What to Look for When Choosing a Dallas Property Manager

Choosing a property manager in Dallas is a big decision, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a new landlord with one rental property or an experienced investor with an entire portfolio of homes. Your Dallas property manager will place tenants, oversee the day-to-day operations of your rental property, and ensure your investment earns you more and costs you less.

This is a personal decision, but your search for the right manager should include the following considerations.

Dallas Property Management Requires Experience and Education

Your property manager should have a lot of experience managing rental properties in your market.

Look for the right experience.

The type of experience your property manager has will make a big difference.

Make sure any prospective property manager has experience managing the type of rental home that you own. When your portfolio includes only single family residences, a management company specializing in commercial properties or apartment buildings won’t be much help. You need areas of expertise that match your property and your needs.

You also want a manager with experience solving the problems that you most often encounter. If you’re having trouble finding a tenant who stays for more than a one-year lease term, look for a management company with a record of long term residents and a great tenant retention plan. When you’re an investor who needs help estimating how much rent you’ll earn on a potential acquisition, talk to a property manager who works with other investors just like you.

A company that’s been in business for 50 years is great – and they probably have a lot of experience managing Dallas properties. Just make sure they have the type of experience that you need.

Education is part of experience.

The property management and real estate industries are ever-changing. A good Dallas property manager will stay up to date on all the things involved in rental management, including:

  • Landlord and tenant laws.
  • Local, state, and federal fair housing regulations.
  • Best practices when it comes to managing rental properties.
  • Local market rates, tenant needs, and property trends.

Property managers can work towards designations and certifications. Before you hire a management company, ask how they stay current in their profession.

Local Dallas Market Knowledge and Industry Resources

A management company with local knowledge of the Dallas rental market is essential, and you also need a company that’s involved in the larger industry. Look for property managers who network with other professionals from all over the world. You need a team of people who have the tools and resources to expertly manage your home, and to keep your property safe and profitable.

Ask if your potential property manager is involved in any local, state, or national associations. The National Association of Residential Property Managers (NASpecialized) works with property managers in Dallas and all over the country. They provide tools and resources that are invaluable. Property managers who belong to this association and others can manage your property better.

Talk to potential property managers about the trends in the Dallas rental and real estate market. Ask about the tenant pool, the available investment opportunities, and current market rents. You want to have a good discussion about what your property can earn in the current market, and how long it will take to rent your home out to qualified tenants.

Reputation of Dallas Property Managers and Community Involvement

Do a little online research so you know what the industry and the community thinks about the property managers you’re considering.

A property management company’s online reputation is a good way to understand what it’s like to work with them.

There are a few review sites you can use, including Google + and Yelp. Read what the company’s current and former clients and tenants have to say about their experiences. Remember that you’re looking for a property manager who responds to your needs and protects your investment. Don’t be afraid of a negative tenant review. If a former tenant leaves a review complaining about late fees when rent is overdue, you can be comfortable that the property management company is doing its job.

You can also check out a company’s website and social media pages to understand how and where they work. Use all of the online resources available to you, and if you find that the company you’re considering doesn’t have an online presence – let that be a red flag. Technology helps professionals effectively manage properties, and if a company isn’t using the internet to advertise, screen, and share information, you might not get the best service.

It’s also important to work with a company that’s active in your local community. Many good property managers see themselves as providing a valuable service to you as an owner and to the greater community as well.

Property management is about providing homes to people who need them. That’s a big responsibility, and you want your manager to take it seriously.

Dallas Property Managers: Established and Effective Systems and Processes

Talk to prospective property managers about their systems and processes. They should have a procedure for every day-to-day issue as well as emergencies. A good management company will have consistent procedures in place for things like:

  • Marketing and advertising
  • Tenant showings
  • Tenant screening
  • Move-in and move-out inspections
  • Rent collection and late fees
  • Inspections and property evaluations
  • Emergency repair requests and routine maintenance requests
  • Generating owner statements
  • Managing vendor relationships
  • Accounting and financial bookkeeping
  • Evictions and legal procedures

Something unexpected might happen at your property. Perhaps your tenant will stop paying rent, or a wind storm will blow a tree through your windows. In cases such as these, you need a Dallas property manager who is prepared and knows exactly what to do. It’s why you hire a professional – they have the plans in the place so you don’t have to worry.

Accounting and Transparency in Dallas Property Management

You are preparing to trust a property manager with one of your most valuable investments. You’re also trusting them with your financial information and the financial information of your tenants. You need to know that they can protect your privacy and your financial security.

A property manager should be expected to provide financial statements every month. These statements should show you how much income you earned and what your expenses were over the course of that month. You’ll receive these statements electronically or through an online portal, which you can access from anywhere and at any time. Most property managers today pay their owners electronically as well.

At tax time, you should expect a 1099 that covers all of the financial activity associated with your rental property. Your property manager needs to be a financial partner who can make the bookkeeping part of rental property ownership easy and effectual.

Talk about whether the management company has a full time bookkeeper or accounting professional on staff. This can really make a difference in how you receive information and track expenses.

Property Management Dallas: Business Model and Pricing

When you’re choosing a Dallas property manager, you’re going to want to know what it costs.

Just remember a few things:

  1. You get what you pay for.
  2. The lowest price doesn’t always mean the best service.
  3. It’s important to compare prices and services when shopping for professional management.

Professional property management in Dallas is not a commodity. It’s a valuable service that helps you earn more on your investment home. You need to look for value. That doesn’t always mean the lowest monthly management fee. Value means reliable, professional services in exchange for a competitive rate. Invest in the best professional management you can find. It’s the only way to earn more on your Dallas rental property.

Always ask to see a copy of the management contract. You want to know how much you’ll be paying, whether there are any additional fees on top of what’s been explained to you, and how to get out of the contract if you find yourself unhappy with the management services you’re receiving.

Every property management company in Dallas has its own business model. Some will take a percentage of the monthly rent and others will charge you a flat fee. Some companies will have different service tiers and others will charge a separate fee for every particular thing that’s done for you. You don’t need to focus on fees when you’re seeking the best management, but you do need to understand what you’re getting in exchange for the money you’re paying.

Personality can also make a difference when you’re shopping for a manger. Spend some time with your potential property managers and make sure they fit your style and values. These are people you’re relying on to know things you don’t know. You’re counting on them to keep your costs down and your profits high. You need to understand how they work. You need to respect, trust, and (even) like them.

If you’re struggling to find the right Dallas property management company, or you’re still unsure of how to find the best one in your area, contact us at Specialized Property Management. We can help you understand what you need and how to find it.