10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Property Management Company
Are you looking for a property management company for your long-term rental property? If so, there’s a lot to consider when deciding who to work with. It can be difficult to know which company will be the best for your property’s needs.
To help, here are ten key questions you should ask when considering a property management company:
1. What Services Do You Offer?
Some property management companies only offer basic leasing and management services. This leaves you having to find sub-contractors or other firms for maintenance, marketing, and regular inspections. The ideal company will offer all the services you need under one roof. Sea Scape Properties is a full-service property management company. This means we take care of everything so you don’t have to.
2. What Kind of Experience Do You Have?
While everyone has to start somewhere, unless a company was recently founded by a team with significant experience managing rentals, you’re looking for a company with a history in the industry. You want a team with experience under its belt. One that knows what they’re doing and can handle any issues that may arise. From management to marketing to accounting, Sea Scape has over 30 years of combined experience and we are happy to share our knowledge with you!
3. How Many Properties Do You Manage?
You want to know your property will get the attention it deserves from a skilled, experienced management company. This means finding a balance. You need a company with enough properties to show they’re capable managers without being spread too thin. Of course, what that number is will depend a lot on your property and the company’s size. At Sea Scape, we currently manage over 120 long-term properties in the greater Wilmington, NC area.
4. What Professional Organizations Do You Belong To?
Participation in local realtor associations or membership in the National Association of Residential Property Managers is a good sign. This shows the company is professionally managed, and these organizations provide continual training and support for their members. Sea Scape Properties is a proud member of the Cape Fear Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce.
5. What Kinds of Properties Do You Manage?
Even if a company checks every other box, if they only manage commercial properties, they may not be the best fit for your residential property. Commercial and residential property management is very different. So, to be safe, make sure you find a company experienced in managing the type of property you’re renting. The majority of properties Sea Scape manages are residential homes, condos and townhomes but we do manage a few commercial properties as well.
6. How Do You Set the Rent You Charge Tenants?
You can’t just throw a dart at a set of numbers to decide on a rent amount. The company you use needs to have a system in place to ensure you receive top rent for your property. It will also ensure you a reasonable return without being too high which can drive away potential tenants. By using platform tools and comparing new properties to current listed properties in the same zip code with similar features and amenities Sea Scape can assure you are getting top dollar for your rental property.
7. How Do You Collect Rent from Tenants?
With all the different ways you can pay for things in this modern era, it’s important to know how a property management company will collect rent from tenants. If you have any preferences, this is a key question to ask. If you don’t, you at least want to make sure that the company can reliably collect from tenants. At Sea Scape, all tenants have access to a personal portal that allows them to pay rent online. Of course, it can be mailed in or dropped at our office as well.
8. What Kind of Fees Do You Charge for Your Services?
Fees are how property management companies make their profit, but if they charge too much, it will cut into the return on your investment. Make sure you understand what fees will be charged and how the rate is set. Try to keep the average rate of all the fees below about 14% of your monthly revenue from a given property.
9. How Do You Screen Potential Tenants?
It’s important to find high-quality, reliable tenants that won’t damage your property or leave halfway through their lease. A good company will thoroughly screen potential tenants to find the best match for your property. We have a full screening process in place at Sea Scape. We check income, employment, credit, background, and rental history for all potential tenants.
10. How Do You Manage a Property’s Maintenance Needs?
Whether handled by contractors or an in-house maintenance crew, a good property management company must have a plan to ensure that qualified individuals handle maintenance needs. Also, make sure you know how the company charges and pays for any maintenance needs. Sea Scape has an in-house 24/7 maintenance team to make sure your home and tenants are well taken care of. We also have several local contractors on hand if needed.
Located in beautiful Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, at Sea Scape Properties, we offer a full suite of property management services for the greater Wilmington area. We cover accounting, billing, marketing, maintenance and vacancy turnover.
We can help you better utilize your existing long-term rental property, find an amazing rental property to invest in, or convert your current property into a long-term rental. Contact us online, by email, or call us at 910-807-0200 to speak with Maria Tetterton and schedule a consultation today.