When purchasing rental property as an investment it is important to consider hiring a property agent. Many people hesitate to hire a property agent because of the cost associated with it; however, a good rental property agent can help you to reduce a lot of the day to day work you must handle regarding your property. The key to making this type of arrangement work for you; however, is in knowing how to find a good agent and what to look for.
Tips for Hiring a Property Agent
One of the main tasks which an agent handles is finding tenants for your property. They also provide a rental agreement. In most cases, rental agents do not provide a service which would keep your property in good condition. In most cases, agents only respond in the event there is a complaint from the tenant. If an agent is less than responsible; you may find yourself owed rent and your property in shambles. Therefore, if you decide to use an agent you need to make sure that your agent covers several critical areas.
First, they should always provide you with an assessment of the reliability of the tenant. Not only should the agent check the references of prospective tenants but they should also utilize other methods so they can be assured the tenant will care for your property and pay their rent on time. Before hiring an agent question them regarding the methods they use for this purpose.
You should also make sure that the agent will be able to handle the collection of rent effectively. Speak with them regarding the methods they use for collecting back rent when a tenant fails to pay their rent on time. In addition, find out how the agent addresses the issue of bounced checks.
In addition, you should speak with prospective agents regarding how often they will inspect the property and what they will look for when they perform those inspections. Furthermore, find out how they will record information and provide feedback to the tenant as well as to you. This information can be vital to ensuring a well operated rental property.
You should also find out how payments will be passed on to you and how frequently you will receive rental payments. Not all agents have the same policy. Some agents will actually retain payments for a month so they can earn interest on the money before they pass the payments onto the landlord.
Of course, you should also find out how much the agent charges for the services they provide. Shop around to find out whether this fee is on-target for the service which the agent provides. If the agent is providing a good, reliable service it can be a benefit to you and your investment property and as a result, it can be a good investment.
Be sure you ask to review any forms the agent uses, especially the rental agreement. You should always know the terms under which your rental property will be rented.
Keep in mind that on-site managers usually charge more; however, that cost can often be offset by the fact that you may be able to decrease maintenance costs by ensuring you have a well-run property.
Remember that having a good property management agent can essentially bring you more of a profit. Perhaps one of the biggest costs you will face when operating a rental property is the cost associated with changing tenants. When you figure in vacancy rates, the cost is even higher. Therefore, it is obviously in your best financial interest to keep good tenants. A competent property management agent can help to make this a reality.
Choosing your agent carefully and ensuring that you understand exactly what the agent provides and what they do not provide in terms of services can help to ensure that your investment is successful and not a headache.