What should you consider before signing with a property management company? This article addresses that so you make a better decision.
In my experience the best teachers never tell you what to think, but instead show you the possibilities of how to think.
This method puts you in the driving seat and encourages you to be a critical thinker so that you know you are making the best decision for you and in this case for your property.
This article will present you with things for you to consider so that you make an excellent decision and choose a property management company that exceeds your needs.
Here are 10 things to ask yourself before signing with a property management company. Whether it’s property management in Tel Aviv, Italy or anywhere else in the world, these questions apply to everyone that wants to outsource the management of their property.
Signing with a Property Management Company
1. Do they offer 24/7 customer service?
24/7 customer support may seem like a luxury, but if you are going to pay for a service, you should make sure it’s part of the overall service when it comes to the company managing your property.
24/7 customer supports ensures the following:
- – a quick response rate to inquiries
- – making sure there is someone there to talk to guests
- – overseeing the check-ins and check-outs
While these may seem like small details, they are in fact essential to making sure guests are kept happy. This means better reviews and better reviews mean more bookings. And we all know what that means.
2. How do they process your revenue?
When it comes to the money your property earns as a result of being managed you want to ensure you know all the ins and outs of it. Otherwise you’re going to have to ask a lot more questions than necessary which is going to frustrate you as much as anybody else.
Know what date you can expect payment. How your payment is calculated and how and when you will be issued reports.
These are all essential details for you gaining the level of transparency you will need to have an effective working relationship together.
3. What is their social media presence like?
Social media is an easy one to overlook, but you shouldn’t. A company’s social media page will show you how they represent themselves. The language they speak as well as acting as an innovative channel to gain leads which may turn into reservations for your property.
Many average property management companies rely on all the same sources of reservations. Having an active social media presence gives them another source for guests, meaning they may have an edge over their competition. So always be on the look out for a healthy social media presence.
4. How is their website – high quality or outdated?
As companies are busy getting things done, many of them are guilty of ignoring their online presence and having an outdated website. Which you may see an indication that they may be neglecting other aspects of their business as well.
Seeing a high end, well maintained website, may in fact be a good indicator as to how they do business and how they will look after your property.
Attention to detail matters, no matter where the focus is.
5. What is the average contract length?
Make sure to inquire about two factors as regards your contract.
- – Understand what it will take for you to get out of the contract. Life is complex and things change all the time. As a homeowner, you don’t want to find yourself tied down to an over-restrictive contract.
- – See how long their average homeowner stays in contract with them. If they can showcase the fact they have worked with the same homeowners for several years, this is an excellent sign for you as someone who wants to outsource the management of your property.
6. How do their public online reviews look?
Go to credible, independent sources for their company reviews, such as Google, Airbnb, or booking.com. Look at the number of their reviews and weigh it up against their average review rating.
You may see bad reviews mixed in with many great reviews hopefully. The thing about bad reviews is that they can often tell you more about a company than good reviews.
A bad review is an excellent opportunity to see how they respond and conduct themselves in such a situation. Read both aspects of the review (the review itself and the response). Get the full picture and gain insight into just what type of property management company you are dealing with.
Now of course the vast majority of the reviews should be excellent, so always look for an average rating between 4.5 to 4.9.
Below 4.5 is a red flag and above 4.9 is also a red flag, because it may mean that many of the reviews are fake. Look for that sweet spot.
7. Have they been recommended to you by another homeowner?
Often you’ll want to be referred to a property management company via a referral by someone you trust. However this may not always happen, so you may want to seek out other homeowners under the management of the company and talk to them on eye level and understand their assessment and experience with a particular company.
You are giving the keys of your asset to someone you don’t know personally. Taking these precautions will give you peace of mind and ensure your professional relationship gets off to the right start.
8. What is the logic behind their pricing strategy?
It’s important to assess the logic the company is using to mange the pricing of your property. This ensures two things:
- – You will be priced competitively
- – Your properties earning potential will always be maximized
While you don’t need to understand it fully. It is important you are aware of just how in-depth they go to get you your results. Without this pricing logic, any gains you make will be short-lived. When what you are really looking for is scalable, consistent, and continually improving results.
9. Are they willing to tailor their service to suit you?
At the end of the day we are all individuals. We all have needs. And you may need an agreement that suits you above all else. Ensure that the property management company you work with are adaptable and willing to bend to accommodate you.
Perhaps you need your money transferred in a certain currency on a particular date. Perhaps you need the flexibility to block dates and unblock them as you feel like it. There are many variables that may come up to ensure you get an agreement you are happy with.
10. How are they using technology?
The vacation rental industry is one of the most innovative industries in the world when it comes to technology. You can expect that the leading property management companies will be up to speed with the best technology out there. This in turn will make sure your property stays competitive in the market.
Sea N’ Rent, based in Tel Aviv, uses 3D visualization technology called MatterPort. This allows potential guests to have a digital walk-through of the property before booking.
However behind the scenes as well, there will be a lot of technology you as a homeowner are not aware of. This includes software such as channel managers and property management systems.
One of the most important aspects of technology that you will want is an online portal for you to access so that you can log in anytime to know how your property is performing when it’s booked and how much you are getting. So make sure the company you choose has this feature in place for you.
There are of course many more questions to ask. However above all else, what you are looking for is a property management company that you can build a trusting and professional relationship with.
Building this relationship is based on one thing. That’s transparency.
Whatever questions you ask, make sure the property management company you are signing with, goes above and beyond to be fully transparent with you no matter what details you are asking about.
Have you got a property in Tel Aviv that you’re considering renting out as a vacation rental?
Set up a call with Happy Owner today and see if we can help you with earning the most from your property.
Scott D. Renwick is the Head of Operations at Sea N’ Rent Ltd., working with them since 2015. His skills have helped the company structure its operations to ensure stability and future growth in the property management business.