When you’re hiring a Los Angeles property manager, you’ll want to ask a few key questions about their experience, their credentials, and their process for managing what might be one of your largest assets.
Ask if they are licensed. The state of California requires all real estate property management companies to have a broker’s license. This is an issue we encounter quite a bit. We’ll take over a property for a client who was working with someone who didn’t have a license. No license means no credentials and no protection for you from the state. There needs to be a broker’s license, not just a real estate license. Real estate agents have exceptional sales skills, but effectively managing a property requires more than that.
Make sure the manager is operating a trust account. These trust accounts are audited regularly by the Bureau of Real Estate. They are really the key to management because they protect your investment and your funds, so make sure you’re working with a Los Angeles property management company that has those accounts set up properly.
Questions always come up about maintenance and how it’s handled. A good property management company will have parameters about how much they can spend before they have your written approval. You want to know their structure so maintenance isn’t a runaway train and you have control over it. No one wants surprises on your financial statement at end of month.
Clear communication and access to your manager through cell phones, email, and text is critical. Your relationship with your property manager depends on communication. You need to understand what’s happening at your property, so find out how a manager you’re going to work with will communicate.
Every property owner needs to have the right insurance in place, and you should expect no less from your property management company. Every manager should have liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance, and worker’s compensation insurance. Make sure they can show you copies of those so you and your rental property in Los Angeles are protected.
A property management company will work with a variety of vendors from insurance agents to maintenance contractors, so understand the relationships they have with those professionals. Ask if there is a financial stake in those companies, because you want transparency in those relationships. It’s okay for a management company to have an affiliated maintenance company, but you don’t want to feel taken advantage of, so ask the questions.
Your property manager should be up to date with technology. They should have an online presence, and make sure your tenants can pay rent online. Online portals are also valuable so you can view your financials 24/7. You may also want to ask who will be assigned to your property. Find out how much experience they have with your type of property and in your local market.
All these are important questions and good to ask when you’re hiring a property management company. If you have any questions about property management in Los Angeles, please contact us at EGL Properties.