your decision to hire a property manager. Thanks again for sharing!
My uncle owns 4 houses that he rents and he takes the role as a property manager as well. I like how you said that a good property manager will have ongoing relationships with trusted vendors. It would be nice to find a software that could help him manage all work orders, requests and follow up online so that he could do his job from home.
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Thank you for pointing out how a good landlord will make every effort to respond to maintenance requests quickly. My wife and I want to look for a new apartment complex to live in. We want a place that has a good landlord who will take out request seriously and will try to make our living situation better.
My sister and I inherited my grandmother’s small home when she passed away last year, and we have been thinking about renting it out to college students in the area since it is only about a mile away from the university. It might be helpful for us to hire a property management company to handle everything for us since we are both so busy, and I loved this article! Thank you for explaining that we should look for a company that understands the rates and amenities of the local area.
Property management on our own might become risky and tense as too much data should be handled. Hence property management tools might be helpful. Thank you for the helpful notes shared.
My friend plans on having an apartment complex built soon. She plans on hiring a property management service for the building for convenience purposes. I like that you said she should choose a service that is well-known in the area for providing quality service. Thanks for this.
I like your real estate tips. I need to get an agent. I want a house in Texas.
It made sense to me when you said that when tenants are happy, you can expect them to renew their lease. This makes me think of the 9-story apartment building that my late father left for me 7 months ago. I want to consider having it rented out again, so I could imagine how a designated broker could ensure that the management of the property in the best possible way is going to be prioritized.
It did catch my attention when you said that you can enjoy your slide without worrying about tenants when a property manager is hired. This is a good tip for property owners who are planning to have their units rented out before December ends. She lives far from the city and is busy most of the time due to her day job, so it will make sense for her to get the help of a property management service.