What is your rate? What do you charge?
These are the first questions that potential clients always want to ask when looking for a property management company. There’s nothing wrong with the question; it’s probably what you’re thinking about at the moment. It’s also an important question, because it affects your financial planning, and if you have a mortgage, you need to figure out your cash flow projections.
There are a few other things to consider when you’re looking at property management fees and pricing.
You Get What You Pay For
With property management, as with most things – you get what you pay for. We firmly believe this at Civitas, so if you want the cheapest company, that’s probably not us. This house is one of your biggest assets, and we believe you should be willing to pay an extra $20 or $30 a month for better service and more protection.
Look for Hidden Fees
In addition to the management fee, there can be a lot of other fees surrounding a contract and managing a house. The nickel and diming can be more than the base fee. We recently took over a small community in Walnut Creek, and the base management fee was $400 a month. But, they were paying almost $1,000 a month because of postage fees and administrative fees and other hidden costs. That’s not wrong if it’s disclosed. But do a thorough investigation of the management companies you’re considering so you know where the hidden fees are.
Fees and Costs at Civitas
At Civitas, all of our fees are posted on our website.
We have three programs because we know not every pricing model is right for each person. So, as you’ll see, we charge a $250 leasing fee with our full service management plans. Other companies might charge half a month’s rent, but we try to bundle everything we can into your base fee. Marketing your property correctly costs money. We hire a professional photographer, and we use a 3-D camera. We use paid advertising so we get better listings. This helps us rent your property faster, so it’s a win/win. We let you know all of this up front.
Many property management companies mark-up maintenance costs. This is fine if you’re aware of it. But, one of the biggest frustrations between homeowners and managers is mismatched expectations. If you don’t communicate before signing the contract, you’ll be surprised when all those extra charges show up.
We interview every client before taking them on. We are not for every person, and not every client is for us. It’s important to figure out if you’re a good fit before you sign the contract, not after.
Do your research and understand expenses, smaller fees, and the culture of a property management company. Don’t get locked into a contract that will cause you frustration and grief.