How to Love Your Landlord!

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Not all property managers are the same. How do you find a good one?

Finding a rental home can be a problem in some markets. If there aren't many houses or duplexes available for rent or lease when compared to the number of people coming to the area to live and work, you may have a hard time finding suitable housing. A possible solution is to find a competent property manager.

Property managers are real estate professionals who handle the renting and leasing of homes and residences. Ideally, one should look for a real estate property management company which specializes in home rentals. Most real estate companies are involved in sales almost exclusively. Both areas, management and sales, are highly specialized and require dedication to sales or to rentals. It is difficult to be competent in both.

When a person or family is relocating to a new area, the first thing to do is find a place to live. Unless one intends to buy immediately, the choices are to rent or stay with friends or relatives.

There are basically two ways to rent. One is to stay in a hotel for a short term. Cost of daily rent is important here. The other way is to rent a dwelling. This is where property managers are important.

A competent property manager is one who realizes that each time the phone rings, there is a person with a problem, at the other end. Usually the problem is that the caller needs a place to live and wants help finding it. The property manager then becomes a rental agent and begins doing the job that is the basis for the rental housing industry.

A good rental agent will make the caller feel important. The agent needs to hear what the caller needs by asking enough questions to determine things like when and where. The amount of the rent budget is another important consideration.

Once these items are revealed by the caller, then it is up to the agent to help the person find these locations and see if they are acceptable. If an agent has an inventory of vacancies, he may have a better chance of making the sale, or in this case, the rental.

After the paper work is done and the new resident has moved in he should be able to expect that the manager will be responsive to his maintenance needs. Since the property manager is usually working for the owner, it is his job to protect the owner’s investment by keeping the property in good repair.

The resident should be able to reach the managers office business days and should be able to reach a contact at any time in an emergency. Usually, voice mail, answering machines and answering services serve as the emergency contact.

Choosing a rental agent to help you get relocated is an important job and usually begins with a phone call. The home rental agency (property manager) may get only one chance to make a good first impression. When the call is answered, look for a friendly voice that can help you now. If that doesn't happen then you may ask why that person answered and move on to the next number.

Finding a rental agent is as easy as looking in the yellow pages of the phone book or on the internet. The key is in knowing where in the yellow pages to look. Rental homes are real estate. Two categories to look under are Real Estate Rental Service and Real Estate Management; Rental-service is the most accurate choice. Look for a display ad that tells you that the company offers what you are trying to find. Then make that important call and listen to the voice that answers.

Another place to look is the internet. The site should be easy to navigate and should show you some properties to garner your interest. It should also provide you with a way to write the company and get a response. And finally, the site should give you a phone number to call to reach the rental agent who can help you get the home for you to move into.

A third way to find a rental agent is in the Sunday real estate section of the newspaper. Look for duplexes, and homes, unfurnished. The agency that is really interested in attracting your attention is the one that makes it easy for you to spot and contact them. Things like bold print, a phone number and a name are signs that they want your call.

Then make the call and don't be afraid to explain your situation. The more the agent knows about what you need, the better he can help you find your next home.