Whether you are a landlord in a military community or a service member who owns a property, hiring a property manager can help alleviate the stress that comes with renting out a home. In fact, one of the biggest dilemmas when a service member receives PCS orders is deciding what to do with their home before they head off to their next adventure.
While selling a home can help you effectively break ties with that area, becoming a landlord and renting the property is a wonderful way to make additional income. Furthermore, it allows you to hold onto an investment that is more likely to increase in value as time goes on.
Why Hire a Property Manager?
If you are one of the thousands of military members who decide to rent out their property during their PCS, knowing how to hire a property manager can save you a lot of time and hassle. Certified property managers know how to price rentals, handle tenants and ensure the right contracts are signed.
Moreover, they serve as a professional who can keep an eye on the condition of your property while you’re away. As you can imagine, military members who hire property managers benefit from not having to constantly worry about their investment while they are hundreds or thousands of miles away.
So, if you’re a service member wondering, “Should I hire a property manager?” The answer is “yes,” if you are looking for the benefits listed above.
Research Recommended Property Managers
As you begin researching property managers in your area, keep in mind that you are hiring a company that will be acting in your stead. Therefore, it’s important that you are 100% comfortable with their approach, policies, fees, etc.
In most areas, property managers are not a rare find. Feel free to be picky about who you hire to look over your investment while you’re away. We recommend starting your research by Googling “property managers near me” or even “rental property managers near me.” This will pull up a list of all of the documented property managers in your area.
Then, make a list of the ones who seem to have a fair amount of good reviews. Keep in mind that a property management company doesn’t have to have a perfect 5-star rating for you to trust that they provide high-quality services. Stick to the ones that have anywhere between a 4.5- to 5-star average.
From there, you can begin asking around for word-of-mouth recommendations. Check in with your friends or even military community Facebook groups. See which property management companies are recommended and compare those to the list you created from your Google search.
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Hire the Right Property Manager
Pick your top 3 management agencies and contact them to inquire more about what they offer. Remember you are interviewing them to take care of your house and your reputation as a landlord, so don’t be afraid to ask for their policies in writing.
Not sure about what to ask property management companies once you have them on the phone? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Here are some insightful questions you can ask property managers to help you choose the right one for you.
- Do you provide rent list price comps? Will you give me a recommendation on how much I should charge for rent?
- How long do your properties typically sit on the market before you find a renter? What is your typical turnaround time?
- How long does the average tenant sign a lease for?
The last question is particularly important because every area varies regarding the “normal” length of time for leases. While some areas may be 1 year, others might be for just 6 months.
- Who takes the pictures, makes posts and puts the marketing material together?
- Once the property management contract is signed, how long does it take for listings to be posted?
- Where are listings posted for potential renters to see?
- How often are the listings renewed or updated if they aren’t receiving inquiries?
- How quickly does the company respond to inquiries on listings?
- Who pays for background/credit checks of the potential renters?
- What are lease requirements? Do you conduct background checks, credit score checks and proof of income?
- What are your rent collection methods, and when can I expect to receive my payment?
Once you interview a few companies, begin comparing their services, cost and additional fees. Always review your contract with the property manager before signing to determine what other fees they may charge you and what fees they will be keeping that are paid by the renter.
By doing this, you can make an informed decision about which property management company is best for your situation. Above all, make sure the management company you choose is licensed to operate in the first place.
Don’t Forget to Check In!
Don’t forget to follow up and check in with your property manager. While you did a lot of leg work to find the right property management company for your needs, being diligent in following up is the best thing you can do to ensure your rental property’s success.
As you begin looking for a home within the area of your new military base, consider signing up for AHRN. Through this resource, you can easily locate credible military housing, which makes home-hunting a breeze!