Choosing a Grand Rapids property management company is an important part of your investment experience. Whether you own one rental property or an entire portfolio of assets, you need a professional team that’s experienced, capable, and responsive.
If you’re wondering which Grand Rapids property manager to hire, we have some factors that should always be considered. There are a lot of things to look for when you’re making your choice, and we’re bringing some of the most important qualifications to your attention today.
Grand Rapids Property Management Reputation
A company’s reputation will tell you a lot about what it’s like to work with a particular company.
It’s easier than ever to conduct thorough online research before you even reach out to a property management company. Take a look at their website, their social media pages, and their reviews. Find out what other owners have to say about their experience with the management company you’re considering.
Reputation is important among customers, but you also want to work with a company that has a good reputation in the industry. Look for a community presence and strong association memberships. The National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), for example, holds its members to high ethical and educational standards. Involvement in organizations and professional groups tells you that they care about the Grand Rapids community and they know how to network and build relationships.
Local Property Management Experience
Experience is always important when you’re looking for professional property management in Grand Rapids. You’ll want to see extensive experience in the property management field, and you definitely want to know that they have experience in your local market.
A local understanding of the rental market, the competing properties, and the tenants will help you when you price your property and market your home. The local presence will be invaluable when there’s an emergency at the property or you need to make sure you’re complying with all local laws and codes.
Experience in property management is important. You want to work with a company that has successfully rented homes, effectively collected rent, and frequently handled maintenance issues. You also want a company that has experience in your particular type of property. A commercial property expert won’t be much help if you’ve got five single-family residential homes to rent out.
Talk about experience, and ask for examples of rental properties they’re currently managing.
Evaluate Technology, Communication, and Accounting
An investment in property management technology is always a good sign. It means they understand the importance of technology in efficiently leasing and managing your home. Ask about the systems they have in place for:
- Marketing your rental property
- Screening tenants
- Collecting rent
- Enforcing the lease
- Responding to maintenance issues
- Handling lease renewals
With the right property management software, a lot of this can be automated and it also keeps everything more transparent for you.
Talk about communication. You want to know they can communicate with you when you need them to. If you’re an out-of-state owner, online communication will be especially critical. If you’re someone who likes in-person meetings, make sure your property manager is equipped for that. In our experience, communication only fails when expectations aren’t shared.
Check on a property management company’s accounting systems, too. Are there online portals that allow for online rental payments? There should be, and you should receive your rent within days if it’s deposited electronically. Talk about statements and financial reports. What can you expect? Following your income and expenses is not only important at tax time but also in evaluating whether your property is performing the way you expect.
Choose a Grand Rapids Property Manager that Protects Your Investment
You hire a professional property management company so that you don’t have to worry about collecting rent on time, finding a good tenant, negotiating lease terms, hiring vendors, and answering emergency maintenance calls in the middle of the night.
A good property management company will ensure your rental home is protected from damage, bad tenants, and deterioration. You want to work with a team who has a plan for every possible situation.
Ask a potential property manager what they do if a tenant breaks the lease early. Find out how they serve notices if rent isn’t paid. Ask about their screening process and take a look at their move-in inspection forms.
You need to have a thorough understanding of how they will protect your asset in order to feel good about hiring a property management company.
Value is More Important than Cost
Cost will always be a factor. You have a budget, and you likely want to stick to it.
Remember, however, that good property management is not a commodity. It’s a service that should deliver value, and you’re likely to get what you pay for.
Hiring the cheapest company is tempting. But, what are you getting in exchange for that cut-rate management fee?
Don’t compare costs. Compare value.
When you’re choosing a property management company for your Grand Rapids investments, make sure you’re getting the best expertise, resources, and tools that you can afford. You don’t want to have to manage your manager. If you own real estate assets, you don’t want to be bogged down with day to day decisions and hassles. You simply want to be able to log onto your portal and see what’s going on with your property.
Don’t go cheap when you’re choosing a property manager. You’ll end up spending more than you might have imagined. You don’t want to be frustrated and you don’t want to be the person who has to come up with systems because your property manager hasn’t.
You’re not investing in real estate to take on a second job. You’re not hiring a property manager to be a micromanager. Find a company you can trust, and be willing to pay for their services when those services are outstanding.
We’d love to hear more about what you’re looking for in a property management partner, and we’d love to tell you how we work. Please contact our team at Short South Realty Group.