Whether you are reading this as a current renter or
potential renter – finding the right property manager is crucial. Many people
focus all their energy on ensuring the location, budget, and amenities are the
right fit. However, they overlook the importance of picking a good property
Property managers are the gatekeepers of communication, payments,
maintenance requests, and more. This means that a bad property manager can
quickly and easily ruin the rental experience for everyone involved. To make
sure you find the right fit, look for these 7 signs when shopping around for a
good property manager or property management company.
One of the most important factors to look for in a property
manager is how quickly and effectively he or she communicates. Property managers
are responsible for all day-to-day communication for both renters and rental
property owners. For example, if your refrigerator goes out late one Thursday
evening, a good property manager will be responsive and quick to find a
A quality property manager will always respond to your
emails and answer your calls (or give you a call back!). If you struggle to get
ahold of a property manager or property management company, consider that
foreshadowing for how your experience will be as a tenant.
Although it is important to communicate with your property
manager, a good property manager will also respect your privacy and create
professional boundaries. Even though you are renting versus owning, you are
still working to create a personal space for yourself that feels like home.
Outside of emergency situations, property managers should
respect your space and give you ample notice if they need to visit your
property. They should not show up to your rental unannounced, and they should
respect your taste in décor and living (as long as it is in line with your lease
Explains Leasing Agreement
As a renter, you enter into a legally binding contract
between yourself, the owner of the rental property, and the property management
company. Not only should a good property manager understand the leasing agreement
like the back of his or her hand, but they should also be able to explain it to
you clearly and thoroughly.
Expect to have a very detailed conversation with your
property manager prior to signing a leasing agreement to ensure you understand
your obligations and expectations. For example, will you pay for your own
utilities? Is cable or internet included? What happens if you make a late rent
The right property manager will not only be upfront about these
details but will also be more than happy to answer all of your leasing
Good Tenant Reviews
From Google to Yelp, we now live in a world of instant
knowledge and feedback. Just like restaurants and other companies, property
managers and property management teams are subject to online customer reviews.
If past tenants had a poor rental experience, they will be
the first to air their grievances by leaving an unfavorable review for the
property management company. That being said, the right property management
company will have a lot of quality reviews about their property and services.
These days, we rarely go out to eat without checking a restaurant’s review on
Google, so why wouldn’t we do the same when choosing a property management
This may seem obvious, but not all property managers take
time to actually manage a property to the best of their ability. A good
property manager will ensure the property is always taken care of, will manage
maintenance and repairs, and will ensure the stress of upkeep is lifted off
You should not have to
badger a property manager to handle repairs and maintenance. If your washing
machine breaks down, you should only have to tell your property manager or
submit a request once and have peace of mind that the issue will be addressed
quickly. The best property management teams even have a 24/7 emergency
maintenance hotline to ensure tenants are always taken care of.
A good property manager will also have an efficient,
effective, and reasonable rent collection system. They will be able to quickly
identify late or missing payments but may also have a reasonable grace period
in case life gets tough. A great property manager may even give incentives for
those who pay on time each month but will also work out a plan for payment if
you need a few extra days. We are only human, right?
Many of the best property management companies are moving
toward programs that incentivize on-time payments, motivate lease renewals, and
reduce vacant rentals and property turnover. You already know you are supposed
to pay your rent on time each month – getting rewarded for it is just a bonus!
Low Vacancy Rates
This will not be what you want to hear, but a great property
manager may have a rental community that is tough to get into. If vacant
rentals in a certain community are few and far between, this is a wonderful
sign that the property management team is doing something right.
Their marketing efforts may be paying off, meaning that they
quickly get renters in the door. It is likely that they are also providing
amazing customer service – from answering questions to completing repairs and
maintenance – which makes people continue to rent the same property year after
year. If a community has constant openings and vacant rentals, consider that a
sign to look elsewhere!
When looking for an
apartment, budget and location are two of the most important aspects to look
for. However, do not forget the third and most important factor: a good
property manager. Just as people leave good jobs due to bad bosses, renters
leave good spaces due to bad property managers.
A good property manager will be there to support your rental experience from start to finish. During your search, lean on these 7 important signs of a good property manager to ensure you find the right fit. Once you find the right location to fit your budget, do not let a poor property manager ruin your entire rental experience!