There are over 847,000 employees providing property management services in the United States alone. Yet, even with all those choices, it’s still easy to end up with the wrong Seattle property management company without proper research.
However, if you make the right choice, your job as a rental property owner will be far easier, and you can spend more time doing the things you love—and less time worrying about the performance of your single-family or multi-family rental property.
A Seattle property manager with the right skills is your ticket to peace of mind, and can go a long way to alleviating stress and time-consuming obligations.
Here are the traits you should be looking for in your prospective property partner to protect your investment property and enjoy long-term returns.
They Should Be Professional
The first impression a Seattle-area property manager conveys with their marketing and leasing services will become your first impression of their other property management services. Even well-meaning property managers can shoot themselves in the foot by having sloppy presentation up front.
A Modern, Up-to-Date Website
While the old HTML websites of the 90s have a certain nostalgic cache, they’re inefficient, hard on the eyes, and may even take longer to load than modern websites. While there’s no hard and fast rule as to the programming language a property management company should use for their website, there are a few qualities you should look out for:
- Informative: After visiting a Seattle rental management website, you should have few questions regarding their location, areas where they serve, the types of properties they manage, and key players on the team.
- Resources: A property manager’s website should be more than just a digital business card. You should be able to go there for answers and ideas to help keep your investment property running and in tip-top shape. You should also be able to determine if they offer property owners 'amenities' like convenient owner portals.
A clean office says a lot about how much the owners and team members care about their business—and, by extension, yours. Sloppiness shows a disregard for presentation and may convey a lack of organization. While you shouldn’t expect perfection, you have every right to expect a well-presented workspace.
Keep in mind that cleanliness—or lack thereof— is also what potential renters may see when they walk in. Your first impression may be similar to theirs, so feel free to maintain modest, yet firm standards when investigating a Seattle property management company.
Professional Marketing Materials
The marketing collateral of a property manager will also help you predict the quality of the materials they will craft for your properties. They should use quality paper appropriate for the purpose. Images should be professional, and photography should be well-lit and compliment the layout.
You may also want to take a look at their letterhead.
- Are you comfortable having your renters get crucial communications on the letterhead that this Seattle property manager uses?
- Is it professional and serious without being intimidating?
You should also take a moment to examine how the company has presented other properties. You could ask yourself questions such as:
- Are the images clear and crisp—or do you have to strain to see the important details or look past distracting, pixelated pictures?
- Would you feel comfortable having pictures of that quality represent your properties?
- Do the images focus on the compelling facets of the property—or are they all the same, regardless of each property’s qualities?
Their Online Features Should Complement Your Business
Years ago, a website only had to convey information about the business to be effective. Times have changed: An effective website is now a full-service marketing tool.
Further, a website for a Seattle property management company should help owners and renters interface in productive ways that make their lives easier. Here are two attributes you should look for when checking out a website for a Seattle rental management company:
- They should offer renters online rental payment options: Rent collection should be as effortless as possible. With the proliferation of online payment methods across several sectors of industry, many renters have come to expect online payment portals for their rent as well. A property management company should offer this to its renters to make payments easier and faster. Plus, they should be able to use this online portal to lodge maintenance requests as well.
- They should offer online owner portals for statements and communications: We touched on this before, but trying to organize your statements should not require a laborious reorganization of your filing system, especially since banks, utility companies, and other professionals all offer online statements. Similarly, online communication means you can reach out with questions whenever you need to.
References or Reviews From Other Property Owners
Perhaps nothing cements the professionalism of a Seattle property management company than the favorable testimony of others. Whether you reach out to friends, fellow businesspeople, or members of an investors or property owners organization, be sure to try to get a review—even informally—of a property management team you’re considering hiring. If they express concern, ask follow-up questions to see what the problem was. If the same mistake happens in your relationship with the company, it could impact your rental property!
Of course, the above is just a short list of what you should expect from Seattle-area property management services. If you're looking for more insight into how to find the right property management team to partner with, download our Guide to Finding the Best Property Management Company in Seattle.