In real estate investment, finding a good property manager is akin to selecting a fine wine; the principles of each task are the same. Like a fine wine, a good property manager isn’t something that can be defined in black and white terms. Property Managers are a mix of several components and, being only human, have both high points and lows. As with selecting wine, it’s important for investors to find the property manager that goes best with their personal mix of properties and style. In choosing wine, there are certain qualities you should look for; the same goes for choosing a property manager:
Wine shouldn’t taste super fruity or very acidic; if it is, it’s not a fine wine. As wine is made of different parts, one element really shouldn’t be more prominent than another. A good property manager, like fine wine, will bring balance to the table. For example, not only will your property manager have strong people skills but he or she should also have strong local connections with reliable vendors so that you don’t overpay for basic repairs on your turnkey. Further, a good property manager should manage several properties but not so many that they are overextended.
With wine, the flavor should linger after drinking. It shouldn’t be gone as soon as the glass is empty. Just as with wine, a good property manager should make themselves available to you when you need them; they shouldn’t disappear after you’ve signed the contract and sent the key. Be sure that the property manager you select stays around after the contract is signed and gives you, and your properties, the attention they deserve.
Wine should have many different flavors that aren’t immediately apparent upon first sniff or taste. Just as with wine, a good property manager should have some tricks up their sleeve. When it comes to managing properties, they should have seen it all and done it all. You don’t want a manager who is great at showing properties, collecting the rent and staying in touch with you only to find they head for the hills the first time a pipe bursts!
Typicity indicates that a given wine is typical for its region or the region in which its grapes were grown. True wine connoisseurs often consider a wine’s typicity and consider whether a wine is the best of its variety for the region from which it hails. In choosing a property manager, consider typicity. A good property manager should know the area in which your property is located well; they should also be one of the best managers in the locale.
Consider Personal Taste
What works wonders for one person’s palette may turn another off. Not all fine wines wow all wine connoisseurs. Don’t just sign a contract with the first person or company to fit the bill; do your homework and find a property manager with whom you work well and click.
Next time you’re on the hunt for a good property manager, apply the principles above. Just as you might ask a bartender or server for wine suggestions, connect with other local investors to get their recommendations for good property managers. Look for managers with experience, variety, local ties and balance.
What qualities do you look for in a good property manager? Share your tips in the comments below!