Got a call from a very frustrated homeowner – been using a property manager for his home. He’s elderly, out of state, on a budget – so he went with the cheapest company that “said they were certified property managers”. In short, things start going bad. Translation – the owner is not getting his money.
So he starts dialing for help. “How can I find out if someone is certified to manage property?” It took a while for this individual to understand the difference between certified to do it and being licensed to do it. In Arizona:
A broker's license is required for any person or company who, for compensation, engages in the lease or rental of real estate in Arizona, who offers or lists real estate for rent or lease, who collects rent for the use of real estate or who negotiates the rental or leasing of Arizona real estate. A salesperson working under a broker may engage in such activities. We are one of the few states having a section in its real estate statute specifically devoted to property management. (There are some exceptions to this law so be sure to check with ADRE for details.)
Caller still doesn’t understand. So in simple terms I said, “Certified means someone has a qualification. Licensed means, one has an official document verifying the qualifications.” Huh? OK. “My husband has been a landlord for 30 years – he knows all about managing property, owns rentals, etc. He’s qualified to do it – he could say he’s certified. I’ve been to school, passed a test, pay a bunch of money for a license, am monitored by the ADRE, you can find me,keep me accountable because I am licensed to manage property. If he manages your property and doesn’t pay you – good luck. If I manage it and don’t pay you – one call to the ADRE and well, I'll have to have a very good reason for not paying you and more than likely have to fight to keep my job.
Before hiring a property manager to manage your Arizona rental property, you should always check that he or she is licensed. You can look up a licensee, real estate school or get a public report on the Arizona Department of Real Estate's Public Database.
That said, just because someone has a license doesn’t mean they are good. Go a couple steps further – call references, check ADRE for license violations, check public court records to see how often the property manager has been in court, etc.
This blog is written with my opinions and my opinions are presented with accuracy but not guarantees. Please talk to a professional before making any real estate, financial or agency decisions. Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind - 2014. If you want to reprint parts of this - just email me for my permission: KGCProperties@gmail.com .