Acquiring a rental property is exciting and daunting as you realize the many decisions you’ll need to make in the coming months and years. While some people are up for the challenge and eager to dive in and learn all the details, others would prefer to create a second income stream while leaving the hard work to someone else. That’s where a property management company comes in.

Working with a property management company is an investment that pays you back in many different ways, including:

  • Compliance with state and federal laws.
  • Reduction of stress from juggling the day to day care of the property and tenants.
  • Efficient time management of your work/life balance.

Narrow Your Search

A quick search reveals that there are 288 property management companies in the Portland metro region. All offer a variety of services and can be rated on reputation, credibility, experience, and professionalism. Narrowing down your search is important, so here are some things to consider as you choose the company best suited for your needs.

Go Local

Some companies have an expansive presence, but as states continue to fine-tune their laws around second properties, landlord responsibilities, and tenant protections, a local company can be your expert guide through these complicated requirements.

Get Referrals and Check References

Ask your real estate agent if they know any good property managers. Do you know friends with rental properties? Ask them what their experience has been. You can also request references from the property management companies you interview.

Size Matters

Property management companies come in many sizes with different advantages and disadvantages. Large firms can have an extensive reach, but you may end up feeling like a cog in a wheel. Small firms may offer a custom, boutique experience, but if it’s just one person, they may be stretched too thin. Think through how much help you need.

Residential vs. Commercial

Residential needs are different from commercial needs. Know your property type and look for the proper fit.

Marketing Strategies

How does the company market its current properties? Does it target specific audiences with different forms of advertising? Does its website seem professional and accessible? Is it easy to find the rentals it offers? Is there dedicated space for its tenants and  landlords? Ask for a demonstration of how an owner can log in and easily find their personal info.

Service Options

Do you need full service or help in specific areas? Full service means less stress for you because they take care of the day-to-day, the expected and the unexpected, legal, accounting, rent collection, leasing, maintenance, and marketing. Do you need someone that can buy and sell? Some management companies can help with that too.

Properly Licensed

Verify that the company’s license is active and if it has any violations with the Oregon Real Estate Agency (REA.)

Interviewing a Management Company

Using a property management company is entering into a business agreement and so it’s wise to ask some questions before choosing who to work with. You should be able to find some of the answers on the company’s website but it’s worth asking some in person to get a feel for personality and professionalism. Questions to ask:

What Services Do You Offer?

  • Can I choose full service or pick and choose which services I prefer to utilize?
  • What is required from me as the owner on a monthly basis?
  • How does the owner receive payment, and when can I expect it?

How Many Properties Do You Manage?

  • Who is my contact? Do I contact the same person for all questions? (Maintenance, accounting, filling vacancies).
  • How long have you managed rentals?
  • How often does the property manager visit their properties for in-person assessments?

What Are Your Management Fees?

  • Are additional fees added to maintenance invoices?
  • Can I expect an annual rate increase?

What Are Your Tenant Policies?

  • Can I review a tenant lease agreement for late rent policy, breaking the lease policy, maintenance agreements, and eviction policy?
  • How do you establish a unit’s rental rate?
  • Do you give tenants annual rent increases?
  • How do you screen prospective tenants?
  • Do you check credit scores and have income requirements?
  • Do you do referral checks?

An engaged property manager can be a lifesaver. Their ability to manage the rental process, day to day details, and legal questions is invaluable. Make sure you take the time to find the right person to work with by doing your research ahead of time and asking good questions in person. The time you spend upfront will help create trust and confidence in the decisions your property manager makes on your behalf.

Partner With the Experts

Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew is one of the fastest growing and highest reviewed property management companies in the Portland metro area. We are passionate about finding the right tenant for each property with our exclusive marketing system and then providing full service support to our landlords and tenants. Partnering with experts can help you shoulder the burden of wading through the details, lessen your stress levels, and increase the value of your properties. Call or text Darla Andrew today at 503.515.3170 to learn more about how we provide the support you need to confidently enjoy the rental process.