How to Choose a Property Manager in Maryland
As a landlord, you should focus on improving properties and maximizing revenue—not juggling tenant issues, making minor repairs, and advertising vacancies. Fortunately, by hiring a property manager, you can offload a substantial amount of busy-work and concentrate on protecting your existing investments while growing your real estate portfolio.
However, while choosing the right property manager offers you peace of mind and saves you a lot of time and stress; hiring the wrong person can have disastrous consequences.
Some important questions to ask
Here are some important questions to ask your next potential property manager:
- Where is your office located? Your property manager needs to be reliable and accessible. When searching for the ideal candidate to manage your real estate, choose someone who lives and works in close proximity to your property. If there’s a tenant issue or repair, they can run over and deal with the problem immediately.
- How many properties do you manage? You want a property manager who has experience managing properties similar to your own. If you own a small property, someone who is experienced handling larger spaces may not be appropriate for your operation. If you own larger real estate, you need someone familiar with managing apartment complexes and other high-occupancy properties. You also want someone who is not overworked. Hire a property manager with too much on their plate already, and your property may be neglected. Ideally, the property manager you choose should have a strong portfolio, experience managing properties like yours, and enough time to handle the needs of your real estate.
- Do you manage any other properties in my area? It’s always a good idea to look for a property manager who is familiar with your area and community. Property managers who have experience operating in your area are more likely to understand local and state laws and other community issues.
- What are your fees? Ask potential candidates to list and explain their fees. Most management companies charge a percentage of the monthly rent combined with other fees such as tenant placement, advertising, vacancy, lease renewal, additional walk through and property turn around, etc. However, sometimes property managers will advertise a lower initial rate, but charge a fortune for add-ons. Beware of any property managers who have a very low percentage as this often indicates costly fees later on.
- How do you handle evictions and how many have you completed in the past 2 years? The answer to this question will reveal a great deal about the candidate. Sure, you want someone who understands the eviction process. But you don’t want someone who is an “expert” in evictions. This indicates that he or she has poor judgment during the tenant screening process. After all, evictions are bad for everyone. It’s always better to select good tenants who pay on time and respect your property.
Hiring a property manager or property management company in Maryland can free up your time so you can pursue other real estate endeavors and other worthwhile business opportunities. Just make sure you properly vet your lists of candidates and choose someone who checks all the right boxes.