Hiring a property manager can be a wise decision for many landlords in Jacksonville, FL. Property managers can save property owners time and headaches by handling tasks such as tenant screening, rent collection and maintenance, among others. However, there are several mistakes that landlords often make, when researching and hiring a property manager, that can cause major problems down the line. Here are five common mistakes to avoid when hiring a property manager in Jacksonville, FL, or anywhere.
Mistake #1: Not Researching the Property Manager’s Reputation
When hiring a property manager in Jacksonville, FL, it’s important to do your research and find a reputable company with a proven track record. Northeast Florida is a real estate hotbed and there are many property management companies to consider including those who specialize in residential property rental services, commercial real estate, or both. Don’t just hire the first property manager you find without checking their credentials and reputation. Look for online reviews and testimonials from past clients. This due diligence can help you avoid poor property management services and potential legal issues in the future.
Mistake #2: Not Considering the Property Manager’s Experience
Another common mistake property owners and landlords make is not considering the property manager’s experience. Experience is crucial in property management, and you want to work with a property manager, who has a track record of success in the industry, one with a comprehensive understanding of property management law in Florida, or the state where they operate. A property manager with experience can navigate difficult situations and handle challenging tenants, ultimately protecting your investment and ensuring a successful rental experience.
Importantly, if a Florida property manager is handling rentals and leases for others and is paid by commission, then this is considered a real estate activity under Florida real estate licensing laws, and that company/individual must have a real estate broker’s license. No license is required for managing personally-owned properties or if a property owner pays a property manager a salary, instead of a commission.
Here at Spectrum Realty Services in Jacksonville, we are proud to offer the full spectrum of real estate property management services. As a full-service commercial real estate brokerage, we provide comprehensive residential, commercial, and association management services, including assistance with rental property acquisition, marketing, and management. We work with both owners and tenants to remove stress from the leasing and property management processes. It is our mission to provide the easiest path to own, rent, manage, and sell real estate.
Mistake #3: Not Asking About Fees and Contracts
Before hiring a property management company, it’s essential to understand their fee structure and the terms of the contract. You want to avoid any surprises, such as hidden fees or unfavorable contract terms. Be sure to ask the property management company that you are considering about their fees for services such as rent collection, tenant placement, and maintenance. Also, make sure to review the contract carefully and understand the terms and conditions before signing.
Mistake #4: Not Understanding the Property Management Company’s Communication Style
Effective communication is essential between real estate investors and their property management firm. Not understanding the property manager’s communication style can lead to frustration and misunderstandings down the line. It’s important to discuss expectations and communication preferences before hiring a property manager. Be clear about how often you want to be updated on your property and in what format (email, phone, in-person), and make sure the property management company can meet those expectations. At Spectrum, we like to utilize technology to make communication and our services as efficient as possible with both landlords and tenants. At the same time, we make ourselves available anytime a property owner or tenant has a question or issue they want to discuss.
Mistake #5: Not Asking About Tenant Screening and Selection
One of the primary responsibilities of a property manager is to screen and select tenants for your rental property. Not asking about a property manager’s process for tenant screening and selection is a common mistake that can lead to tenant problems down the line. Always be certain to ask about the property manager’s process for tenant screening and selection, including whether and how they handle background checks, credit checks, and rental history verification. You want to ensure that the property manager is selecting reliable and responsible tenants for the occupancy of your property.
In conclusion, avoiding these five common mistakes when hiring Jacksonville FL property managers can help landlords find a reputable property management company and protect their investment. Do your research, consider the company’s experience, clearly outline the service fees and contract, understand their communication style, and ask about their tenant screening and selection process. By taking these steps, property owners and investors can find a firm that can effectively manage their rental property and create a positive rental experience for tenants.
If you are searching for professional, reliable, experienced property management services in Northeast Florida, contact Spectrum Realty Services, LLC. We are a full-service property management firm and commercial real estate brokerage based in Jacksonville, FL. We provide complete commercial and residential rental property management in all areas of the greater Jacksonville area including Orange Park, Mandarin, Arlington, Southside, Westside, Northside, Downtown, San Marco, the Jax Beaches, Ponte Vedra Beach, St. Johns, Nocatee, St. Augustine, and more. Call us at 904.389.7311 or email [email protected].