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Top Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Property Manager

Great! You’ve decided to hire a rental property management company for your investment properties. After deciding to hire a property management company, there’s one more decision to make: Which property management company is right for you? For the sake of your property, your ROI, and your residents, you need a healthy and lasting relationship with your management company. Be sure you ask them the right questions to make the right decision

10 Property Manager Interview Questions to Ask Before You Sign a Contract

If you are considering hiring a full-fledged property management company, read on to find out what you should know as a property owner.

    1. Is the company appropriately staffed?
      Optimal management requires a well-structured team. Rental property management requires attention to detail and is time-consuming. Suppose there’s just one person taking care of everything, from marketing properties to signing leases to facilitating maintenance repairs to processing payments.
      In this case, there’s a chance that you might be in trouble if he or she goes on vacation, has an emergency, or leaves the job. Make sure you are not putting all your eggs in one basket, as you can bear huge losses by letting one person take control of your properties. Make sure there will be an experienced team managing your property and that they collectively understand your property’s needs from top to bottom.
    2. How many rentals do they currently manage?
      The company’s size can help gauge its level of experience and expertise. Ensure that the company you choose has sufficient bandwidth to give your property the appropriate time and attention. If the company is small, continue asking these questions to understand its stability, experience, reliability, and structure.
    3. Which type of asset does the potential property manager handle?
      Given the variety of rental properties in the U.S – single units, family rentals, commercial rentals, and more – property managers often specialize in a specific niche. A specialized property manager in your market niche will add more value and experience to managing your property. For instance, you might want to consider a company that has managed apartment buildings if you have a multifamily building.
    4. How long has the company been in the business?
      Research the property management companies you have shortlisted. Most entrepreneurs learn lessons the hard way in the first few years.. Companies that have been in business for a longer time have more experience and thus are less likely to make mistakes that could negatively impact your bottom line.

Pro-Tip:There is no black and white rule for hiring a property manager based on the number of years they have operated. We recommend choosing a property management company with at least 5 years of experience in the industry.

  1. Do they handle maintenance issues, and how?
    Typically, owners and investors spend one to four percent of the property’s overall value on repairs and maintenance. So, the next question to ask a rental property management company is if they have an in-house maintenance team. Check if you can trust their system of handling and processing maintenance and repairs. As an investor, it’s important for you to be satisfied with the level of experience exhibited by their maintenance crew. If they do not have an in-house maintenance team, be prepared to ask about their vendors, pricing, and any liability that may fall on you.
  2. What strategies do they use to set and collect rent payments?
    A qualified and professional property management company can help you set fair and competitive rental rates by reviewing the market regularly. These reports show trends in multiple variables such as unit type, size, amenities, location, and more. Also, it is a good idea to shortlist a tech-savvy property management company that can collect electronic/digital rent payments (using services like PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, etc.) This makes it easier for residents to pay and decreases the chance of late or missed payments. Consider it as a red flag if the company only allows payment via check or money order.
  3. Are they using modern methods?
    Do they use modern property management technology, marketing software, and KPI tools to manage your property, or are they still using outdated methods? Verifying that a property management company uses up-to-date technology ensures that they can handle your property more efficiently.
  4. What is their marketing & advertising strategy?
    Check if they are using the right marketing tools and strategies around property management. Ask yourself: Do you like the design and marketing photos they use? Have they invested in their brand? If so, you can likely trust the property management company to attract quality residents to your properties. Also, know how long it takes a company to fill a vacancy once a renter leaves.
    In addition, confirm that the company will utilize practical marketing tools, such as a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), to advertise and market your property on sites like Trulia and Zillow. If the property management company doesn’t plan to do so, consider other companies on your list that use these tools.
  5. How do they handle legal issues, evictions, and late payments?
    In case of unfortunate circumstances, your potential property manager must be accustomed to handling unexpected situations on your behalf. . Check for the processes they have in place to handle evictions, late payments, and legal issues. Are their processes and procedures compliant with local, state, and federal rental laws? The property management company you choose to hire will be representing you in all of these situations.
  6. What do their customers say about them?
    Check what comes up on the first few pages when you Google a specific company. This will help you find chatter and reviews on property management companies. Then, go on their business page and read comments to see what clients have shared about their experiences. Make sure to read reviews and testimonials before you decide on a company.

In many cases, hiring a professional property management company will improve the ROI on your investment property while taking the day-to-day stress of ownership off your plate. But it’s important to do your research and make sure the company you hire will do just that and not create more stress for you with out-of-date practices, and illegal and unethical practices that leave you liable. Using this list of questions, you can ensure the management company you choose will help you limit risk exposure, avoid hassles and enjoy increased returns on your investments.

You can read our next guide page to understand the importance of setting clear expectations on both sides of the table.

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