While you might know that there are valuable benefits to hiring a property management company, choosing the right one for you presents a new challenge. 

Each company will offer something different, and some companies may not be as trustworthy as others. For this reason, you should take your time in evaluating the property managers in your community.

1. Start by Networking

Your first step in finding a company that can provide you with property management in San Diego is to gather a list of potential candidates. 

You should do this by networking with other property owners in your community. Consider joining your local real estate association as well. This group can be a valuable resource in finding property management services.

If networking doesn’t provide you with a list of seven or eight companies, you can always conduct an online search. Use your favorite search engine or look for companies with social media accounts. 

You can also grow your list by asking your followers for recommendations. If you’re connected with other real estate investors on Facebook, LinkedIn, or similar sites, ask them about the companies they use.

Check References

Once you have a list of companies to evaluate, contact each one and ask them for references. This approach gives you an opportunity to talk to people who have real experience dealing with each company. Each reference can tell you what they liked about the company they used and what flaws they found with their services.

Verify Their Credentials

You don’t have to be an expert in real estate law to check the credentials of the property management firms in your community. 

Checking the National Property Management Association website will help you learn about California’s laws. Once you know what to look for, you can visit each firm to verify that they have the correct licenses, certifications, and insurance.

Read Their Online Reviews

By now, your list of potential companies for property management in San Diego should be getting shorter. You can further limit that list by checking the online reviews for each company. The reviews left by property owners who have used each company will give you more insight into the quality of service offered by each firm.

Look for common problems that were experienced by more than one reviewer while also looking for things that each company got right. Looking for commonalities will help you see patterns in each company’s services, and that will give you a better idea of what to expect from the firm you hire.

2. Research the Properties They Manage

While property owners will review a property management company directly, reviews for each property will tell you about the experiences that tenants have had with them. 

If a property manager isn’t living up to other responsibilities, the company isn’t meeting its obligations to you. This misconduct can lead to your property developing a poor reputation, and that will make it harder to find high-quality tenants.

Know What to Expect

Once you have narrowed your options down to two or three companies that provide property management in San Diego, you should start conducting interviews. Before you schedule appointments to meet with any property managers, take the time to create a list of questions. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:

  • How will you market unit vacancies? 
  • What vetting process do you use for selecting a tenant?
  • Do you charge a fee if my units are vacant?
  • How do you respond to requests for maintenance from tenants?
  • How do you handle tenant emergencies?
  • What do you do to handle delinquent rent payments?
  • Do you handle evictions?

There may be more questions you will want to add to this list. Make sure to ask anything that concerns you. A thorough interview will help you ensure you hire the company that will provide you with the best level of service to meet your needs.

3. Evaluate Their Communication Skills

During each interview, pay attention to how the manager interacts with you. Do they seem respectful and pleasant? Evaluate their knowledge of the different aspects of property management as well. The company you choose to hire should fill you with confidence that your rental units will be in good hands.

4. Visit Managed Properties in Person

By visiting properties that each company manages, you can get a firsthand look at the quality of their services. 

Observe how the management team interacts with the tenants. Look to see if maintenance workers are keeping up with the care of the property. You can also talk to the tenants you see on the grounds to find out about their personal experiences.

If you’re still uncertain about choosing one property management company after following this guide, you may need to trust your instincts. If you have a bad feeling about one company, choose another firm. Look for a company that does fill you with confidence in its ability to manage your property efficiently.