- Reputation and track record: Consider the reputation of the property management company or individual you are looking to contract. Ask for references, check online reviews, and their track record in managing properties.
- Knowledge of the real estate market: An experienced property manager should have a good understanding of the real estate market in Kenya. This includes knowing the current rental prices, the value of properties situated in different areas, and any other market trends. Further, they should have marketing skills to promote vacancies, attract tenants, and maintain occupancy rates.
- Services offered: Inquire on the services offered by the property management company. Do they handle tenant screening/vetting, rent collection, maintenance, repairs, and evictions? Do they have experience in managing the type of property you own, such as residential, commercial, or industrial?
- Fees and charges: Consider the fees and charges involved in contracting the property manager. Find out their management fee, leasing fee, and any other charges that may apply. Currently, management fee in Kenya ranges from 5% to 10% of the monthly rental income paid by a tenant.
- Financial management and reporting: Property managers must have basic accounting skills to manage rent collection, budgeting, financial reporting, and expense tracking. They should be able to prepare accurate financial reports and statements and provide the reports to the landlord on a monthly or quarterly basis.
- Legal compliance and knowledge: Ensure that the property management company is licensed to operate in Kenya. A property manager should also have a good understanding of existing tenancy laws, regulations, building codes, property taxes and safety regulations to ensure the landlord complies with the existing real estate laws.
- Contract terms: There should be a Property Management Agreement that governs the relationship between the landlord and the property manager. It is important to ensure there is a termination clause to ensure that either party can terminate the contract if necessary.
- Customer service: Property managers need to provide excellent customer service to landlords, tenants, service providers and other stakeholders. They should be responsive, professional and effectively balance the needs and concerns of the tenant and landlord. Does the property manager regular update you on the property’s status, rent collection, and repair and maintenance issues? How responsive are they to emails, calls, or texts?
- Negotiation and Tenant Retention: Experienced property managers should be skilled negotiators and have strategies to secure and retain tenants. They should be able to bargain, persuade, and compromise to reach mutually beneficial agreements for the landlord, tenants, service providers and contractors.
- Problem-solving skills: A property manager should have excellent problem-solving skills to effectively prevent or resolve disputes that may arise between a landlord and tenant, tenants, a landlord and service providers, a landlord and contractors or any other emerging situations. They should put out fires not start them!
How Can we Help?
At Property Boutique we provide professional and diversified property management services for residential, commercial and industrial properties. We strive for professionalism, customer satisfaction and continuous improvement of services while adding value to our clients.
Written by Cynthia Kitolo
Legal Officer & Advocate of the High Court of Kenya