Investing in rental properties is without a doubt one of the most rewarding ventures. However, its success or failure depends primarily on the time, commitment, and expertise you dedicate to it. For this reason, you need a dedicated property manager to ensure your property is well-maintained while also making sure you and the tenants are satisfied.

With the above in mind, it takes a special type of person to excel as a property manager. Property management fits talented multitaskers who can handle tasks that intersect with many disciplines such as marketing, accounting, law, construction, insurance, engineering and many more. This makes it hard for rental owners to identify proficient property managers versus inept ones. So, what are the main qualities you should look for in a property manager?

1. Expertise and Experience

Experience and certification provide the base for trust and grounding. Your property is a valuable investment, and as such, you should look for a competent manager to take care of it. Engaging a manager with proper training and certification will give you an assurance that your property will be managed professionally.

Besides, the professional you contract for property management must be conversant with the local market and understand the value and potentiality of different properties. On top of this, the property manager should be familiar with the property regulations in the region, know the best strategies of attracting tenants, and possess the skills to prepare and interpret financial and other administrative reports related to your property. While not a requirement, a bachelor’s degree plus real estate certifications will come in handy when handling the financial side of property management.

To find out if potential property managers have relevant skills and experience, ask the right questions. For instance:

• The number of years they have been managing properties
• The level of dedication to property management
• How many and which type of properties they have managed so far
• How they handle tenant screening, rent collection. Do they have an electronic system to handle this?
• Do they have a network of local professionals? You may occasionally need a recommendation of technicians, contractors, bankers, attorneys, and accountants.

2. Communication skills

Apart from landlords, property managers liaise with several stakeholders such as investors, tenants, and owner-occupiers. So, having excellent communications skills is key. Communication touches on several aspects. First, the manager should be an active listener to be able to comprehend and execute your wishes. Second, the property manager should be reachable by the tenants and property owner at all times.

The property management firm should also be able to explain everything in a clear and concise manner whether through writing or verbally. The firm should also have a mechanism to collect vital information about the property and relay the information to the property owner. Proactive companies provide an online portal for property owners to access information about their property.

3. Customer service & people skills

Apart from communication, people skills are key in building a good relationship with various stakeholders. Property managers work closely with tenants right from screening to the collection of rent. Each of these tenants is unique. This means that the property manager should know how to handle different people with different needs.

A potential firm should be friendly, understanding, patients, and possess superior negotiation and leadership skills. The company should be able to handle customers’ complaints with grace. Likewise, if an eviction is inevitable, the firm should approach it with a professional attitude. Make sure the candidate has handled similar stressful situations in the past.

4. Transparent & accountable

Property owners tend to place a lot of trust in their property managers. While this is a good gesture of professional relationship, this can be risky. Let’s face it. In the past, there have been several publicized cases of property managers charging for work that was not done or collecting rent without reporting it. Your ideal property manager is the one who will not withhold vital information that touches on your property.

The best way to cut the risk is to do a background check and read all available reviews about potential property management firms you plan to hire. If a company has been in business for an extended period of time yet it has few reviews, that could be an indication that it might not be putting much emphasis on delighting clients.

During your initial engagement, find out if the company is transparent about their pricing and how they handle conflicts. If possible, request to speak with current and past clients to get a better feel of the service offered by the company.

5. Dedication & passion

Having a group of passionate professionals who deliver the best service on your behalf is a dream of any property owner. Such professionals ensure you get the best end-to-end property management service.

Finding a competent property manager with a drive to provide unsurpassed services is premium. Ideally, property managers should share with property managers on ways to improve or add value to their rental properties. Unfortunately, only a few Property Management firms in Salinas CA are ready to go that far.

6. Organizations skills

Managing a rental property successfully requires a lot of work. A property manager has to juggle several duties. These include managing tenants, paying bills, improving the property, working on reports, making phone calls, marketing the property, complying with regulations among many others. To effectively handle all these duties, the manager should demonstrate an excellent level of organization.

During the conversation, ask potential firms how they manage their busiest days:

• How do the prioritize activities?
• How do they keep records?
• Do they have a system that guarantees seamless operations?

7. Maintenance capability

Once you have found a trustworthy property manager with excellent people skills and a proven track record, you also need to find out the firm’s maintenance capability. One of the biggest expenses that property managers handle is the cost of maintenance. This is also one of the areas that can have a huge impact on the value of your investment.
Find out if the property management firm has a good network of maintenance contractors or an in-house maintenance department. Does the firm have cost-effective maintenance options? Also, how often does the firm do maintenance checks?

Coast & Valley Properties is a full-service property management company serving the entire Monterey County providing unparalleled service of diverse rental properties, as well as homeowner association managemeperties today.