Property Management

Hiring the Right Chicago Property Management Company

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Few cities offer the same block-to-block diversity as Chicago. And while this diversity adds much to the experience of owning property in Chicago, it also presents unique challenges that make hiring the right Chicago property management company essential to your success as a property owner.

The first thing to decide is the size of company you are interested in working with. Many national property management companies have offices in Chicago, but there is also no shortage of smaller, Chicago-only companies. Bigger companies are likely to have more robust infrastructure (read: website, offices), but smaller companies hope to appeal to owners by offering more personalized client interactions and services.

Another big aspect to consider is the management company’s area of expertise, both literally and figuratively. Every company has an area where it is the most active, and choosing a company for whom your neighborhood is home turf has numerous benefits. In addition, check into what types of properties the company specializes in. Most companies specialize either in commercial real estate or residential real estate; few are equally good at both. The residential category is split between management of individual owner buildings (such as condominiums and townhomes) and rental buildings or individual units. Keep this in mind, and select a property management company whose bread-and-butter is your type of property.

Watch out for those companies that call themselves a “property management company” but really only handle the accounting portion of the building. Instead, look for a company having a track record of proactive building maintenance as well as a streamlined approach to handling the books of home owners associations.

Last but not least, referrals can be extremely helpful in finding the right property management company. If you know any other owners, ask them who they use for management services, and whether they’re satisfied. If you walk by a building in the same neighborhood that looks particularly well maintained, don’t hesitate to inquire into which company they trust with their property.

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