Looking for a property management company can be daunting. You’re trying to find someone that has the same values that you hold, and treats your property like you would. You have to hand over all of the control for maintenance, management, housekeeping, and marketing. It makes sense that you need to place great importance on the decision, because you want to feel like all the work is done for you.
If you strip it down to the basics, there are 7 things you can focus on while doing your search for the perfect management company. These things are crucial for maximum return, and greatly improve your long term results.
1. Partner with Management Businesses That Have a History of Success
This one is a little obvious, but when you’re searching results on Google it’s easy to click on any website. Pretty graphics and promises aside, which business actually delivers? Read through their websites thoroughly, and see what the word usage looks like. Is it terms like, “We promise to”, and not, “We have a proven track record of”? Because one of those is more likely to result in a visible return.
For example, on our website we have a review that says: “Olala Homes really knows how to manage and sell short-term rentals. My income has grown 50% comparing to managing it on my own.”
A 50% increase in income is a visible return for sure, and we want those results for every client who’s home or property we manage.
But whoever you use, make sure you look at reviews, check how long they’ve been around, and look at what others have said about them.
2. Place Great Importance on Upkeep and Housekeeping Services
This is one of those things that some might want to put at the end of their list, but think about this for a minute. What happens when there’s a poor housekeeping or maintenance staff, and a guest has a faulty water heater? Or bugs next to their nightstand?
Get ready for bad reviews, less reservations, and less income.
You could have the best marketing team in the world, but if properties aren’t operated under proper maintenance, you’re leaving money on the table.
Thankfully this almost goes hand in hand with the first point, because the review process usually unveils any shortcomings in this area.
3. What is the Payment System Like?
Once you get past the first two things, you should look into the payment setup. Do you get prompt and correct returns on your commissions? Do they have a fixed rate, and what does that look like? Olala Homes charges a management fee from 12%, so whatever is left is there for yours to keep. If you’d like a different payment structure, fixed rates are great if you want peace of mind, and a guaranteed recurring return every month.
Also ask what the payment processing looks like. Do you have to wait until the end of each quarter? What’s the turn around rate on refunds when guests cancel bookings on a commission-based plan? These are all important questions to ask so you don’t get stuck in unpredictable schedules and payment times.
4. How Quick Do They Respond to You?
Handing over the management of your rental business should not come at the expense of losing your right to know what’s going on. How long does it take to hear back from your property manager? A day, three days, or a week? It’s completely normal for there to be some lag time after calling your account manager. But that doesn’t mean you have to feel like you don’t have control.
The best companies do their best to answer your questions and concerns quickly, without having to dig around. Nothing is worse than being told, “I’ll go check and get back with you”, more than five times in any given week.
Imagine having that experience every week of the year. Competent management is easier on you, and gives you more time to stress less.
5. Ask Them About Property Security
What’s their security system like? Do they have Smart Locks, or any type of smart home security? In one of our past blogs, we wrote on the topic and went into detail on why both are a good idea.
Among the issues of handling and trying to manage separate keys, Smart Locks enable quicker and contactless check-in. There’s no need to fumble with key cards, or duplicated and stolen keys. In addition, having the smart home system places focus on the inside of the rental property. It controls things like noise and temperature levels, along with several other things.
Smart Locks and home systems are added on services that are now quickly becoming increasingly popular in demand. You need them just as much as regularly scheduled security visits. Both would be ideal, but having eyes everywhere is necessary in every case.
6. What Does Their Marketing Team Look Like?
How do you want your listings to be put out in front of the world to see? First impressions are key, the best marketing teams know that the more engaged a potential guest is the better. That’s why professional property management companies take care of interactive virtual tours, great photography, and extensive media knowledge to execute great marketing strategies.
The writing done for a listing is crucial as well, and oftentimes, great SEO determines if a property gets seen at all. There are thousands upon thousands of listed properties online, and yours has to stand out among the rest. What’s the difference? All of the above mentioned strategies, plus search engine optimized writing that stands out.
7. Always Check Their Legal Knowledge
Last but definitely not the least, do they have proficiency regarding legalities? Rental laws and the proper licenses need to be in place before you ever think about putting your property on the short-term or mid-term rental market. This one is common sense honestly, but it still deserves importance nonetheless.
Review and communicate thoroughly with the company you decide to partner with. Do they communicate with full transparency? Review their policies carefully just to be on the safe side. The worst that happens is that you lose a little time, but it’s worth having peace of mind.
It Comes Down Well-Rounded Management
At the end of the day, you want a healthy management team built with knowledgeable professionals to serve you in any way you can think of. You may be handing over your homes for them to manage, but just make sure they care about including you in the process as well. It doesn’t hurt if they have concierge services, either.
Olala Homes began using concierge services* as a way of saying thank you to our clients. When possible, we like to spoil our property owners with the ability to book their properties whenever they want, along with other benefits. A fridge full of your favorite foods, free dinner, room cleanings, and access to account managers are all ways that we like to say thank you.
Whoever you use, we hope you find a management company that has your best interest in mind. We hope this list helps you gain a better understanding of what to look for, and sends you in the right direction.
*Depending on availability, subject to terms and conditions.