If you currently own and manage a rental property, sooner or later you’ll begin to consider hiring a property manager. Maybe you work a full time job and are thinking about paying someone else to manage your property, or perhaps your investment is out of town or in another province and you are unable to manage it. Either way, the purpose of hiring a property manager is to free up your time and give you some peace of mind know that your properties are being looked after.
Property management companies come in all shapes and sizes and they offer investors a variety of services. Before picking a manager, you should have some idea of what services you want and what you are prepared to do yourself. Some companies are full service agencies, and others allow you to opt out of certain services.
Fees for management companies vary. They usually run at 8 to 10% of gross rent for a single unit. If your unit is or becomes vacant, some companies charge a set rate for finding and placing a new tenant; others charge a half month’s rent.
Property managers operating in British Columbia are required to be licensed through the Real Estate Council of BC. If you’re shopping for a manager, ask for their credentials, references and a track record. Find out what type of properties they specialize in.
If you’re already working with a property manager, don’t become lazy and complacent. Track what your manager is doing. Ask for monthly statements and regular updates about repairs. It’s extremely important to manage your property manager.