Serious real estate investors who own multiple properties will tell you that at some point they turned over the property management duties to a professional property management firm. It’s just too much work... GDP Estimate Revised

and the everyday tasks required of property management pulls the investor away from what makes that person successful- finding the next new deal. When you’re ready to hire a property manager, here are five things you want to know before making the hire.

1: Are the fees negotiable? They should be depending upon the level of service you need. Too many property management companies simply charge a flat rate regardless of the level of service provided. Have the property management company create a custom plan for your specific needs.

2: Does the company help market the property? They should because marketing is a full-time job. You need to have as close to a zero vacancy rate as possible to protect your cash flow. Marketing and showing your property should be done in anticipation of a tenant moving out, not waiting to find a real estate agent when it’s time to find a new tenant.

3: Does the company specialize in your particular property type? Large property management companies have different divisions which specialize in various property types ranging from single family homes to apartment buildings. Make sure the company and person you’ll be working with knows how to properly manage and take care of your property, not someone else’s.

4: When do you get paid? You should receive regular communication from the property manager and receive your income each and every month, not quarterly. Statements should be sent on the same day of each month and there’s no reason your profits should be scattered, late and hard to track.

5: Is there an experienced maintenance crew on staff? Either on staff or on contract, there needs to be an affordable, efficient maintenance staff that quickly solves tenant issues. You’ll need to set a limit on how much a service call will cost before you’re notified. You don’t want to have a $1,000 hot water heater surprise at the end of the month.