6 Secrets for Picking a Great Property Management Company

Today’s real estate market has become a little run down, like a Kmart that hasn’t been remodeled since the early ’70s. For those who bought property during boom of a few years ago, or have a vacation home you need to rent out for extra dough, a great property management company is necessary. But how does one find (and rate) a great property management company?

1. Customer Service

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Customer service is like a tambourine being played at a Norah Jones concert, you never really notice it until it is done badly. In America, the customer is king. Except at Burger King, where the burger is king.

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Fast food digressions aside, you need a property management that is prompt, courteous, and eager to help prospective tenants through the rental process.

2. Quick Turnaround

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Letting your building sit dormant is like flushing money down the toilet. Keep your space rented, and have new tenants lined up before the old ones are out.

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Being proactive is a good sign from a property management company, and I’m not talking about the acne-clearing cream.

3. Key Holding, Legal, and Licensing Details

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Necessities to keep the rental property operating legally include key holding, insurance, property tax, levies, building permits or licensing, and bank account management. Bluntly put, one of things you are paying a property management company for is to take care of the busy work.

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You don’t want to be mired in the dry details. One of the reasons you started purchasing additional properties is so you could start building equity while you are out on the scene, swingin’ and groovin’ (you hang out at a lot of ’60s retro joints in this scenario).

4. Repairs and Maintenance

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Ideally, your property management company will have their own repair and maintenance staff. This way, if something goes wrong, and something always goes wrong, you will have people working for you who you can call to get the job done quickly.

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You don’t want to be in a position with your tenants in which they are waiting for a repair and your hands are tied because the plumber or electrician you hire might get to it this week. Having an in-house company assures repairs will go smoothly.

5. Who’s the Boss? Not Tony Danza; It’s You

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Great property managers will never lose sight of the fact that, at the end of the day, they are servicing the property owner. You, as the property owner, should never feel like an employee being forced to pay the boss for the privilege of working there.

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Instead, you are the Judith Light character in the Who’s the Boss episode in which she has to remind Tony Danza, that, while his services are valuable, he still works for her (ok, that’s every episode). The bottom line is that if there is ever a time when you, as the property owner, feel as though you are working for your management company (whom you are paying by the way), then maybe it’s time to reevaluate your relationship with that company.

6. Don’t Expect Supermen

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Don’t get an over-inflated sense of entitlement and expect too much from your property management company. Property managers aren’t making a lot of money and retiring in Monte Carlo from running your properties, and the little you can do assisting them getting your place rented out will help tremendously.

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At the very least, meet your tenants. Screen them yourselves, if you have to. Most property managers aren’t incompetent or shady. Oftentimes, they are simply overstressed and underpaid, and you, as the property owner, including yourself in the renting process can go a long way.


A wise man once said:”Buy land, ’cause they ain’t making any more of it.” That wise man was Tony Soprano. And even though he may or may not have gotten shot in the face in the last episode of the Sopranos, those words still ring true today.

Buying property is one of the best investments a person can make in any economy. Just make sure, if it is a rental property, that you have a great management company help you to get the most out of your investment.