Choose a property management firm to rent and manage your home

R. J. Panda Property Manager, LEED AP, Business Development Director Fenwick Keats Management, Inc.

Real estate can be a valuable asset in your financial portfolio - find the right management company to oversee it just as you would any other financial asset. Who you choose can make a big difference when having to make any decisions on renovations, upgrades, or additions. They can recommend qualified professionals they have worked with in the past to help with any aspect of your property. Here is some advice to help ensure you choose the right property management firm to rent and manage your home.


Do find the right property management company for your property

It’s important to find the right management company that is familiar with your property type. There are some management companies that only manage a certain size of building. You will want to find a company that is thoroughly familiar and experienced with the needs of your property type and knows the various issues that may arise in maintaining it. Ask about other properties that the company manages and compare them to your own.

Do choose a reputable firm

It’s important to align with a firm that has a reputation for property management. Do they currently manage similar properties? Reputation stands for consistent professional service and this is important when choosing a management company for such a valuable asset. Look online for reviews of the management company and ask around your area to see if anybody has ever done business with them before.

Do check references

Go see the properties the firm currently manages. See for yourself the properties they manage and the kind of results they deliver. Committing to a little leg work early on can avert any disasters that could arise by signing up with a firm that knows how to spin their marketing material, but doesn’t follow through with their service. What kind of value-added ideas do they have for managing your property? Don’t be afraid to ask questions to learn the scope of their service.

Do set expectations on both sides early on

It’s important to be realistic with your expectations and know what exactly the management firm is going to deliver. What is their fee structure? What is their scope of work? You don’t want to be caught off guard by any work that the management company says is necessary, but is outside the scope of work your agreement covers. For example, if you need a large capital project performed, many management companies will charge an additional fee for projects over a certain size.

Do know your property

It’s important to know your own property so that you choose a firm that understands the complexities of city, state, and federal compliance that may apply to your property.

Do examine your property

Ask questions of potential management firms specific to your property and once a firm is chosen, provide as much detail as possible. With information about your property, the more the better.


Do not just choose by price

Remember, price is not the only factor to consider when choosing a management company for your real estate asset. It’s important to know your budget and try to find the best firm with a comprehensive plan to maintain your property. Unfortunately, sometimes you do get what you pay for, and you may have to spend a little extra in order to find a property management company that fits your needs and is right for your current situation.

Do not cut corners

Property is a valuable investment, and with this type of asset you will need regular capital investment in the building, upgrades, and compliance on all levels. If you cut corners on certain projects, you may find yourself spending more money trying to fix them or completely redo them in the future. It is important to research and budget for upgrades and maintenance within the building.

Do not self manage unless you’re qualified

Complexities of property management are far reaching. Unless you know property management inside and out, you could run into costly problems down the road. If there is any doubt that you aren’t experienced with managing your type of property, it is best to hire an experienced and credible property management company to guide you in any decisions you want to make.

Do not skimp on professionals

If you need an engineer, hire one. This asset is too valuable to have a “friend” look at the issue and offer their advice or services on the cheap. The same goes for any upgrades or additions you want to make on the property, including plumbing, electrical, and renovations. A good management company will have a list of professionals that they can recommend.

Do not underestimate time

You can be as involved as you want to be, but not all decisions can be made by a property manager. Some decisions necessitate owner involvement, but if you can find a company that you can trust, it will make it so much easier on you.

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The most important criteria to look for when choosing a property manager for you real estate investment is finding one with a proven track record, has good values, and does their research to provide you with the best information to make informed decisions about this valuable asset.

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R. J. PandaProperty Manager, LEED AP, Business Development Director

A graduate of the Stern MBA program at NYU, R. J.’s primary focus is on building efficiency—financial and structural. He is an Accredited Professional through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)...

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