Your rental home is a massive part of your livelihood, so take necessary measures to ensure you hire the best property manager to handle it. Using the wrong company could cause increased vacancy and lost rent. You do not rent out the house before even verifying the occupant, so be as meticulous in selecting your management company.
Follow these steps to find the right Arlington, Virginia property management company for you.
Contact friends and family members for referrals
Speaking with people you trust and respect is a perfect way to search for a property manager. Connect with homeowners, real estate agents, family, or your university network. Start asking questions on the advantages and disadvantages, and if they do not work together anymore, ask why.
Research Arlington, Virginia property management companies online
Your next move is to research online. Evaluate property management companies that you are considering and search for new ones, too. You can type your property size on Google with the keywords “Arlington, Virginia property management,” and you should be on the right track.
After getting a few names, check the website of each management firm, including mission statements. Search for comments on review sites like Yelp and Twitter. Visit the Better Business Bureau website for feedback and ratings so you can check whether there are any claims against the company.
Visit the properties they manage
Conducting on-site visits may be the best way of evaluating the property management company. It is a deal-breaker when there are garbage and litter around the house. Also, watch out for any noticeable repairs. To promote resolution of issues, talk to the residents, and know how long it usually takes for maintenance or repair concerns to be addressed.
Verify the company and its representative’s licenses and certifications
The state of Virginia passed legislation in 2016 requiring a representative of homeowners to have an escrow account. In Virginia, attorneys and real estate brokers have Escrow accounts that permanently need property managers to be licensed. Ask if a trade organization also certifies them.
Search the internet to check credentials, including:
- Certified Property Manager from the Institute of Real Estate Management
- Real Property Administrator from the Building Owners and Managers Association
- Professional Community Association Manager from the Community Associations Institute
- Residential management professional from the National Association of Residential Property Managers
- Certified Apartment Manager from the National Apartment Association
These organizations provide certificates after the completion of challenging education courses. It shows you something about their commitment to the trade if the company spends time and resources on professional development. These institutions are reputable and trusted in the industry.
Understand the terms
A management contract is a legally binding agreement between you and the property management company, so make sure you fully understand all of its provisions before committing. You may want an attorney to go over the agreement to ensure that you are safe. Whatever the conditions are, ensure that the contract reflects what you negotiated during your meeting, and you have a strong understanding of your duties as the owner of the property.
Choosing the right property manager can demand effort and time. Your rental home is your income, and having somebody else to handle can make or break your profit and investment. Referrals, research, and site visits can help you decide for the best company that will not just secure your property, but also contribute to its value.