There are many factors that determine whether or not an investment property will be a success: The location, how it's geared and what stage the local market is at, just to name a few. Just as important as all of these is the calibre of property manager you hire.
Here are a few things to look for when choosing the individual who's going to help you manage your investment.
A (good) reputation that precedes them
Just as you researched your property before buying it, look up your property manager before hiring them. A good property manager should have plenty of positive testimonials, which you should be able to find online. You could even ask your candidates directly for a list of references. Don't forget, too, that we're in the age of social media - you can easily go on an individual's LinkedIn, or professional Facebook account and see what people are saying about them.
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They live nearby
A property manager has many responsibilities: They'll have to deal with tenant grievances, see to repairs, pop in from time to time to inspect the property and possibly even drop by to collect rent. Physical proximity to the property in question is therefore essential if you want them to both provide you and the tenant with quality service. If they're unreachable or frequently unable to get to the property, your tenants could become disgruntled.
Speaking of quality service, your property manager isn't solely an enforcer. They're also a service provider for a tenant, taking care of any issues and acting as a go-between for them and the property owner - you. The property manager therefore shouldn't just be able to crack the whip, but should also be a good communicator who is diligent in looking after the tenant. Remember, even if you own a dual income property, it won't matter if you can't hold on to or attract tenants.