If you have decided not to Market Your Multifamily Property After the Purchase, or if you have marketed your property after the purchase, but later you moved away for another job or something, then you’ll need to consider utilizing a property management company. You must be wise about choosing the right property management company, because many of them out there do not do their clients justice. You are going to need someone that will do a little more than stick a sign in the yard and an ad in the paper, then do nothing after finding a tenant. As a minimum, you should check the following when seeking out a property manager for your multifamily properties:
- How long has the company been in business?
- How many properties are they currently managing?
- What is their plan for marketing your property?
- How do they screen potential tenants?
- What are their fees (including any setup fees, maintenance fees, etc)?
- How often do they check on the property (at least drive by it)?
- What happens if the tenant stops paying?
- What is their typical turnaround from beginning to market the property, to getting it rented?
There are more questions you can ask property management companies, but at least start with the ones just mentioned. Also, I would meet with the actual person that will be handling your property, and get a comfort level with them before signing anything.
If you decide that you are going to manage the property yourself, I recommend this one thing:
Be near the property!
I know it sounds elementary, but this is the single most important thing for managing a property. You need to drive by it occasionally, and be able to handle any maintenance requests. Also, if you can take a few free courses at your local Home Depot or Lowes about toilet repair, and some other basic things, it will save you a great deal of money in the long run. Check with your renters on occasion about changing the air conditioning filters, water filters, etc to keep the expensive maintenance calls to a minimum. General checking on the property from time to time is going to yield the highest profit over time.
Well, there you have it, from finding a multifamily property, all the way to finding a tenant and managing it, you should have all the basic tools to getting started in multifamily. If you liked this series, sign up for my RSS feed to get all future updates from Personal Finance Resources automatically and free.
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