Property investors are snatching up homes at a record pace, buying 18.4 percent of homes sold in the US. While some of those will be rehabbed and sold, a large number will join the rental market, bringing longer-term management concerns.

Between rent collection and property repairs, many landlords find it easier to push all those property ownership jobs to a professional. But choosing the best property management firm for your portfolio can be a daunting task.

Let’s take a look at how to evaluate companies to find the best property manager in any real estate market.

Local Expertise

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Investors have flocked to the fastest growing rental markets of Miami, Phoenix, and Las Vegas, where rents have increased by as much as 21 percent. But if you buy where you don’t live, you need a property manager that not only knows rentals but also the local market.

A solid local company should be up on all the state and local regulations for the area, but local expertise pays off in other ways. Your manager needs to know the market to help you set appropriate rents and where to find the best renters. They also need a good sense of what repairs and upgrades are best based on what class of property you’re holding.

Along with that, your manager should have great service people on speed dial to deal with any issues that might arise with the property.

Service Options

Service Options

Many parts of a landlord’s job can be done remotely these days with online rent collection and tenant applications. You might not need — or want to pay for! — every option a property manager offers.

As you interview firms, look for packages that let you buy just the services you need rather than forcing you to take all or nothing. If you hold different types of properties, you might need the flexibility of picking and choosing options. This goes a long way to determining what the best firm for your portfolio is.

Professional Work

Absentee landlords need a firm that delivers a professional work product, including good communications and clear reports. Adopting technology goes a long way toward ensuring these come automatically, especially if they worked with a consulting firm like Balanced Asset Solutions to ensure they get the most from the software.

Good communication extends to the management contract, which should be clear and complete about what you pay for and how much. You might be charged a flat percent of the rent or there might be a fee schedule for each task.

Looking for the Best Property Management?

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A smart homeowner keeps a list of the best services on hand; a smart landlord needs just one once they find the best property management firm. Local expertise brings confidence your business is being managed to the market, especially if you don’t live where you own. In addition, consider whether the company’s offerings meet your needs and how well they serve their clients.

If you found this article helpful, check out others on our site related to real estate and rental investments.

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