Recently, real estate investors have begun to flood buyer’s markets around the country, focusing on markets with a healthy economy. If you decide that you want to purchase a rental in another state, you’re likely going to learn that it’s difficult to manage on your own.

You are going to need to hire a property manager that you can trust. Someone that will collect rent and other fees, as well as take care of day-to-day maintenance and assist renters with any issues that arise. Whether you opt to work with an independent contractor or a management company, keep these steps in mind to find the right property manager.

5 Tips to Find a Good Property Manager

As we mentioned, if you purchase a rental in another state, you’ll need someone local that can manage it for you.

Get referrals

The best way to find a property manager is through referrals. Ask your real estate agent if they know any property managers with a decent reputation. If you have friends who have investments in the same area, ask them about property managers.

Once you have a few names, you’ll want to check the Real Estate Commission in the state, as well as the Better Business Bureau, to make sure they are licensed and there are no complaints against them. Once you’ve narrowed your list down to a few, start interviewing them.

Pay attention to first impressions

If you can, meet each one in person and note if they are well-spoken and put together.

Try to put yourself in the place of a prospective tenant- is this person someone that you would want to rent from?

Ask how they handle marketing & vacancies

You will want to ask the prospective manager the following questions:

Where do you advertise vacancies?
Do you put signs on the property & what kind?
Do you advertise at the local college/university, online, or in local newspapers?
How many vacancies do you have right now?
On average, how long does it take you to place a tenant?
What kind of vacancies do you have? (It’s important to note that if the manager specializes in single-family homes and you have a 2-bedroom condo, they may not be sure how to target the appropriate demographic for your property).

If they have a website, you’ll want to look it over and consider the following:

Is it nice-looking and easy to navigate?
As a potential tenant, do you find it to be easy to find the rental listings?
As a property owner, can you log in and see your account and statements?

Negotiate contract terms

Take your time to read through the Property Owner/Manager contract and find the following:

Who is your primary point of contact and what is their information? You should be able to communicate with the property manager through several means, including email and phone.

How much is their fee? Be sure that they have both the monthly fee and the leasing fee for placing tenants specified. Does the fee fall within the average range for the area?

How much notice do they need to terminate the relationship/contract? If you’re unhappy with their services, you should be able to terminate the contract within 30 to 60 days, giving you time to find a replacement.

How do they handle maintenance/repairs? Are they outsourced and do they charge a percentage on top of the cost? How much retainer is required for emergency repairs? Will they call you on all repairs or only when the repair is more than the retainer?

When will you receive the rental payments each month? Will you be mailed a check, or will it be sent direct deposit?

Will the property manager keep the security deposit, or will it be your responsibility?

How do they deal with delinquent tenants? What are the procedures for eviction?

Review the Tenant Lease Agreement

Finally, you will want to look over the Tenant Lease Agreement and ask the following:

How much is the security deposit for tenants?

What is the rent and how long are the terms? Find out how they determined the rent amount and ask for comps. Also, research for yourself on Craigslist and other similar sites to see if their rent aligns with others in the area. Though you want a decent profit, you don’t want the price to be so high that it sits empty for a long time.

How does the manager handle late rent? Is the process clear and easy to understand for the tenant?

What is the tenant responsible for?

Are there consequences for breaking the lease- what are they?

Who does the tenant call if they have questions or issues?


These days, more and more real estate investors are buying and renting houses- sometimes in a different state than where they live. This is a great way to diversify your income. However, it can be hard to manage the property since you are not close by. This is why you need a property manager. Use these 5 tips and you will find the right property manager in no time. Contact Sterling Capital Consulting to learn more about real estate investing.