If you’ve never worked with a Santa Rosa property management company before, you may not know what exactly to look for when you’re deciding who to work with. If you’re hoping to switch from a management company that hasn’t exactly delivered on what they promised, you’ll want to make sure your new property management partner can meet your expectations.
Whether you own one rental property or an entire portfolio of investments, you need a professional team that’s experienced, capable, and responsive. There are a lot of things to look for when you’re making your choice. Let’s focus on a few of the most important things to look for when you’re choosing a Santa Rosa property management company.
Start with Researching Reputation
Reputation is going to tell you a lot about what it’s like to work with a particular company, and you should take some time to research a company online and within the property management industry. Find out what other owners have to say about their experience with the management company you’re considering.
Read online reviews and dig through testimonials. Take a look at the company’s website and social media sites, and see what people are saying. If there are any negative reviews, take a moment to consider how the company responds to those.
You always want to work with a company that has strong association memberships. The National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), for example, holds its members to high ethical and educational standards. Involvement in organizations and professional groups tells you that they care about the Santa Rosa community and they know how to network and build relationships.
What Kind of Santa Rosa Property Management Experience Do You Need?
Once you’ve found some property managers who are reputable and seem to have informative and educational websites and social media, you’ll want to look at their experience. Does is match what you need?
Don’t get too impressed by the number of years they’ve been in business. That kind of experience is important, of course, but more important is the type of property management experience they have. Do they know the Santa Rosa rental market well? Local management is essential when it comes to establishing rental prices, marketing your home, and dealing with things like rent control, evictions, and security deposits.
You also want to choose a company that has experience with your particular type of property. A commercial property expert won’t be much help if you’ve got five single-family residential homes to rent out.
Talk about experience, and ask for examples of the rental homes they’ve managed in the past and currently manage now.
Evaluate Technology, Communication, and Accounting
An investment in property management technology is always a good sign. It means they understand the importance of technology inefficiently leasing and managing your home. Ask about the systems they have in place for screening, rent collection, maintenance requests, and lease renewals. With the right property management software, a lot of this can be automated and it also keeps everything more transparent for you.
Talk about communication. You want to know they can communicate with you when you need them to. If you’re an out-of-state owner, online communication will be especially critical. If you’re someone who likes in-person meetings, make sure your property manager is equipped for that.
Check on their accounting systems, too. Are there online portals that allow for online rental payments? There should be, and you should receive your rent within days if it’s deposited electronically. Talk about statements and financial reports. What can you expect? Following your income and expenses is not only important at tax time but also in evaluating whether your property is performing the way you expect.
It’s important that you feel good about the management company you choose. We’d be happy to tell you more about our own Santa Rosa property management systems. Contact our team at Prestige Real Estate & Property Management. We are property management experts in Sonoma County, including Santa Rosa, Windsor, Sebastopol, Petaluma, and Rohnert Park.