When you decide that it's time to take a step back and hire a property management company to help you with your properties, remember that you are doing exactly that: you are hiring them. They are an employee of yours, and as such, you'll want to conduct thorough interviews to make sure that you are hiring the best company for your business. Not every model works for every landlord, so check them out and make sure your money is going to the right company that will work well with you.
There are a few things that you'll want to check when you sit down for the interviews. It's best, like when hiring anyone, that you have everything in order before the actually meeting. You'll want to make sure that they have the experience needed to do what you need them to do. Check into their past. Name changes, holes in their resume, and anything that seems to be sketchy just may be. You don't want to hire a company that is constantly trying to cut corners or make themselves look better than they really are. These are the companies that will land you into more trouble than it's worth.
When choosing your company, make sure their qualifications line up. Are they licensed to practice property management? You'll want to make sure that the company's employees continue in their education. They should always be working on certification and keeping their knowledge up to date. If they do not follow the laws in the area for landlord-tenant relationships, it won't only come back on them, it'll come back on you. Laws are ever-changing and always being tweaked by the government officials that don't send out alerts to all landlords and property managers. It's the manager's (and the landlord's) responsibility to keep up with these and make sure you're on top of any new changes. If you're not (and if they're not) you might find yourself and your property in violation of the law.
Following up on what type of work they do for the other landlords they've worked with is important. You'll want to know if they have a specialty that they work with, where they manage (locally or nationally), what types of properties they've managed, etc etc Look for references, check them, and dig as deeply as you can if you find that you're interested in pursuing them as your property management company. It may take a little extra work at the beginning, but it's worth it in the end.
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