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What to Look for In a Property Manager

What to Look for In a Property Manager

If you’re the owner of a rental property or looking to become one, one of your first questions might be: “Who’s going to manage this property?”

There are a couple of options, of course. You could manage the property on your own, signing tenants, collecting rent, and taking care of maintenance issues yourself. Or, you could hire someone else to manage the property, making it a more passive real estate investment.

The latter is more appealing to most, since it’s a way to generate rental income without adding to your schedule the part-time job of managing a rental property. But that decision entails entrusting your investment to someone else, and not all property management is created equal.

Here’s what you should look for in a property manager.

Track record

If you own your own business and are looking for someone to handle its day-to-day operations, you’d probably hire someone who has experience operating such a business. An investment property is a business, too, and when hiring a property manager, you’ll likely want someone who has experience and knowledge.

Look into how long a prospective property management company has been in business and ask how many units they are managing. It’s more than fair to look for a property manager with a proven track record and ask as many questions as you can to ensure they’re experienced.

Look local

There are federal and state laws any owner of a rental property must adhere to, but there are county and local codes and ordinances to be followed as well. It helps to have a property manager that’s familiar with all local regulations.

If you own a rental property in San Jose, therefore, there’s an advantage in hiring a San Jose property manager. Local companies tend to know the local rules, understand what municipal inspections entail, and understand local legal processes such as evictions.

Hiring a local management company also means gaining access to their local contacts. If you’re looking for a reliable contractor to get work done quickly, for example, a good local property manager is likely to know whom to call. They have local relationships.

Understand the services offered

Just about any property management company will collect rent and field tenants’ phone calls on the owner’s behalf, but some companies offer a more comprehensive lineup of services than others.

When hiring a property manager, it’s important to know the scope of the services offered. Does the company do tenant screening and placement? Do they provide 24-hour emergency response service? Do they provide consistent and reliable record-keeping?

Property management services for a duplex or home usually cost between 7-10 percent of the gross monthly rent, which can be a great value if you’re getting full-service management.

Think about proactive maintenance

If you own a rental property in San Jose, where real estate is expensive, you likely have a lot of money tied up in your investment. So, a San Jose property manager should share your goal of protecting that investment.

One of the ways to protect a valuable piece of real estate is to proactively maintain it. Regularly scheduled maintenance and inspections can help keep a structure in tip-top shape. Making sure smoke detectors work and that HVAC systems get timely checkups can prevent more expensive problems from ever popping up.

One of the reasons to use a property manager is because you, as the owner, can’t always check in on the place. Also, tenants tend to call only when something is obviously amiss. A property manager that’s proactive when it comes to a property’s physical condition can be worth their weight in gold.

Valley Management Group has been providing high quality and affordable property management services in San Jose and Santa Clara County for over 40 years and has many high customer ratings from both owners and tenants. If you’re looking for a property manager in San Jose contact us to get a free property management quote and one free month of services when you sign up.

Reviewed and Approved by Lloyd Kipp
Property Manager and Owner of Valley Management Group

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