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How to Choose a Property Management Group: Part 1

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Whether you have a single rental property or you're rapidly expanding your investment portfolio, you might consider hiring a property management group to manage your rental units. A property manager (PM) works for you as a landlord and engages directly with current and prospective tenants on your behalf. Some of the general responsibilities of a property manager is to collect rent, advertise vacant units on popular apartment search platforms, arrange for repairs and handle any requests from existing tenants. In this post we've broken down how to decide if you should hire a property manager for your rental and tips for finding the right firm for you.

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU SHOULD HIRE A PROPERTY MANAGER

Not all investment property owners will benefit from using a property management firm, but here are some clues that hiring a PM might help you more effectively manage your rental units.

- You have many units and/or multiple properties.
- You have a full-time job in addition to overseeing your income properties.
- You're okay with a degree of separation between you and your tenants: you won't be operating with a hands-on approach, so you must be comfortable with a property manager liaising between you and your tenants.
- You don't want to employ a resident manager or be tasked with hiring freelancers for maintenance requests and renovations.

HOW TO FIND A PROPERTY MANAGEMENT GROUP

Referrals: Reach out to other property owners in your area to find out who they use to manage their units. Pick their brain to find out how they came across that particular firm and ask about any flaws with the company. The agent who sold you your income property will also serve as a helpful resource. With connections in the industry, the agent will likely have at least a few suggestions of firms they have worked with directly or whom past clients have used.

Industry Directories: There are a variety of great industry resources accessible to you as a landlord. Professional directories from your local apartment or landlord association are a great place to begin. You should also check databases like All Property Management, which helps you find and match a property management firm based on the size and location of your property. This site also includes a robust FAQ section, which can provide insightful answers to a variety of questions first-time property owners might have.

Yelp!: Yelp! reviews are great way to compare different property managers based on experience from their current or previous clients. Yelp! reviews coupled with other information from referrals and directories, and of course actually meeting the property management company, will provide the most thorough outlook on your options.

Stay tuned for our next post in this two part series that will cover all of the questions you need to consider when selecting a property management company!