You have countless reasons to work with a San Diego property management company if you plan on leasing out any of the properties you own. Once you've made the decision to work with a property management company, find one that fits your particular needs.
Not all San Diego property management companies are of the same quality; the last thing you want is to hire a company that does a poor job marketing and managing your properties. Use the following tips to ensure you hire a reputable property management company:
Look for an experienced company
Just because a property management company is new doesn't necessarily mean it will be of poor quality. You are, though, taking more of a risk when working with a new company, since it has yet to establish a reputation. Some novel situations may arise that the new company is not familiar with, but that companies with years of experience are. When choosing between a new property management company or an experienced one, the experienced one is typically the safer choice.
Compare monthly rates
One your property has been filled, most property management companies will charge a fixed percentage of your monthly rental rate. This percentage will cover things like repair logistics and 24/7 coverage for any emergencies. Keep in mind that additional repair costs will be added to that percentage. Although a lower rate means more profit for you, don't always judge a company by how cheap its services are—it's only one of many factors to consider.
Look into their marketing efforts
Marketing is an important part of property management. Poor marketing typically results in high vacancy rates. When speaking with various San Diego property management companies, ask each to go into some detail regarding its marketing strategy. Work with a company that provides as much exposure for your property as possible, by listing the property on numerous paid and free websites, and by using signs, MLS and print classifieds.
Don't just take the company's word for it—look at some of its listings in order to judge its marketing efforts for yourself. Does the listing contain high-quality photographs and descriptions? Is the listing easy to read and navigate? Is a video tour included? Look for details in the listings setting them apart from the other companies.
Find out how residents are screened
You may think a rigorous screening process will make leasing your property (or properties) difficult, but screening potential residents will be beneficial in the long run. A full background check and credit check helps ensure you lease your property to a responsible resident. Without such screenings, you're more likely to end up with a resident who damages your property and makes late lease payments, or doesn't pay at all. Weak screening may also result in residents who don't stay in your property for very long.
Ask each company what its screening process is and what its standards are for applicants with low credit scores, a history of evictions, and more. Also ask if the company charges the applicant the screening set-up fee or if you'll be responsible for it.
Find out how emergencies are handled
You'll want to know that your property—and the residents within—are taken care of in an after-hours emergency. Companies will often have a 24-hour customer service hotline for such emergencies.
Use these tips when comparing San Diego property management companies to help you choose the right one. For information about our property management services, contact us at Property Advantage today.