In an ideal world, the first property management company you work with would be a perfect fit.
But unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world, and sometimes you get stuck working with a property manager that just isn’t cut out for the job.
Maybe it’s impossible to get a hold of your point of contact at the property management company, no matter how many times you call.
Or maybe there’s so many different points of contact, you end up repeating your requests to multiple people — and things still don’t get done.
Maybe they don’t take the initiative to fix problems as they come up. Maybe they don’t effectively screen tenants. Maybe they leave you in the dark on important issues regarding your property.
Whatever the case may be, there might come a time when things just aren’t clicking with your property management company and you’ll want to switch property managers.
If you’re struggling with your current property management company, switching property managers can be the solution you’re looking for. A new property management company can lead to improved communication, more efficient processes, and an overall better experience with your property.
But switching property managers can be a total hassle — if you don’t know the right steps to take.
But never fear, LEAP is here with our step-by-step guide to switching property managers, so you can get peace of mind knowing your property is in good hands without dealing with any unnecessary hassle:
Explore Your Options
If you’re considering switching property managers, your first step is to explore your other options.
Make a list of the property management companies you want to work with and give them a call. Ask them about their services and what they can offer. Ask about how they handle common property management issues, like collecting rent, screening tenants, and managing repairs. The more information you can gather, the better you’ll be able to make a decision on whether a property management company is the right fit for you.
Also, if you’re having a specific challenge with your current property management company — like poor communication or ineffective processes — make sure you vet new property management companies properly and ask plenty of questions regarding that particular issue to make sure you don’t run into the same problem again.
Check Your Agreement
Before you take steps to terminate your relationship with your current property management, you need to get clear on what your agreement states regarding early termination.
Look over your agreement and read your termination clause (if you’re unsure, you can ask the new property management company you’re planning to work with to look over your agreement and tell you your options). Before you terminate the agreement, you want to have a clear understanding of what that means and what potential costs you may incur.
Chances are, if you terminate an agreement with a property management company, there will be some consequences. But understanding what those consequences are ahead of time will help you make an educated decision and figure out the best steps to take to successfully end your relationship with your property management company.
Gather the Necessary Documentation From Your Existing Property Manager
Before you make the switch from one property management company to another, it’s important to collect all the necessary documentation and materials your new property manager will need to effectively do their job. This includes leases, applications, renewals, financial records, spare keys, photos, and documentation regarding property condition.
For example, let’s say you pass off property management responsibilities to a new company right before a tenant is set to move out. When the tenant moves out and asks for their security deposit, your new property management company will need to have a signed documentation of the walk-through that states the condition of the property prior to when the tenant moved in. Without that document, there’s no way for your new property manager to effectively determine how much of the tenant’s security deposit should be returned — and how much you need to retain to repair any damages.
Or let’s say your new property manager goes to collect rent on the first of the month, but your tenant tells them they double-paid their rent the month before. If your new property manager doesn’t have access to rental and financial records, there’s no way for them to verify whether that’s true.
Before you cut ties with your old property management company, make sure you have access to all of the documentation you’ll need to pass on to your new property manager. This will save you — and your new property manager — a ton of time, energy, and headaches during the transition.
Let Your Tenants Know About the Switch
One of the biggest hassles that come along with switching property management companies is transitioning your tenants.
Once you sign an agreement with a new property management company, it’s important to let your new tenants know all the details about your new property management company, including how they’ll collect rent, who the tenants should reach out to if they have any issues, and the process for requesting repairs or dealing with maintenance issues.
The more information you provide to your tenants, the smoother the transition to your new property management company will be — and the less hassle you’ll have to deal with as a result.
Set Proper Expectations
The last thing you want is to switch to a new property management company only to run into the same issues, problems, and challenges that led you to switch to begin with. That is why it’s super important to set property expectations from the beginning.
Let your new property management company know exactly why you’re switching. Be clear on the issues you ran into with your former property management company and why they were a problem. Let them know exactly what you expect from the new relationship and what will happen if expectations aren’t met. Then set a time soon into the relationship (90 days is a good jumping-off point) to review how things are going and address any issues before they get out of hand.
When everyone’s on the same page from the beginning, you’re much less likely to run into issues down the road. And the only way to get everyone on the same page is to set proper expectations from day one.
Taking the steps to switch proper managers can be a headache. But when you know the right steps to take, it doesn’t have to be! With this guide, you have everything you need to get out of your current property management relationship and transition to a new property management company — no hassle involved.
And if you’re on the market for a new property management company, we’ve got you covered. At LEAP Property Management, we bring decades of experience managing properties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Get in touch today to find out how LEAP can take the hassle out of property management for you and your investment.