Maintaining a portfolio of successful investment properties can be a challenge for even a skilled investor. For a small amount of what your property earns in rent every month, a Maryland property management company can handle the everyday operations of rental homes in the DMV area, relieving the owner of significant stress and freeing up time in both their personal and business schedules.
A property management company can:
- Advertise your rental property
- Handle tenant screening safely
- Personally handle customer service
- Carry out rental property maintenance
- Manage rental property pricing and rent collection
- Manage subcontractors and other rental property vendors
- Ensure transactions comply with current laws and regulations.
However, making the wrong alliance can prove just as stressful as managing your properties alone! This makes it crucial to pick the right partner for your real estate investments in the DMV area.
Do Your Research
In spite of the multitude of choices, the right Maryland property management company is out there. Take the time to ask for referrals, read online reviews, and peruse company websites. There will be very specific things to look for, but at this point, a general overview will give you a feeling for the options available.
Once you have a little more research, you can narrow down your choices based on:
- Guarantees they offer
- Their pricing policies and fees.
When it comes to full-service property management, you absolutely get what you pay for, but you may be paying for extra fees and charges unless you talk to your potential partner about their pricing for the range of property management services they provide. As many experienced investors know, cheaper is not always better—always ask which services are covered by their pricing and which are going to rack up additional charges.
Once the options have been narrowed down to a select few, appointments can be scheduled to interview each prospective DMV property management company.
Look for Reliability
It stands to reason that an investor who has chosen to hire a Maryland property management company is looking for a reliable partner to form an alliance with. However, how can reliability be verified? Besides online reviews read during the research stage, an owner can:
- Ask for credentials: Although most states do not require a license in order to operate as a property manager, a license can be acquired. Any company that acquires and maintains a licensed status would imply increased reliability. Also, ask for certifications and affiliations with local agencies and industry groups.
- Ask about their portfolio: The size and quality of a portfolio may attest to the reliability of their property management services.
- Ask about their marketing strategies: A primary benefit of hiring a property management company is increased marketing capabilities. Reliability is often seen in the strategies used to maximize steady and dependable income flow.
Look for Transparency
The risks associated with the investment property industry during the pandemic highlighted the need for a transparent relationship between owners and the property managers, based on open communication and trust.
Choosing the right DMV property management company would negate the possibility of regrettably uttering the words, ‘I should’ve read the fine print’ at a later date. To promote transparency from the interview stage of the process, investors should:
- Ask about their cancellation policy: Most companies have policies regarding terminating their management contract.
- Ask about their tenant screening process: Find out what checks they run and how they determine a suitable renter.
- Ask about their lease agreement: Determine how they set rates and how they handle delinquencies, vacancies, and evictions.
- Ask about their collection and payment schedule: Find out when they collect and how you will be paid.
- Ask how they handle rental property maintenance: Determine who pays for what, what fees may be charged, and who the primary contact is for things like routine maintenance, inspections, and emergencies.
- Ask about their insurance: Proper insurance is a necessity to protect property owners from negligent and delinquent renters. Property management companies who are willing to discuss their insurance policies promote transparency.
Look for Guarantees
A professional Maryland property management company should be willing to provide certain guarantees to the investor. As in all business ventures, there is always a measure of risk—but the policies and services of the management company can do much to reduce the possibilities.
- Ask what they do to ensure good renters.
- Ask if their vetting process is backed by any warranty or some form of insurance.
- Ask how repairs and damages are covered and who pays the costs.
- Ask about how they handle vacancies and evictions.
A discussion of these topics will give the owner/investor a good idea of the guarantees the property management company is willing to offer.
The choice of which DMV property management company to hire is a serious one. When you find a company that is reliable, transparent, and willing to offer guarantees, your investment will be in good hands, and you will have a professional partner to protect and build your investment portfolio.
Eager to learn more? Get in touch with us to learn more useful tips about how to find the right property manager.