Tips & Advice
What are the benefits of hiring a property management company?
Some of the key benefits of hiring a property management company include:
- Better tenants: The best property management companies are skilled at tenant screening. This can help you attract a higher caliber of tenants to your building. Effective tenant screening can bring in tenants who are more likely to pay their rent in a timely fashion, and who are more likely to remain long-term residents of the building. Screening can also provide you with tenants who are less likely to damage the rental property.
- Shorter vacancy cycles: If a tenant moves out, it can take awhile to find a qualified replacement. It's in your best interest to keep this vacancy cycle as short as possible, since you won't be earning any money from an empty unit. Skilled property managers can handle the process of finding a replacement tenant quickly and effectively. This results in shorter vacancy cycles.
- Freedom from the day-to-day responsibilities associated with property management: If you manage a property yourself, you'll have to deal with things like rent collection, tenant complaints, and maintenance and repair issues. These responsibilities can be bothersome and time-consuming. Hiring a property management company will help you avoid having to deal with these tasks on a daily basis.
- Reduced tenant turnover. Tenant turnover can impact the profitability of a rental unit. The best property management companies know how to keep their tenants happy, and happy tenants are a lot less likely to move out of the building and a lot more likely to take reasonable rent increases in stride.
How to find a property manager?
Use the following steps to find and hire a property manager:
- Get referrals, or conduct an online search: Start by getting referrals from sources you trust. Be sure to get referrals from multiple sources to avoid bias. You can also conduct an online search to find property management companies that are based in your area.
- Check for ratings, reviews, and complaints: Once you're built a list of candidates, check with the Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been lodged against any of the companies. It's also wise to visit third-party review sites to see what types of ratings and reviews each company has received.
- Look at each company's current work. After weeding out those companies with credible complaints and poor reviews, look at the current work of the companies that remain on your list. Evaluate the ads posted by these companies; you'll want to work with a company whose ads project professionalism. Visit buildings managed by these companies, and speak with the tenants. The best property management companies have tenants who are happy with the services they provide.
- Conduct interviews with the top candidates: Next, conduct interviews with the property managers who remain on your list. Look for a company with staff members who are responsive to your questions and open to hearing about your priorities and concerns.
- Check licensing: At this point, you should have a favorite or two. Before signing on the dotted line, verify that the company is licensed to manage property in your state. In most states, a real estate broker license is required, while a few states require a property management license.
- Carefully review the agreement: Once you've been presented with a property management agreement from the company you've chosen, check to make sure it explicitly includes all the duties and responsibilities you'd like the property management company to handle.
Does property management require a license?
In most states, property management requires a real estate broker license. To obtain this license, you need to have a high school diploma or its equivalent, along with at least two or three years of real estate experience. Classes in real estate education are required, as well as passing a real estate broker's exam.
In a handful of states, a specific property management license is required before someone can legally manage property. This license is required in Montana, Oregon, South Carolina, and South Dakota.
How much do property management companies charge?
The rates charged by property management companies vary depending on the services provided, and location may also impact the fees charged. Most property management companies charge a rate that totals 8 percent to 12 percent of the property's rental value. Others might charge a flat fee that has nothing to do with rental value, and instead relates to the range of services provided. Property management companies might charge an extra fee for services such as tenant placement and eviction.
What is the job of a property manager?
A property manager is a professional hired by a property owner to handle the day-to-day management of a rental property. A property manager sets rental rates and collects rent from tenants, and is also responsible for finding and screening tenants. Property managers handle property-related maintenance and repair issues, and they can tackle responsibilities related to tenant move-outs, evictions, complaints, and emergencies.
What is the difference between the ACT and the SAT?
Both tests are very similar and test on nearly identical subjects. The major differences between the ACT and the SAT are that the ACT includes a science test section and the SAT has a math section that you cannot use a calculator on. Both tests are timed, but the SAT test gives you more time per question. There are key math components that are different. For example, the ACT has a greater focus on geometry then the SAT. The SAT factors in math more, so if that is not your strong suit, consider the ACT. The last key difference is the optional essay section. On the SAT you will read and analyze a passage, and dissect the author’s position using evidence and logical reasoning. You do not give opinions. On the ACT essay you will read and analyze the passage’s issue and provide not only different perspectives on the issue, but a personal opinion as well. Outside of the method of scoring, those are the major differences between the two tests.
What is a good ACT score?
The American College Testing (ACT) scores are the average of the test takers sectional scores in math, science, English, and reading: 36 is the highest possible score, and one is the lowest. The average ACT score is 20.8, which puts you in the top 50 percentile, so 21 and above puts you in the upper echelon. Getting 24 is a strong score, puts you in the top 25 percent and gives you more colleges to choose from. Anything above 24 is a very strong test score. Once you get more than 24 you are in the top 20% and from there your chances are outstanding. Obviously each institution has there own standards, but generally speaking, higher scores are a good way to push your application to the top of the stack, in what can be a very competitive environment.
What is a good SAT score?
The best score you can get in your SAT’s (Standard Aptitude Test) is a 1600, so if you can reach that, you’re probably a lock for any school in the country. The average score on the SATs is between 1000 and 1100, so a score in that area puts you in the “50th percentile,” which is the minimum you should be shooting for. Getting 1200 to 1300 is going to separate you from the pack, and above 1300 puts you in the upper echelon. Since this is literally a competition, you cannot aim for average if you want to maximize your chances (and options). If you do grade out near the average, don’t freak out, you will still qualify for plenty of schools, and scores are just area a school looks at for admission.
What is a good GPA for getting into college?
Your GPA will have a major impact on the school you get in to. For the most competitive colleges you are probably going to need a 3.5 – 4.0 GPA, which is the highest and means an “A” average. The minimum most schools will take is a 2.5, which is a C-plus average. Online schools and for-profit institutions might have lesser standards, but those are going to be the minimum and maximum ranges for admission into most schools. If you have a 4.0, you will likely have your pick of colleges. The minimum you should be aiming for is probably a 3.0. Remember, college admissions are competitive, the higher your GPA, the higher up the ladder you are from the competition. GPA is only one of the factors for college. High SATs or ACTs, the other major factor in the admission process, and can potentially offset a lower GPA. However, each school sets its own admission standards.
What to expect from college?
The truth is that college is going to be what you make it. There are so many schools and so many choices that the college experience of the past is not going to be the same for everyone. With the emergence of commuter and online schools, you don’t even have to go to a campus anymore to get a degree. Yay, right? Not necessarily. While that convenience is a fantastic option for many people, particularly adults who may have day jobs, there is nothing quite like being a full-time student on a campus and taking advantage of the entire experience like dorms, Greek houses, student body events and activities, and game day if you go to a school with major sports programs. Your situation will dictate your experience. If you’re lucky, you get to go to a school of your choice and live the college life. If that is not an option for you, you can still get a quality education without that experience.