Property managers often get a bad rap.
Why? Because until recently, the work of a property manager wasn’t taken seriously. The industry was really undeveloped and there wasn’t a lot of training and technology. That led to distrust and bad practices.
But, things are changing. There’s been a lot of innovation and investment in the property management field, and the best property managers today are doing a lot more than collecting rent and placing tenants. We’re managing assets.
When you’re looking for a professional Pittsburgh property management company, make sure you’re using a professional team with high standards and outstanding service.
Property Management Experience and Expertise
You’ll want to know how long a property management company has been in business, and you’ll need to know where their strengths lay. Don’t hire a management company that specializes in commercial properties and apartment buildings when you’ve got a portfolio of single-family homes. Find out where their properties are located, and where they keep offices. This will tell you if they really understand your market. In Pittsburgh, every neighborhood can feel like its own micro-economy, and you need a manager who understands the tenants, the rental values, and the real estate trends.
Ask About Property Management Fees
It’s important to work with a property management company that’s transparent about their fees. You don’t want any surprises. Ask how much their services cost, what you get in exchange for those fees, and how they are paid. Most managers will take a percentage of the collected rent. Others will have a flat fee. There is no one way to collect fees, but you need to know what they are and how they’re structured. Make sure you’ll receive an accounting statement with every rental payment so you can see where your money was earned and spent. A good property manager will be able to explain what the rental collection process is, and how you are paid.
Rental Property Maintenance and Repairs
You don’t want to hire a property manager without knowing how they handle maintenance. A good management company will have a process in place for routine and emergency repairs. Find out what it is. Ask where the vendors come from; are they in-house vendors or do they outsource the work? How are vendors selected? You don’t want anyone who isn’t licensed and insured working on your property.
Not only do you risk low quality work; you also bring a lot of liability onto yourself. You’ll also want to know how maintenance is paid for. Do you need to have a reserve fund? Are repairs paid for and then deducted from your rent payment? How much is spent without your approval and what types of maintenance will require your approval? Look for a management company that can answer these questions, explain their process, and help you see how it protects the condition of your investment.
One Manager vs. Management Team
Small businesses can bring a lot of value to the clients they work with, but when you’re leaving one of your most valuable assets in the hands of a property management company, you want to make sure you have access to a team of experts who can handle every aspect of your property. You’ll need leasing specialists, maintenance experts, and asset managers who can help you make decisions that increase the amount of money your rental property earns. Find out who will be responsible for what when they’re managing your home.
We are one of the largest management companies in western Pennsylvania. We manage about 3,500 units and we’re supported by a staff of 100 employees. All of our team members are trained on best practices and provide full service management and exceptional customer service. To find out more, contact us at Arbors Management.