One of the questions I get most frequently when I am teaching classes is: how do I find a good property manager? Today we are going to talk about what you should look for and what you should ask when you are interviewing potential property managers for the job of taking care of your Santa Cruz rental home.
First, ask about designations and expertise. You want a property manager who has been doing this job for a while and knows what to expect. You don’t want a property manager who also sells real estate. We don’t say this to disrespect sales agents and realtors; it’s a simple fact that very different personality types are required for selling real estate and doing professional property management. You want someone who is focused on the management side of the business, and someone who knows the ins and outs of the industry. You especially want someone who understands the legalities involved in the landlord and tenant relationship. Such details are extremely different than those on the sales side.
Second, make sure you have a good personality fit. Your property manager is the person who will manage one of your most valuable assets; your real estate. You’ll need to have a close professional relationship, so you want to make sure it’s someone you can work with effectively. You should be able to determine this during the course of an interview. Take a look at how organized the property manager seems to be, and whether there are consistent policies and procedures in place. Check out the office when you stop in to visit and get an idea of how the people there work together. Drive by the properties they manage and see how they look. Spend some time on a property manager’s website so you can get an idea of how they advertise their vacant properties. You want to feel good about how they do business.
You can ask for referrals or recommendations, but in reality, a property manager is going to refer you to someone they already have a good relationship with, so it may not be the best use of your time.
If you have any questions while you’re preparing to interview property managers, please contact us at Portola Property Management, and we would be more than happy to give you additional tips and ensure you find the best property manager for your rental home.