Choosing the Right Gulf Coast Property Management Company in Sarasota
Sarasota landlords have much to consider when choosing between the several active Gulf Coast property management companies working in the Sarasota area. Not only are there some outright hucksters operating in the market, but different companies go about things differently, so it’s important to ensure a good fit before hiring.
This article explores some questions you should be asking yourself about any Gulf Coast property manager you’re considering.
How Is Gulf Coast Property Management Different?
Some would say there’s a different “vibe” on the Gulf Coast as compared to the east coast of Florida. Some call it a more “laid back” feeling, while others attribute it to the relatively larger numbers of Midwesterners living on the Gulf Coast. Whatever you call it, and for whatever the reasons, you might indeed detect differences between Gulf Coast property management practices and other places where you’ve owned rentals.
What Questions Should You Be Asking a Gulf Coast Property Management Company Before Hiring One?
Be sure to ask these questions of any Gulf Coast property management company you’re considering hiring for your Sarasota area residential rental properties:
How long have they been in the real estate business?
The funny thing about the real estate business is that it’s real easy to get into, and it’s real easy to get out of. You don’t want to find yourself with an inexperienced gulf coast property management company that leaves you holding the bag. Lack of experience and training on the part of a management company can get YOU, the landlord, into big trouble fast, so choose wisely. These days it’s very easy to get a flashy website that makes a company look much better than it really is — look for an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, as well as positive google reviews for any company you’re considering.
Are they dedicated to property management, or are they a real estate “jacks-of-all-trades”?
Landlords should know whether or not they are hiring a “true” property management company or a real estate sales brokerage that does some property management on the side for extra cash. Sales brokerage and property management are two very different specialties, and it is extraordinarily rare to find a company that does both well under one roof. Stick to a dedicated property management company that has its staff, training, software, tools, and expertise focused entirely on Gulf Coast property management in the greater Sarasota area.
What is their property management specialty, e.g., annual rentals, seasonal rentals, student housing, etc.?
This question is along the same lines as the previous but now focused within the property management space. Make sure that the Gulf Coast property management company you’re considering for your Sarasota residential rentals is, in fact, a residential rental specialist. One way to know is to ask if they are active members in good standing of N.A.R.P.M. (National Association of Residential Property Managers). You can further break it down by sub-category: only hire a seasonal rental specialist to handle your seasonal rentals and likewise for annual rental specialists if your properties are annual rentals.
What is their philosophy with respect to the roles and relationships between landlords, tenants, and property managers, and how does it align with your own?
Here’s an example from the Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee website. If this outlook towards the property management business matches your own, then there might be a good fit, but if it doesn’t, it’s best to recognize that up front:
- We believe that owning rental real estate is the single most important thing you can do to secure yours and your family’s future.
- We believe that providing housing for others is a noble and worthy endeavor.
- We believe that landlords contribute greatly to the well being of society and form the bedrock of vibrant communities.
- We believe that there is no shame in making a fair profit in exchange for the risks and responsibilities landlords assume.
- We believe in humans enriching the lives of fellow humans, which is exactly what providing quality rentals is all about.
- And finally, we believe in our mission to advise and support you in providing safe, well-maintained homes where others can live, grow, and prosper.
Ensuring a Good “Fit” With Your Gulf Coast Property Management Company
After establishing that you’ve at least found a company that’s committed to managing your particular type of Sarasota rentals—one that has the longevity and skill-set to do so successfully over the long term—the rest comes down to “fit” between your style of doing business and that of the property management company. This isn’t about good or bad. This is about “right for you” or not right for you. The typical property management relationship lasts years, so you need to believe that you’ll work well with the Gulf Coast property management company you choose.
Was everyone you dealt with personable, professional, and organized? Did they do what they said they would do when they said they would do it? Did everything they said “line up,” or were there gaps in their “story” that left you wondering? Did they come off as “sales pitchy,” or did they use more of a consultative approach to discussing your needs? Did they try to pigeon-hole you into a one-size-fits-all plan, or did they offer flexible service-plans and pricing to meet your needs? Ponder these questions, and you’ll know it when you’ve found the right property manager for you.
Choosing the right Gulf Coast property management company to manage your Sarasota rental properties is a simple matter of asking the right questions regarding their: 1) Expertise, specialization, and business philosophy; 2) Ensuring the right “fit” for a long and prosperous working relationship.
About the Author
John Michailidis, J.D., is the Broker/Managing-Member of Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee, a Sarasota, FL based residential property management company specializing in annual rentals. Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee provides both Full-Service and Lease-Only services to Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice, North Port, and Englewood area landlords. Click here to schedule a free phone consultation and property evaluation.
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