Rental Basics in Pittsburgh>Question Details

Tom S, Real Estate Pro in Pittsburgh, PA

How do I find a good property manager?

Asked by Tom S, Pittsburgh, PA Tue Aug 10, 2010

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Start by talking to them and get a feel for their processes. Look at their management agreement with owners and their rental agreement with tenants. A good manager starts by covering their bases. Then talk to some of their tenants and owners to see what they think. Visit their properties and see how they care for them. Here are some important points to investigate:

1. How do they advertise?
2. How do the screen applicants and select the right one?
3. What do they do when rent is late? Check on them! They might talk a good game, but do they really enforce the rules?
4. What do they charge for fees and what do they do for their money? Are there hidden fees?
5. What is the cancellation policy if you are unsatisfied with their services?

There is much more to this, but this can get you started. DO NOT interview just one manager! Visit with at least three (if there are that many available) and put them all through the wringer. You will learn a lot and one of them will likely stand apart from the others.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 26, 2012
Not sure where your property is located. Kit Speanburg at Coldwell Banker (Airport/Moon Township) office is my property manager while I am out of the area. He's been awesome!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 26, 2012
I have to update this post. Kit was promoted and no longer does the property management. Elise Weber took over his accounts (my house included). Things turned pretty bad pretty quickly. When my renters moved out I came back to PA to look at my house and it was in horrible shape. She let them leave without cleaning, especially the carpets. She allowed the lawn to go unmowed, some of it for over a year of growth. I think she just moved to Re/Max so now I don't know who does the Coldwell Banker property management. I cannot and would not recommend Elise Weber team though. Communication was also a huge problem with her - there was no communication.
Flag Sun Jul 13, 2014
Interview them! Take a look at their books, filing system, contracts, etc. Ask them questions and see how well they know their job. Before going in, read the state and local tenant laws and then drill the property manager to see if they understand the law.

If they sound good, ask for references. Get a couple Owners AND current tenants and then ask them specific questions. How well does the PM communicate? Do they take care of the properties the way an owner would? Are they professional when dealing with tenants, meaning they run it like a business and not a welfare system or a get-rich-quick scheme?

My first property manager used forms that were taken from someone else's office and copied so many times they were hardly legible. That's a sign that they were just doing the minimum to get by. Find a PM that really works for their money, is honest, and that can care for your property while taking care of the tenants.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 20, 2010
Hi Tom,

Ask around -- see who your neighbors, co-workers and friends are using. Interview them -- and then check out their references thoroughly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 18, 2010
Finding a good property manager is a lot like finding any other professional you are looking to hire.
- A sk around! Do you have family, friends or coworkers who have used a property manager in your area? .
- B etter Business Bureau or Chamber of COmmerce, or local board of Realtors can supply you names of several people who are in the business. that is a t least a starting point.
- C heck the newspaper (or online) classified ads. Is there a name that shows up more regularly. These are the people who are renting property now. Call and ask for references. A good management person will be glad to give you references-- not relatives either.
- D o your due diligence-- ask what they charge, and what services that covers,
In my area of S central PA,a Rental agent may charge the equivalent of 1st full month's rent for finding a tenant, which includes showing the property(maybe to a dozen prospects before a good match is found), checking referrences and credit, setting up the leaseand getting it signed, and doing the wakthru with the new tenant.
Managing the proeprty on a monthly basis commands a fee ofan 8-10% of rent .
hope that helps
Mim Heisey
REALTOR GRI, green designee
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 18, 2010
I am a property manager in Pittsburgh. I have great references from my tenants and property owners and charge less than others. Please give me a call.. Dee Bolen 412-596-6853 Thanks
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010

I work with Helene at Coldwell Banker they do a tremendous job- 412 366 1600. Give them a call-
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
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