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Is Your Property Manager Trustworthy?

Whether you own rental property by choice or by default, a trustworthy property manager is one of the best assets you can have. The only problem is that they’re few and far between. And whether you choose to hire an individual property manager or work with a professional property management service, it’s imperative that you know what to look for.

What Makes a Property Manager Trustworthy?

All property managers offer similar services. However, not all property managers carry themselves in the same manner. Nor do they all provide the same value. As you search for an individual or service you can trust, consider the importance of the following characteristics and traits:

  1. 1.No Hidden Fees

A good property manager will be clear on precisely how much you owe them ahead of time. (And if there are any variances, they’ll provide you with a clear expectation of what causes rate increases and/or triggers additional fees.) A property manager who is cagey on pricing is going to be unpredictable in other areas of business.

  1. 2.Cancel Anytime

Getting locked into a long-term commitment for a specific property management service is a big mistake. It takes away most of your leverage and essentially gives them the freedom to push you to the back burner. (These companies generally care way more about onboarding new clients than keeping their current ones happy.)

Look for a property manager who lets you go month-to-month. Or, at the very least, find one who will let you cancel at any time and get a prorated refund for the time left on your contract.

  1. 3.Honest Counsel

It’s easy to view a property manager as just another service provider, but a trustworthy one offers so much more. Ask around and seek out a professional property management service that has a track record of providing honest counsel to clients.

This is one of the calling cards of Houston-based Green Residential, which is widely considered to be one of the top property management services in the region. Find a similar company in your area. They’ll provide you with so much more confidence and wisdom in the day-to-day decisions that come with owning rental properties.

(Note: Honest counsel doesn’t always mean hearing what you want to hear. A good property manager will often tell you tough things, but does so for your own good.)

  1. 4.Goes to Bat for You

The relationship between a landlord and a tenant can be a testy one at times. And one of the nice things about having a property management service is that it provides some insulation from the “heat.” (Unless you have a property manager who throws you under the bus, that is!)

A trustworthy property manager is someone who will go to bat for you, no matter what. They’ll take the fall and have those tough conversations, even if you’re in the wrong. (This doesn’t mean they won’t be frustrated with you. However, they’ll always push for a strong and unified front that reflects well on you as the owner.)

  1. 5.Clear Communication

Honesty is often displayed in clear communication. Look for a property manager who is straightforward and responsive. They might not always pick up every phone call on the first ring, but they will make themselves available to you.

  1. 6.Apologizes

There are certain (dated) corporate playbooks that tell professionals they should never apologize to a client because of the message it sends. The theory is that an apology makes you seem weak and incompetent. However, this is an approach that no longer holds weight in today’s marketplace.

A trustworthy property manager will be quick to apologize when they mess up. This is a sign of humility and shows a commitment to the relationship. Accept the apology as a symbol of trust.

Make the Right Choice

A good property manager will cost you a slight premium over an average one. However, you can rest assured that the long-term ROI of working with someone you can trust is far greater than selecting the cheapest and most convenient option.

A trustworthy property manager will keep you out of legal and financial trouble. They’ll also enable you to sleep easy at night knowing that your properties are cared for. And when it’s all said and done, it’s this peace of mind that matters most.


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