Multifamily Property Management in Grand Rapids, MI- What to Look For

By Jennifer Bajema | Property Management Tips

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So yeah, we're a little geeky and take this whole "Property Management" thing pretty seriously! We love what we do and we're pretty damn good at it too. Own Properties? Life is too short to struggle with doing it yourself or a bad management company. See how it could be.

Apr 16

If you’re reading this blog then you have either bought a multifamily property or are considering it, so…

Congratulations on investing in your future!

At Access, we practice what we preach, so we are all real estate investors ourselves. We know the hard work involved in investing in real estate, but we also love the financial and tax benefits! This post will go over self managing, where and how to find the best multifamily property manager in Grand Rapids, MI.

To begin, let’s do a little self-assessment

Do You Even Need a Property Manager?

Don’t spend your time reading this blog if you don’t think you need a property manager! Lets look at a couple areas of your life first to if you can and want to manage a multifamily property yourself. Then we will go over how to find a GREAT one.

How Many Units?

This is a major factor in determining the amount of time and energy that will be required to manage your investment property. Just think about the amount of toilets, drains, move ins and outs, showings, and coordination involved in 2 units versus 10, 15, or 20 units. 

How Much Free Time Do You Have?

Depending on units and upkeep that your property will need, you may or may not have the time required to respond to your properties demands. Will you be able to respond quickly enough on nights and weekends in case of emergency or while on vacation?

Do You Have Vendor Contacts?

Depending on how “handy” you are and how much time you have, you may rely heavily on vendors. You will want the issues completed quickly, correctly, and for the best value. Establishing a great vendor list takes time and effort (and trial and error).

Do You Want More Investment Property?

If the answer to this question is yes, then you will need to find a property manager at some point. If you are building your investment empire, you can’t spend all your time coordinating maintenance and showing units. There is only 24 hours in a day to accomplish what you want.

Many people can successfully manage smaller (2-4 units) properties while still having a full time job, family and friends. If you are able to self-manage your property for a year or so, you will be MUCH more knowledgable if you decide to hire a property manager. If you don’t know how to manage, be ready for a learning curve. 

How and Where to Find the Best Multifamily Property Manager in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Now you are at the point where you definitely want a property manager. Good for you! A lot of people have a hard time letting go of their “investment babies”. Being the second largest city in Michigan, Grand Rapids offers a lot of choices for property managers. This section will go over the places and ways to find the best multifamily property manager in Grand Rapids.

Industry Events

As a growing investor, you will most likely be searching for ways to learn how to grow your portfolio. One way to do this is through industry events. Often property managers rent a vender space to be in front of investors. Or like people on our company, attend the event, because we are investors ourselves! Grand Rapids holds events every year that cater to investors.

Industry Organizations

Industry organizations can be a great resource to ask for referrals in your area. If a property manager is part of an industry organization, you can be sure they are focused on being up to date on all laws and regulations regarding the industry. They will also have access to the best ways to better manage your investment. Grand Rapids even has a local organization for investors to learn more about investing in rental properties! Here are a few to check out:

Online Reviews

This is a given. Of course your going to search the interwebs for “best property manager in Grand Rapids, MI”! BUT before you just pick the top one on the list, there are a few other sites to check out. You will want to read the online reviews about the companies. Use public sites like:

This ensures you are getting real reviews and not fake reviews that companies write on their own websites.

Website

A company’s website can speak volumes about their communication style and professionalism. Do they have an online owner and resident portal? Do they effectively communicate how they will manage your investment? Is their pricing structure clearly laid out and easily understood? Can you get a good idea of their culture through their blog and content? Do they create great rental listings to advertise their managed properties?

Other Investors

Grand Rapids has a BOOMING investor pool. There is an incredible amount of active investors. USE THIS RESOURCE. Attend meetings and events to build your network. Then when it’s time to find a manager, ASK YOUR NETWORK. They will give you the best insight into the pros and cons of different management companies in the area. 

What Questions Should I Ask?

Besides the questions that we talk about in this blog, you will want to ask questions specifically relating to multifamily and apartments. These will get you started:

    • What Types of Properties do you manage?
    • What is your pricing for multifamily units?
    • Where do you manage?
    • How do you communicate with your clients?
    • How often and what types of financial reporting do you provide?

Make a Decision and Trust It

Pick the “Highest Ranking” Option

To be clear, I’m not talking about search engine ranking. I’m talking about your own personal scoring system. What is most important to you? Technology? Communication? Likability? All of the above? Choose the property management company that best fits your criteria.

Give Them Space

As a property manager, moving a multifamily property into your management portfolio is a big job. There are tenants to notify and onboard, lease documents to gather, accounting systems to set up, units to walk, and so on… On top of that, your property manager will need time to figure out you and your communication preferences and vice versa. Giving them some space to accomplish this will work wonders for your relationship.

Review Statements and Ask Questions

This is now your main job as an investor. Reviewing the statements and understanding the financials. Doing this will show you how your investment is being managed. If you see something you don’t understand or seems incorrect, ASK ABOUT IT. This is vital to the success of your multifamily property.

To Conclude

To wrap it up, this post will be a great resource for you as you search. Take the time needed to find the best multifamily property manager in Grand Rapids because they will be caring for YOUR ASSET. We love our multifamily units in our management portfolio. In fact, it’s one of our favorite asset classes. There is much to be said about the benefits and savings involved in volume of numbers. 

Not only do we manage multifamily units, but we are actively seeking to acquire these units as well. If you are interested in learning more about our management services or have an apartment or multifamily property you are interested in selling, let us know!

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About the Author

Jennifer Bajema is the Co-founder of Access Property Management Group. She has worked in every part of the company, but now focuses on client education and business growth. Her experience in running a property management business is now over 10 years!

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