Property Management Tips & Advice Blog | All Property Management

How to Find a Property Manager for Your Rental Property

| 4 min. read

Hiring a property manager can be a worthwhile investment whether you’re new to the business or a long-time rental property owner. When looking for a property manager, decide your property management needs first, then search for the perfect fit by interviewing multiple candidates. While it may take time up front, finding the right long-term partner will save effort and money and alleviate headaches. 

Let’s walk through the process of how to find a property manager.

Step 1: Understand Your Property Management Needs

A property manager’s job responsibilities depend on your—the property owner’s—needs. The best property management companies can handle all property-related tasks, including rent collection, completing maintenance requests, advertising your property, finding tenants, and addressing any accounting-related needs for your property. 

Before seeking a property management company, you need to decide the level of involvement you want your future manager to have in running your property. Some property owners want their managers to run a property's day-to-day tasks. Others wish their property managers to oversee major renovations and capital improvements. The choice is yours, but you should know this information before searching. 

List tasks you’d like to delegate to a property manager, talk to other real estate investors for their recommendations, and research various property management responsibilities online to discover what will best fit your property’s needs. 

Step 2: What to Look for in a Property Manager 

Once you determine your unique property management needs, it’s time to find the right fit. All property management companies are not created equal. You want to work with a property manager with the following qualities: 

  • Experience
  • An Investor Mindset
  • Patience
  • Aggressiveness
  • Professionalism
  • Strong Communication Skills
  • Organization
  • Tech-Savviness
  • Flexibility
  • Ingenuity

Learn more about why these ten qualities are essential when hiring a property manager. 

Step 3: Find the Right Property Manager 

You’ll encounter many types of property managers and management companies when finding the perfect property manager to partner with. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to both large property management companies and smaller boutique operations. Again, your choice comes down to the kind of experience you want. 

Larger companies frequently have in-house maintenance staff that can respond to your tenants quickly and efficiently. Larger companies may also have more streamlined leasing processes that help quickly get your property in front of your ideal tenants. 

Conversely, a smaller shop may make you feel more catered to simply because their list of properties is smaller. Smaller shops may also charge lower rates for their services. 

Remember that these are general trends, and each company brings a different approach. We recommend interviewing a variety of companies to decide which kind of property manager is best for you. 

Step 4: Interview Top Candidates for Your Property Manager 

Once you’ve compiled a list of four to five promising property management companies, you should schedule interviews. Treat this step the same way you would treat the interview process for a potential employee. After all, your property manager works for you. 

With your shortlist in hand,  schedule a phone or video call with your property management candidates. 

Here are some essential questions taken from APM’s ultimate property management questionnaire you may want to ask:

  • What is your process for setting expectations and aligning with my investment goals?
  • What do you charge for your services?
  • How many properties does your company manage?
  • What kind of properties do you manage?
  • What services do you offer? How about tenants?
  • Who will be my dedicated property manager, and what level of experience do they have?
  • Do you have your own designated 24-hour emergency number that tenants can call?
  • What property management software do you use, if any?
  • Do you have your staff of maintenance workers? Then, if you still need to, do you have a dedicated list of maintenance workers you can rely on?
  • What’s your average response time to emergency calls?
  • How do you advertise properties?
  • What’s your occupancy rate?
  • What’s your preferred mode of communication? Phone or email?
  • What kind of reporting do you offer monthly and annually to understand how my investments are doing?
  • How can your services help my property be profitable?
  • What success stories and testimonials do you have that speak to my needs?

Based on each candidate's answers to the above questions, you should be able to determine whether you’ve found a strong fit. 

After your first interview, narrow your list down even more. You should have two or three property management contenders who stand out. Look for candidates who communicate well, are driven to help grow your business, and offer the exact services you want. 

You can set up a second meeting with your top candidates or make a “pros vs. cons” list to arrive at your final decision. Either way, this step in the property manager hiring process should not be rushed. 

Step 5: Hiring the Perfect Property Manager 

When making your final decision, there are a few key elements to remember. 

First, while laws vary by state, most require some licensing and certification for professional property management. Ensure your top picks are appropriately licensed before making a final decision. 

Once you’ve decided which company you want to go with, be sure to negotiate the terms of your contract carefully. For example, your agreement should make it clear who your main point of contact is, how much they charge for their services, how maintenance and repairs will be handled (and what their response times will be), and how many days notice they’ll require for you to terminate your working relationship (and vice versa). 

Your contract should highlight what your responsibilities in the relationship will be. It should also clarify how you can expect to receive your tenants’ rent payments every month, whether the property manager will be responsible for collecting tenant security deposits, and how they will deal with delinquent payments and any legal disputes that may arise. 

Being diligent and detail-oriented in the contract stage will give you peace of mind and help you feel well-supported. 

Step 6: Build an Ongoing Relationship

Once you’ve found your perfect match, it’s time to hand over the keys and relax, right? 

Almost. After you’ve adjusted to working with a property manager, you may consider expanding your real estate business. This is one of the advantages of a long-term partnership with a trusted property manager. They can help you search for investment opportunities and grow your real estate business over time.  

If you’re ready to find a property manager, let All Property Management help you get started for free.

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