When looking for a building manager or management company, experts suggest you get references from people in the area who already utilise property managers, and then screen them as you would a tenant.
In addition to getting referrals from people with actual experience with building management companies, in larger metropolitan areas, there may be some sort of professional organisation for property and building management companies.
Once you have referrals in hand along with any additional prospects you’ve lined found through your own online research, you should conduct interviews to make sure they can provide the services you want.
How many other properties are they managing? Too few and you may want to question their experience or the satisfaction level of their other clients. Too many and you might have justifiable concerns about their ability to adequately provide services for your property.
There’s no better way to get a handle on how a building manager works than to visit property already under their management to see what it looks like and how it’s managed.
Do they professionally approach their properties, using a striking business letterhead in communication with tenants and others involved in operating and maintaining the property? Is the building well cared for? Is it clean and quiet?
If you have an opportunity to talk to current tenants, find out if they’re happy and if they would sign a new lease.
Some of the services that good building management should provide are evaluating your property to determine a rent factor, finding tenants, collecting rent, evictions, inspections, marketing, and maintenance and repair.
Good building management should also include regular financial reports. There are plenty of options out there when it comes to building management software. Whoever you use should be utilising up to date software.
One of the most valuable services a building manager provides is finding and keeping tenants for you. Not just any tenants. You want the right tenants for your property.
So you need to know where a prospective manager advertises their rentals. What do their adverts look like? Also, find out about their vacancy rate and how long it takes to fill that.
Once tenants are in the building, does the property manager have a plan for retaining their business? This needs to be in place because a lower turnover rate means a better return on your money.
Don’t wait until the end of your search to ask to see a contract. You should be as attentive in reading this as you are in interviewing potential building management companies.
The agreement should spell out exactly what fees and services are included in their commitment to you. It should also outline what money you might owe should you opt to end the contract.
Anything you don’t understand completely you should ask questions to clarify. Even if you have a favourable impression of a building manager, if the contract isn’t to your liking, it needs to be renegotiated or be prepared to walk away.
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