What to look for in a good property manager

If you’re a real estate investor – or are thinking about becoming one – you’ve probably considered hiring a property manager. Perhaps you’ve already hired one, but you’re ready to find someone new. But before you hire someone, you need to know what to look for in a good property manager.

Finding a good property manager – and one that fits your needs – can be difficult. At first glance, it’s hard to tell if they’ll care for your property – and your money – the way you want them to.

While there are plenty of not-so-great property managers out there, there are some common characteristics that make up a good property manager.

Though it can take a little upfront time, interviewing prospective managers is one of the best ways to weed out the good from the bad. Read on for the characteristics that any good property manager needs to have.

What to look for in a good property manager

Has experience

They say the best education is experience. Every great property manager has experience. Not only do they have experience in managing properties, but they also have experience in and knowledge of your local real estate market.

What’s even better is a property manager who has their own investment properties. Because an investor knows, first hand, what goes into successfully managing a property. From marketing to cash flow, they understand everything it takes to make the business run smoothly.

Puts people first

Managing properties is a service-oriented business. A good property manager understands this, puts people first, and prioritizes customer service.

Property managers need to have the patience and skills to work well with everyone involved – including investors, tenants, contractors, and inspectors. They need to be able to keep their cool when things aren’t going according to plan. And they need to be willing to listen, even when a situation is stressful.

Is professional, no matter what

There will, inevitably, be times when a property manager needs to be direct and assertive with tenants, contractors, and others to make sure the property and the investor get what they need.

Good property managers use their people skills to maintain professional relationships, no matter what the circumstances. This requires a balance of firmness and courtesy, especially when dealing with sensitive or unpleasant situations.

Fees are transparent and in writing

Investing in real estate is a business – and a part of every successful business is profitability. That’s why it’s essential to know exactly what you’re paying for when you hire a property manager.

Fee structures vary and are often dependent on many factors, including gross rent, number of units, and much more.

Fees for ongoing management are typically equal to a percentage of the gross rent collected. Additional fees are generally charged for other services, such as leasing (renewing or new tenant), periodic walk-throughs, regular maintenance and more.

A good property manager will be upfront and provide you with all of their fees in writing.

Has a team of reliable contractors and service providers

A good property manager has a solid team of reputable contractors and service providers they work with regularly. This not only makes it faster and easier to get repairs and maintenance done, but it helps ensure quality work without all the hassles.

Has exceptional communication skills

Property managers need to have excellent listening, speaking, and written communication skills. A good property manager will be responsive to your requests and provide regular updates on your properties.

Do you feel like you can trust your property manager to be honest? If something goes wrong with your property or your tenants, you should have confidence that your manager will be upfront with you. Honesty and integrity are essential qualities of a good property manager.

Has organized processes in place

There are many components that go into managing a property. If a property manager isn’t organized and doesn’t have procedures in place, things will get overlooked, forgotten, and mismanaged.

Your property manager should be able to tell you their specific processes for marketing, tenant screenings, leases, communication (reports), work/repair orders, move-in/move-out processes and more.

Is Flexible

A good property manager can easily handle the unexpected. Property managers need to be able to field multiple phone calls and appointments. They have to deal with the spur-of-the-moment issues that inevitably arise with rental properties. All of this requires patience, flexibility, and the ability to deal with multiple problems at once.

A good property manager will also be flexible. Each property is unique. Each tenant is different. Each investor has varying needs and goals. And property managers need to be able to adapt to the distinct needs of everyone involved.

Utilizes the latest technology

A good property manager is willing to use new technology as it becomes available. Almost everything is done online nowadays. And with everyone doing business, paying bills, and even shopping for a place to live online, it’s essential for property managers to be able to navigate the online landscape.

So many aspects of property management are online – including marketing, showing properties, signing leases, creating reports, collecting rent, and more. It’s crucial for any property manager to stay up-to-date on the latest technology and utilize it to make management more effective and efficient for everyone involved.

Has marketing know-how

Your property manager should be intimately familiar with your local real estate market, specifically current market rents for different types of units. Not only that, but they must know what features attract renters to specific properties.

Armed with a knowledge of the current market, renters’ desires, and available technology, a good property manager can effectively market a property to bring top dollar within a relatively short time frame (depending on the market conditions). From ads, websites, and professional photography (even 3D tours) to availability and initial tenant screenings, a good property manager will know how to tap into your specific rental market.


Whether you’re selling, buying, or investing, Coluzzi Real Estate will answer all your questions and simplify the process. We’re here for you every step of the way. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today!


About the Author:

Amanda has lived in the Des Moines area since 1999, where she and her husband have bought and sold a handful of homes over the years, including a recent flip. Amanda enjoys writing, obsesses about personal finance and is fond of looking at houses. She loves sharing useful tips and info to make life easier for anyone wanting to buy or sell a home. In her spare time, Amanda cherishes time with her family, volunteers with IHYC, gardens, hikes, and practices TaeKwonDo. You can read more of her writing at whywemoney.com