How to Find the Best Property Management Company In Boston
When rental property owners decide it's time to consider professional property management, that's only the first decision they'll need to make! Finding the right property manager requires research and understanding "what does a property manager do" and how to find the best one for your goals.
The good news is you've found a guide to help you understand what to look for when choosing the best property management company in Boston! Keep reading to learn what a rental manager can do for you and how to find the experts you need to effectively operate a property and maximize long-term returns for your real estate investments.
Table of Content
Property Management Systems Are Important
A property management system might not be something you've thought about yet. Isn't a property manager supposed to fix broken toilets and collect rent payments? Yes—but they do so much more than that! The best rental managers have systems in place to tackle those tasks and every aspect of making sure your properties generate an excellent return on investment.
At the end of each month, a property owner wants to see that their rentals generated enough rental income to cover ongoing expenses, plus put a little money in their pockets. From cash flow to ROI, your property manager must handle every aspect of a property to make sure both of those metrics stay positive and consistent.
This is where property management systems become important! The system of processes, technology, and execution lead to your residential real estate investment success. To find the best type of system (and the property managers that can deliver it), investors must:
- Identify their goals
- Research different types of property management software to make sure it comes from a credible source
- Make sure the system delivers accounting, administrative, and technical support
If you're currently trying to manage a property or two without any software help, it's time to consider technology and property managers to keep your properties more competitive (and profitable) in the Eastern Massachusetts market.
But, What Does a System Do?
You can physically collect rent checks and answer tenant phone calls about maintenance requests. However, with the right property management system, you can leave much of the manual work of being a landlord behind!
The right property management software:
- Makes it easy for tenants to pay rent
- Sends automated notifications for past-due rent
- Responds and tracks maintenance requests
- Tracks documentation
- Automates bookkeeping
- Helps screen new tenants
While a property management system can do a lot for you, it still requires experienced professionals to make sure it's working well for you! So look for the ideal combination of property management experts and systems to manage your rentals for success.
What Does It Take to Manage a Rental Property?
Now that you know a little about property management systems, how would one fit into managing a rental property? What does it take to manage a property well? If you already own a property, you probably understand the basics of dealing with tenants, collecting the rent, and fixing things that break in the home. However, meeting your financial goals and generating enough revenue month after month (or year after year) can be easier and more consistent with expert help! Plus, successfully managing a rental requires more than a tenant and a rental payment.
Property Managers Do It All
From placing quality residents to handling maintenance and finances, the best Boston property management company does it all—including tasks or strategies you could be missing while leaving money on the table. So whether you're committed to managing a property on your own or you're already looking for professional property management services, make sure you're covering these critical areas of rental management!
Managing the Physical Property
Waiting until things break to address maintenance at your property is an expensive way to handle the upkeep. As with your private residence, rental homes need year-round care, preventive maintenance, and prompt repairs to stay safe for residents. Plus, a proactive approach to maintenance helps reduce the occurrences of costly repairs that could have been prevented. If you're not handy with tools or repairs, property maintenance alone is an excellent reason to hire a property manager!
Finding and Managing Tenants
Good renters won't make their way into your rental on their own! If you're experiencing high tenant turnover or bad residents who don't pay the rent on time, you already know that a good tenant and a bad resident have a significant impact on your time and your bottom line. However, it takes experience and a thorough screening process to find excellent renters (and avoid the bad ones. From listing and marketing to screening prospective tenants thoroughly, make sure you have a plan in place or find the right experts to place good tenants and manage them well!
Knowing the Law
Operating rental properties requires following Boston, Massachusetts, and federal laws. Landlords that don't comply with regulations throughout various areas of managing a rental can deal with severe consequences, including fines and losing the ability to operate rentals in the area.
Talk with your property manager about the legal aspects of rental properties, including:
- Your residential lease agreement
- Tenant discrimination
- Legal disclosures
- Security deposits
- Tenants right to privacy
- Criminal activity in your property
- And more
There are plenty of ways for owners to make mistakes, and legal errors can be some of the most costly problems to deal with. While a property manager isn't a substitute for a good attorney to protect your business, they understand the laws and operate your properties accordingly.
Expert Guidance for Property Owners
A property manager helps guide investors through plenty of other details and critical aspects of operating successful rental properties. Partnering with the right property management professionals means you have experts listening to your goals and doing everything they can to make sure you realize them!
The right property managers help you:
- Treat being a landlord as a business
- Protect your investment properties with the right insurance policies
- Be location smart when choosing a property, including delivering rental market analysis
- Minimize risks that can lead to significant financial loss
- Track income and operating expenses
- Maximize tax deductions
- Deal with difficult tenants (including evictions)
Imagine enjoying passive real estate investment income without dealing with any of the tasks, potential mistakes, or headaches we've mentioned that are part of being a good landlord! With the best Eastern Massachusetts property management team, you don't have to "imagine" that scenario. Full-service property management is the best way to enjoy being an investor while building more long-term wealth.
Are Free Tools Better Than a Property Manager?
Paying for a property manager might seem like an expense you don't want to take away from your bottom line—but is self-management with free tools a better way to invest? When starting as a real estate investor or considering a new property to add to your portfolio, you might be looking for ways to save money and increase your ROI rather than spend money on professional services.
We understand that "free" sounds pretty good when a property owner needs resources to support (or create) their property management systems, and there are plenty of free tools that landlords can use in place of hiring a property manager. You'll find online options for tasks and resources, including:
- A free rental agreement template
- A Notice to Vacate form (and other eviction notices)
- Rental applications
- Ledgers to track rent roll
- ROI Calculators
While these free resources can offer some assistance, they might not deliver everything you need to build an efficient property management system, accurately calculate returns, and manage rentals according to the law. For example, most free lease templates are generic to serve a variety of property owners throughout the country—but they might not be comprehensive enough to protect your rental property in Boston or comply with all local, state, and federal laws. Without a property manager to guide you through the custom lease creation process, you might not realize your lease isn't legal!
If you're weighing the cost of a property management agency vs. combining various free tools with property management software to handle multiple tasks, most rental owners find that free tools (on their own) fall short of helping them reach their goals. However, in most cases, investors find that rental managers boost revenue enough to exceed the cost of property management fees (and then some)! With a one-stop resource to create lease agreements, rental applications, eviction forms, calculate returns, handle property maintenance, manage tenants, and more, property owners find that professional property management services are worth the cost—rather than relying on free tools that don't work well together.
When using free tools and resources, verify that they come from a reliable expert source, then work with a property manager to support what you learn from downloads and free tools!
Don't Settle for Less Than the Best Boston Property Management!
We hope the information and resources above help you make the right decision when choosing a Boston property manager! Unfortunately, not all management companies offer the services you need for success. Take time to define your goals, list out what you need from a property manager, and research your options to connect with the right rental management team. Much like real estate investing is a long-term commitment, choose a property management partner focused on your long-term goals and will be the strategic resource you need for extended success!
For more specifics about what to look for in a property manager, download our free "Guide to Finding the Best Property Management Company in Boston!"