Choosing property management companies can be a stressful experience. Here are a few tips to remember during the process.

Ask for Documentation

To find the best property management company for you, you should be asking your prospective manager for their licenses, references and a list of properties they manage currently.

Read Reviews of Property Management Companies

Do your own research and find reviews of property management companies you research. Online forums are a great way to get a pulse on what people think of the companies.

Take Your Time

This is a big move for you, so take your time. A rule of thumb in business: When time is on your side in a sale, you have the advantage. Research as much as possible before deciding, ask as many questions as you can, and gather as many stats and figures, including the ROI for each company. Approach every company with the information you’ve gathered about their competitors. Knowledge is power.

Use Competition to Your Advantage

And with that power, use it to tell prospective managers that you’re looking for the best deal. Use it to tell them that, yes, I’ve done the research, now what can you give me? Property managers work for you. But first, they have to earn your business.

Ask the Essential Questions About Tenant Relations

How do they handle rent payments? How do they set rent? How do they screen their tenants? How do they receive and respond to maintenance requests?

Ask About Fees, But Know That Prices Aren’t Everything

Of course, you need to know their fees, but you should also feel comfortable with the quality of their work. Lower fees can happen for two reasons: The managers do shoddy work, or they are undercutting other businesses. While the latter sounds ideal, sometimes it comes at the cost of overloading their property managers with so much work that your home gets less attention. So asking the right questions from many different managers and not just focusing on price is highly recommended.

Read the Fine Print

Property management fees are broken into several different parts: vacancy fees, management fees, set-up fees and leasing fees. And not all of them are flat fees. Some are percentages and can even change depending on vacancy, etc. Read the fine print and ask the questions.