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.
How do I find the best life insurance policy/provider?
There are many different providers and plan types, so shopping for life insurance can be complicated. The first step involves understanding the type and amount of life insurance you need. From there, use online tools or contact local insurance agents to get quotes on rates and learn about how to apply.
How much does life insurance usually cost?
The cost of a life insurance policy is determined by two things: the guaranteed benefit amount and the individual risk of the policyholder. The latter is more complicated, and includes many factors, including health, age, and occupation.
As of May 2017, a 30-year-old woman purchasing a 20-year, $250,000 term life policy can expect to pay about $141 per year. For comparison, a 60-year-old woman purchasing the same policy can expect to pay $1,033 per year.
Since women have longer life expectancy on average than men, the latter can expect to pay slightly more. The same 20-year, $250,000 term policy will cost a 30-year-old man $156 per year on average.
Will life insurance cover medical expenses?
Certain specialized policies may provide income replacement in the event of disability, disease, or another situation where it may be impossible to work and medical expenses are high. One common alternative is known as an “accidental death and dismemberment” policy. AD&D policies work similarly to term life plans, but will only pay out death benefits when a fatality is caused by an accident, or if the policyholder loses a limb or the ability to see or hear. Death from a heart attack or cancer, for example, is usually not covered by AD&D, but these policies might offer lower premiums than a standard term plan.
Is it better to save or invest instead of purchasing a life insurance policy?
Many adults with children choose to buy a term life plan that covers them from the birth of a child until they turn 18, which is often the most cost-effective way to insure against the risk of income loss from unexpected death. While it is possible to save enough cash or invest to provide even more funds in case of such an emergency, investing is subject to more risk of loss than a life insurance plan, and accumulating enough savings to provide a sizeable safety net can be difficult.
What is universal life insurance?
Whole life and universal life plans are each considered a type of “permanent life insurance.” Universal life is often similar in concept to whole life, but offers more flexibility in premium payments and cash withdrawals. For example, you might be able to temporarily pause or reduce premium payments at any time under a universal policy. It’s also often possible to borrow from what you’ve already paid into the plan or against a guaranteed death benefit in the form of a loan.