Being a landlord in Jacksonville is not always easy. It requires time, money, and effort if you want to be successful. This is why many busy professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, and military members being relocated/reassigned hire a property company to help them with the day to day tasks.
But with so many property management companies in Jacksonville, you may be asking yourself “how do I find a good property management company near me?”
There are three main ways homeowners find property management companies in their area. Each method has its unique set of risks and rewards. We’ve broken them down so you can make an informed and confident decision.
1. The Internet
In this age of innovation and technology, most people rely on the internet to answer their questions. We use the internet to make dinner reservations, take online classes, pay bills, chat with friends, and look for local property management companies.
But don’t just go with the first company that pops up on your internet search. Do some digging to make sure the company is trustworthy, professional, and reliable.
Once you’ve narrowed your search down to the property management companies that are in your area, it’s time to start reading reviews. If a company has all five-star reviews, don’t get too excited. If it seems too good to be true, it could be. A few less-than-perfect reviews are normal, and the company’s response to the negative review is far more important than the review itself.
What do people say about the way they interact with both owners and tenants? Consistency, whether good or bad, can give you vital insight into how a company runs.
Now it’s time to dig deeper. Schedule meetings (either virtual or in-person) to get to know the property manager a little better. What do they have to say about their experience, their procedures, their costs, and their reputation in the industry? Thanks to the internet, you can do most of these steps from the comfort of your own home.
2. Word of Mouth
Property management companies, like other real estate professionals, rely heavily on referrals for their business.
Finding a property management company near you can be easier when you ask rental owners you know and trust about their experiences. You can get more information by branching out and asking other professionals in your circle including your local real estate agent, other landlords, attorneys, inspectors, and even lenders.
If you know someone who has a rental property, ask them about their experience with their local property management company. Ask them for their honest feedback on what they like and what they don’t about their current property management company.
It’s important to remember, however, that just because someone else had a bad experience with a property management company doesn’t mean you will too. Keep an open mind as people tell you about their experiences, and don’t dismiss an idea based on one bad review from a friend.
You can also use social media to reach a lot of people for referrals and recommendations all at once.
3. Check the Local Area
When looking for a property management company near you, one of the best places to start is looking at the other rental properties in your area. You’ll likely find that most rental properties near you are managed by a local Jacksonville property manager.
Check local online listings and newspaper ads for homes for rent. This will give you a unique perspective on how they market vacant properties. Would you want your property advertised this way?
Look closely at things like:
- Are they using professional and high-quality photos?
- Is the contact info clear?
- Do they include a well-written property description in a way that makes it sound appealing?
This inside information can tell you a lot about a property manager’s marketing strategies and whether or not you think their strategy would work for your property.
If you’re satisfied with the way a vacant property is advertised, the next step is to drive by the rental. This on-site evaluation will give you an even better glimpse into how the company maintains its properties.
Is the lawn overgrown? Does the house look like it needs repairs? Is there trash outside? Would you be happy if you pulled up and your investment property looked like this?
If the answers don’t satisfy you, it’s best to move on to the next company on your list.
9 Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Property Management Company
Finding the right property management company near you is just the first step. Once you think you’ve found the right one, it is important that you ask the right questions.
There are no stupid questions, and the right company will be patient and transparent in their responses. Some important questions to ask a potential property manager include:
- What services do you offer?
- What areas do you serve?
- How long have you been in business?
- How many properties do you manage right now?
- What does your fee schedule look like?
- How is maintenance taken care of?
- How do you collect rent?
- How do you conduct property inspections?
- What are my responsibilities as an owner?
You should also be looking for a property manager with a positive attitude, plenty of references, that is detail-oriented, focused on transparency, and is an effective communicator.
You should also walk away from a meeting with a property manager confident that they have a passion for real estate and know the area. They will be handling one of your most expensive assets, so it is critical that you trust them and can rely on them to keep your best interests in mind.
Benefits Of Hiring A Local Property Management Company
Hiring a local property management company allows you to reap the benefits of your investment without having to worry about all of the details.
Property managers act as a separate set of eyes and ears on your property when you can’t be there, and take care of tenant screening, rent collection, maintenance, and tenant issues. Their job is to keep tenants happy and avoid vacancies.
If you don’t plan on quitting your job to manage your property, you need to find a property management company near you.
As you narrow down your search, focus on the companies closest to your property and work your way out. The closer they are to your physical property, the easier it is for them to take good care of it. They can also get out to your property quickly in the event of an emergency.
The Bottom Line: There’s A Local Property Management Company Out There For You
Whether this is your first rental property or you’re ready to expand your real estate portfolio, choosing the right property management company makes all the difference.
We recommend trying all three of these methods and taking the time to ask the right questions.
Remember, this is a significant financial investment and you need to put it in the hands of a company you can trust.
Looking for qualified property management companies in Jacksonville, FL? Contact us today to learn more about our services.