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Wednesday, 30 October 2019 09:28

The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Property Manager

There are many benefits to owning property, especially in western North Carolina. We have been experiencing an influx of new residents and benefits for decades, which has caused property values to climb steadily. Property is an investment in which you could see tremendous returns or pass along to the next generation.

If you have rental property, you know how time-consuming it can be. Even when everything is going well, you are dealing with finding and screening new tenants, communicating with and meeting the expectations of existing tenants, and tending to maintenance needs. Managing your rental property can be a full-time job, which is especially taxing when it’s not your occupation.

It's time to consider hiring a property management company, but how do you choose the right one? This guide will help you determine what you need and should expect from your property management company. First, we will help you determine whether you need a property management company. Then we will discuss the benefits of hiring a property management company. Lastly, we will provide questions to ask before you settle on a firm.


Do I Need Property Manager?

Do you even need property management? If you are just getting started leasing your property, you may be thinking the process cannot possibly be all that difficult. For those that have been managing their own rentals for some time may have trouble weighing the potential cost of hiring a property management company. To determine if it is worth it, honestly answer these questions:

  • Is your property more than a mile from your home?
  • Are you always available for emergencies, day and night, even while you are at work or on vacation?
  • Are you a home maintenance genius? Regardless, are you prepared, or do you enjoy spending at least 10-12 hours per month dealing with repairs and maintenance?
  • Do you have time to keep up with the local real estate market, and can anticipate trends and potential changes?
  • Do you have the time and expertise to maintain social media posts and other marketing tactics to make sure you minimize tenant vacancies?
  • Do you have a comprehensive understanding of state and federal landlord-tenant laws?
  • Do you feel comfortable dealing with difficult tenant situations, collecting late rent, and potential eviction?
  • Even if you are confident in your abilities, do you have time to manage all of property owner responsibilities and more?

The to-do list for managing property can be daunting when everything is going right, but when things go wrong, it can become overwhelming. If you have more than one rental property, every issue is exponentially exasperated. In every situation, your time, business, and property ownership experience will benefit from hiring the right property management company.

Cost of Hiring a Property Manager

Do the numbers work? That’s often the bottom line for whether you will hire a company. Asheville Phoenix Properties charges a small percentage of the monthly rent in exchange for comprehensive property management. Our clients find that using our services often actually increases their property’s value. With the ability to provide a great experience for renters, while minimizing gaps in tenant vacancies, out negligible costs will add to your overall profitability.

Benefits of Hiring a Property Manager

In addition to increasing the overall profitability of your property, hiring the right property management company will improve your ownership experience. In this section, we will discuss some of the benefits of hiring a property management company, including:

  • Finding the Right Tenants for Your Properties
  • Communication with Your Tenants (Lease, Rental Rates and Payments, and Evictions)
  • Maintaining Your Properties
  • Ensuring Legal Compliance, Accounting, and Taxes
  • Providing Owners with Personal Flexibility

Finding Tenants for Your Properties

The right property management company will have extensive expertise finding the right tenants for your rental units. The right tenant is someone who has a good housing history and will, as best you can tell from the outset, be someone you would rent to again after their lease is over. There are good tenants throughout the Asheville area.

Marketing and Advertising

You may be struggling to figure out where and how to advertise to maximize ROI and fill your vacant units. Through extensive experience, we know where to market your property. Unitizing social media and other appropriate marketing channels, marketing properties is a significant and successful component of what we do, which will help you maintain cash flow and maximize profitability.

Background Checks and Tenant Screenings

Imagine forging ahead on your own, marketing and advertising your property while tending to your career and family responsibilities, finally finding what seems like the right tenant, only to have them fail your pre-lease screening process. Now you have to start from scratch. If you are already in the midst of that process, imagine the freedom you will have entrusting this task to experts with a proven track record.

To find good tenants, the right property management company will take care of all the details, including securing all criminal background and security checks, running credit reports and collecting previous landlord references. If issues do arise through the lease, your property managers will be able to handle communication and if necessary, help you take action.

Communication with Your Tenants (Lease, Rental Rates and Payments, and Evictions)

In addition to finding good tenants, the right property management company manages all aspects of the tenant-landlord relationship, from beginning to end. That includes:

  • Setting Rental Rates: This involves performing extensive market research to determine the rate that maximizes profitability while minimizing vacancies.
  • Signing Residential Retinal Contracts: We help prepare the lease, so you and your tenants are properly and effectively protected. This includes setting the standards for security deposit collection and return.
  • Collecting Rent: We have proven systems for collecting rent that helps ensure owners are compensated in a timely manner.
  • Communicating with Tenants: We handle tenant communication ranging from maintenance emergencies to general questions.
  • Handling Evictions: If issues grow to the extent that the lease is violated and eviction becomes necessary, we handle that process as well.

Maintaining Your Property

One of the most expensive and time-consuming aspects of rental property ownership is maintenance. Owners may feel like they are on-premise almost daily making minor repairs or waking up in the middle of the night to the dreaded text about catastrophic plumbing failures. This issue can be further compounded when you are having difficulty communicating with your client or collecting rent in a timely manner.

You can trust the right property management company to communicate with your tenants, schedule routine and emergency property maintenance and repairs, and handle vendor relationships so that jobs are done properly, and everyone is compensated in a timely manner. We conduct walk-through inspections of your property at the beginning and end of each lease period. This can be especially valuable if you have multiple properties or live a distance away from your rental units. 

Ensuring Legal Compliance, Accounting, and Taxes

Renting property can be complicated legally. There are numerous laws and regulations to abide by when renting and maintaining your rental property. These include local, state and federal regulations, as well as fair housing regulations (such as the ADA). We can help you avoid lawsuits by keeping your property up-to-date and in compliance with these regulations.

The right property management company will also handle accounting and taxes, something that can be especially complicated and time-consuming when you own multiple properties.

Providing Owners with Personal Flexibility

Owning rental property should bring an aspect of financial and personal freedom to your life. However, it can often feel like its chaining you in place. Even when you are at work or on vacation, you are waiting for the phone to ring with another emergency, thinking about new tax laws, or worrying about preparing your place for new tenants and quickly filling vacancies.

The right property management company can provide you with the personal flexibility to enjoy your property, so you do not have to worry about every little thing that could go wrong while you are with your family, working your day job, or on vacation.

Ask the Right Questions

If you are convinced of the reasons and benefits of hiring a property management company, before you settle on one, make sure you ask them these questions and others to ensure they will be the right fit.

  1. How much real estate experience do you have locally and in other areas? Do you specialize in a particular type of property?
  2. What services do you offer (be specific)?
  3. What are all your fees and how does payment work? Are there any miscellaneous or hidden fees? What if the property is vacant?
  4. What are your qualifications and certifications?
  5. What is your tenant screening process?
  6. How long does it typically take to fill vacancies? Where do you advertise and market properties?
  7. How are maintenance requests handled?
  8. What happens if tenants do not pay rent on time?
  9. What is the eviction process?
  10. What is your role if I sell my property?

In addition to asking the right questions, research owner and renter reviews, and ask for references. The right property management company will have a proven record of success.

In the Asheville area, Asheville Phoenix Properties has the experience and expertise to manage your rental properties. We help owners navigate the process of filling vacancies, managing properties, handling communication, and ultimately obtaining freedom and flexibility. Visit our website, or contact us for more information on how we can help you improve your property’s profitability while freeing up your schedule.