Hiring the right Atlanta property management company for your residential rental homes can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not sure what to look for. There are a lot of options, and it can be difficult to find one company that stands out from the rest and provides the best value and the most comprehensive services.
You want to find a management company that will meet your needs and those of your property. You also want the peace of mind that your property managers will treat your tenants well.
Here are five questions you should start with when you’re looking for Atlanta property management.
1. What Kind of Property Management Experience Do You Have?
You’re looking for a management company with many years of experience. This will assure you that they can anticipate any possible situation at your rental property and respond with something that’s worked in the past. An experienced property manager can take care of any surprises during the leasing, management, or maintenance process.
You also want to know what type of experience the company has. Look for areas of expertise that match your own needs. If you struggle with tenant retention, look for a company that can tell you what they do to keep tenants in place. If you own all single-family homes in HOA communities, a company that works primarily with commercial rentals and large apartment buildings may not be right for you.
It’s also a good idea to ask how many rental homes they’re currently managing. You want to be sure they have the capacity to keep up with the demands of their portfolio before you give them more work.
2. What is Your Plan for Rental Property Maintenance?
Don’t hire a property manager without understanding how maintenance will be handled. You’ll want to know what the process is for reporting emergency and routine maintenance. You’ll want to know if there are preventative maintenance plans in place. Most importantly, you’ll want to know who does the work. Is the company going to use an in-house team, or will they work with a preferred set of vendors and contractors who are licensed and insured?
3. How Are Rents Set and Collected?
You might have an idea of what you want to earn in rent, but your property manager is likely to establish a rental value based on specific criteria. Ask what those criteria are and what kind of data the management company uses to decide how much to charge for your rental property. You should expect a market analysis that shows comparable properties. Accurate pricing is a huge part of the marketing plan and the effort to reduce vacancy loss.
You’ll also want to know how rent is collected from tenants and paid to you. Good management companies have invested in technology and likely have an online portal for both tenants and owners. Tenants today want to pay rent online, securely and conveniently. Make sure the management company can provide this service. Find out if you’ll be paid electronically as well, and when.
4. Will Accounting Statements be Available to Me?
Accounting is a big part of property management in Atlanta. It includes the collection and return of tenant security deposits, rent collection, payment of maintenance invoices, and tax forms. You’ll want to be sure you can follow the income and expenses associated with your rental property at all times. Talk about record keeping and property management software. Will vendor invoices be uploaded to your portal? Will you need to ask for statements and reports or will they simply be available? How is your personal and banking information protected?
Look for the appropriate use of technology and good safeguards to protect your money and your information.
5. How Do You Communicate?
Understand how your property managers will communicate with you as an owner and with your tenants. You want to make sure they’re responsive to questions and available to respond to emergencies. Are they more likely to call you or to send a text or an email? What if tenants are only interested in communicating electronically? You want to work with a company that’s comfortable communicating in several different ways to provide the best possible service to everyone they’re working with.
These are just starting points to open a conversation with potential Atlanta property management companies when you’re looking to hire an expert. We’d love to answer these questions and many others for you. Contact our team at Property Services of Atlanta.