The decision is primarily personal and based on your lifestyle decisions and return on investment. Many owners can spend their time more productively elsewhere instead of managing their rental properties.
There are many benefits to hiring a property manager:
They will research comparables to determine the optimal rental rate for the property.
They will market the property to minimize vacancies and maximize income.
They will screen tenants and protect you from bad prospects and scams.
They will maintain the property and handle preventative maintenance to maintain the value of your investment.
They will provide higher quality tenants.
They will provide shorter vacancy cycles.
The will result in fewer costly and time consuming legal problems.
They will provide better tenant retention.
They will provide a tighter rent collection process.
How to interview a property management company:
It is important to thoroughly interview all prospective management companies to ensure your decision of the right property manager. The goal is to make contact with enough companies that you are able to conduct at least three interviews with property managers in your area. This allows you to compare and contrast what each property management company tells you. It is best to interview property managers in person because it will give you additional insights that are not as clear over the phone. Pay attention to things like their professional manner, the clothes they wear, their attitude and the way they act. They should have a positive attitude and be able to adequately answer your questions. Also make sure to learn about their companies background and qualifications. The interview process is the stage where prospective property managers are putting their best foot forward, so do not cut them any slack.
Ask the prospective property manager interview questions on the following:
The number of years in business
The number of years managing your type of real estate
Whether or not they are licensed
The certifications they posses
The number of properties they manage
The size of the area in which they manage properties
The length of the average client relationship
The address of some of their properties and possible walkthroughs
The distance between their office and your property
The size of staff
The staff turnover rate
The office hours and whether they are closed on weekends
How they handle major tasks such as tenant screening, tenant marketing, rent collection, and maintenance
The property management fees and their management contract (It is important to read through the management contract in its entirety so that you have a full grasp of the various circumstances in which a fee may be charged).