If you've been investing in Richmond, VA, for some time, then you've likely done your market research, and you know the value of your property. However, correctly pricing your investment property isn't the only element of a successful portfolio.
- You want to make sure that rent collection is on time.
- You want to save money on routine maintenance and repairs.
- You likely don’t have the time to manage a rental property on your own.
When considering your growth trajectory as a Richmond rental property owner, you've probably considered turning to professional property management services to reduce the workload we mentioned above. This makes it crucial that, as you put together a budget, you know how much to include for potential property management costs.
Examine Ongoing Management Fees
Richmond property managers will typically address payments in one of two ways: a percentage of the monthly rent or a monthly flat-rate fee with additional a la carte services stacked on top. Depending on how much your Richmond rental homes earn every month and the kinds of services you'll need, this amount can vary wildly by provider.
- With flat-rate pricing structures, you really have to read the 'fine print' to actually understand which property management services are included in that rate—and which will cost you extra.
- When it comes to percentage-based pricing, 10% is considered the industry standard. If you go much lower than that, beware of hidden fees designed to make up the price difference.
- If you go much higher than 10%, you should confirm that you're actually getting all the services you think you're paying for. More costly doesn't necessarily mean better service!
The best thing you can do as a property owner considering working with Richmond property management services is to look for a partner with a clear, consistent pricing structure. After all, you don’t want any unexpected costs demanding your attention out of nowhere! This is especially true if you've signed up for a long-term contract.
Here at Mission Realty Property Management, we favor a percentage-based structure that covers investor needs for tenant screening through rental property maintenance. Plus, we even offer additional eviction protection.
What Services Should You Look for and Expect From a Richmond, VA Property Manager?
Beyond what we mentioned above, your Richmond property management company should be an expert in handling:
- Rental research to price your property correctly
- Marketing and advertising for your Richmond rental homes
- Preparing your rental properties for your a new renter during a turn
- Periodic rental property inspections and important financial reporting
- Renter emergencies, such as late-night rental property maintenance calls.
If you're working with the right full-service property management company, they'll be able to provide the same excellent services across more than one property to help you continue growing your portfolio long term.
The Right Customer Service Is Crucial
It’s better to hire a company that will serve as an effective intermediary between you and your renters rather than a cheap substitute that leaves you and your renters high and dry when you need help the most. At its core, an effective Richmond property management company is also a business of customer service.
- The best property managers are not only open about pricing and all other policies with you as the investor, but they're also professional mediators between you and your renters.
- How your potential property management partner serves other investors is a great indicator of how they may be serving you in the future if you work with them. Don't be afraid to ask for references.
- Not every company offers full-service property management with the advantages of online portals for you and your renters—be sure to investigate whether the fee you'd be paying includes such services.
It's important to consider online reviews with a critical eye: If your potential property management partner is treating renters and owners well, they'll likely have great reviews. That said, renters can also slam management companies for simply upholding the rights of investors by enforcing the lease. If you go based on Google, take the time to read what people wrote—and why.
A Lower Price Isn't Always Nice
Some property management services can run as low as 6% in the Richmond area—but these companies compensate for their pricing gap by hitting you where it hurts during the leasing process or whenever your renters make a maintenance request. Whichever company’s price seems right to you, don’t forget to be conscious of who’s offering the service.
Pricing alone should never be the final indicator of which company will be the right fit for your portfolio. Dig into your prospects with the right questions and check what these companies have to offer. Choosing the right Richmond property management company is as important as choosing your next investment property!
If you're interested in learning more, download your free copy of our guide to real estate investing! It's got useful information about the role the right property manager plays in growing your long-term wealth.