Owning a rental unit comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility. As a landlord, you have to take care of upkeep, marketing, maintenance, and more. Hiring a property management company can make it a lot easier for you to manage your rental business. Property managers can help you with all residence-related activities, such as the tenant screening process, rent collection, maintenance, repairs, and others.
However, choosing the right property management company is essential. If you have ever had the misfortune to work with an organization that can’t fulfill your expectations, waiting too long may result in losses rather than profits. At such a juncture, it can be better to switch your current rental management company and opt for a more experienced, trusted one, like Lawson Realty Group.
Here are some indicators that tell you it is high time to switch your Roanoke property management company.
- Lack Of Responsive Communication
If you have to constantly keep calling, texting, and emailing your manager for follow-ups with respect to your Roanoke rental and yet not getting any response, it might be time to change your firm.
Proactive communication is one of the features of a good property management company. It keeps homeowners in the loop at all times about tenant requests and rental payments and shares regular rental management reports. Being responsive and available at the time of emergencies shows that the firm is responsible and cares about its clients.
Promptly answering your phone calls, requests, and questions is a minimum requirement, which your manager should fulfill.
- Missed Deadlines
There is no scope for missed deadlines in the real estate market. One has to be very prompt with renewals, payments, and service dates. It is good to check how diligently your property management company communicates with your tenants and follows up about rent payments to ensure that money matters are handled in time.
If there are constant delays in rent payment or sending property-related reports, you should consider switching companies.
Your company should focus on meeting the deadlines and manage the requirements of your unit in time. For example, it is important to collect rent on time and send it to you. Also, your manager should inform your tenants about lease renewal at least 60 days before the actual payment date. Inconsistent responses, unreliable payments, irregularity, and untimely disbursements are reasons you should switch your company.
- Ambiguity in Owner Statement Reports
A monthly statement report helps owners keep track of their investment ROI. A typical report consists of an income statement, owner’s statement, account ledger report, account payable report, cash flow statement, tenant receivables, and prepaid report, copy of the monthly bank statement, and property management budget.
If your company includes inaccurate and unauthorized charges in the statement reports without your knowledge, you should immediately discontinue working with the organization.
For example, say you have to repair damages caused to your house and you have decided to spend a fixed amount on maintenance. If the repair cost exceeds the expected amount, your manager should contact you to approve those expenses. If the decided cost is $350 but the repairs stretch to $400, the landlord has the right to know the reason behind the $50 difference.
A good company will always prefer to take approval in case the vendor demands additional costs. Your manager should include the approved cost in your budget and also call to inform you.
- Irregular Rent Disbursement
Landlords rely on their property management company to handle their monthly rental income. Some companies immediately transfer rent after collecting from tenants, and some may take up to 30 days to deposit.
However, if you see irregularity in transferring money, you should ask the reason for the delayed transactions. Unreliable rental payments directly point to inherent flaws within the organization and question the reliability of the company.
- Longer Vacancies
Property managers are responsible for finding new tenants for your place after the previous tenants have moved out. If your house is vacant for more than three weeks and not getting a lot of good applications, you should discuss it with your property manager and ask for the reasons behind the longer vacancies.
Consider checking your MLS (multiple listing service) listings to ensure whether your house is mentioned on popular rental websites and attracting a significant number of visitors. Some property management companies list your unit only on their independent websites and not all external platforms. However, these websites may not have as much traffic as better-known platforms, like Zillow or Trulia, which will result in fewer views and longer vacancy rates for your house.
Over-pricing, poor conditions, and ineffective marketing are three main causes of longer vacancies. A good property management company discusses these problems immediately with the landlord and tries to get them resolved early.
- Bad Tenant Placement
Bad tenants can cause significant damage to your home, miss rent payments, and have a negligent attitude that reduces the market value of your rental. Therefore, it is crucial to conduct a stringent tenant screening process before leasing out your house.
When you hire a company to manage your rental, they need to conduct a thorough screening process and find suitable tenants who can be trusted to keep the unit safe and unharmed.
However, if you find the company is not putting in enough effort to bring in a diverse array of tenants or if they are not being screened properly, you should consider finding a new property manager.
How To Choose the Right Property Management Company in Roanoke
Your investment is an asset that needs licensed and experienced managers to maintain market value. Here are some pro tips on how to choose the right property management company for your Roanoke rental.
- Choose One That Has Worked in the Region for a Long Time
It is good to hire property management companies that are based locally instead of a company that is primarily based out of state or new in the area. Local real estate managers know the market in your area and have practical experience dealing with local issues. They can assist you more efficiently with the current market research, tenant issues, rent payments, and local contractors for maintenance, making sure that your investment gets the upkeep it needs.
Hiring a locally owned Roanoke property management company that has its roots in the community and is founded and managed by people who live here ensures better responsiveness and greater accountability.
- Hire One That Matches Your Rental Management Requirements
Make sure you hire a company based on your needs. If you have a single-family rental, hiring a property manager who has experience in managing multifamily units will not help. They may not understand the requirements of your place as they might never have dealt with one before.
If you own multiple properties in the area, such as single-family, duplexes, quadplex, or high-rise apartments with 100+ units, choose a well-established company with experience overseeing multiple rental properties. It can save you the time, money, and effort required to deal with diverse rental properties.
- Choose One That Has a Good Staff-To-Homeowner Ratio
A property management company with strong local connections and branches has a robust network of buyers, sellers, and contractors. It can take care of your property in a better way and respond to you immediately in case of an emergency.
A strong operating-staff-to-homeowner ratio leads to better work efficiency of the company and reduces its response time. A team that has enough property managers to cater to all its clients ensures that it addresses your issues or doubts and resolves them on priority.
- Look For Companies Having Accreditation
Hiring a property management company that has authentic credentials and are certified professionals is quite important. Make sure you choose one that has good standing with the Better Business Bureau and the Virginia Real Estate Commission.
You can check the background of the company and inquire about their services, their working systems, and customer history to ensure that it has a sound reputation. Online reviews often tell you a lot about the service quality of the company and whether it is qualified to meet your rental management requirements.
There are other things to consider while choosing the right company, such as experience, number of customers, reviews, and more. In addition, a thorough evaluation of the company is also crucial to ensure your investments are in good hands.
Lawson Realty Group is a full-service property management company headquartered in Roanoke County and serves homeowners living in Salem, Cave Spring, Hollins, Vinton, Glenvar, Southwest County, Southwest Virginia, and Roanoke Valley.
We manage both single-family and multifamily rental properties and help our real estate customers with end-to-end management for their investment rental. This includes rental maintenance, advertising and marketing, inspection, market analysis, and property transactions in Roanoke County.
With over 3 decades of experience, our property managers have grown to know the pulse of the Roanoke real estate market and can help you make the right decisions to increase the ROI of your rental. For more details, connect with us at Lawson Realty Group.