CitySearch Journal

How to Select a Property Manager

We get calls every day about taking over property management files.   We strongly encourage you to do some front-end research when evaluating and selecting a PM company to use.  I am Lisa Hamielec, Citysearch Rental Network Inc.

This video focuses on some key things you as a property owner should consider when hiring a PM.

1.  Often people do not ask the right questions at the start.  Here are some good ones.

  • What is your lease renewal rate?  One of the biggest costs in managing a property is cost to turnover a tenancy.  Retaining a good long-term tenant is ideal.  From our experience, industry average turnover is only 50% so you want to minimize this and would suggest not considering any PM company with a record of less than 75%
  • What is your eviction rate?  In today’s market, the odd one is inevitable as people lose their jobs and marital strife can happen.  The industry average is int eh order of 5% which mean than for every 100 tenancies, about 5 will results in an eviction situation.
  • What is the response time?  Everyone says ‘we respond fast’ however do they.  Find out how often and quickly they respond to owners and to tenants.   Be certain there is on-call 24/7/365

2.  To gage what others are saying, check out the company’s good reviews.  Reviews are an independent honest overview of from mostly clients however they can be from tenants, owners, vendors and even employees.  Reviews are an independent honest overview of feedback.  Having said that, we all know that past tenants can be unhappy about a deduction from their security deposit and may leave a negative review.  On the flip side, we view this as a good thing and shows that the management company is paying attention to any damage which should be deducted.

3.  You may wish to check out the company rating with the BBB.  It is important to see how many complaints and how they respond.

4.  confirm the company is licensed to trade in real estate.  In Alberta, property management is a form of trading in real estate and a license is required.  A license is required to provide an opinion of rental value, show a rental property, negotiate lease terms and to collect rent.  Check reca.ca to confirm they are licensed and in good standing.  Many individuals and companies are providing unlicensed services.    

Picking the right PM company is important and we cannot stress enough that doing front end investigations will save you in the long run.  After call, your property may be one of your biggest investments. 

Have a great day.

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