BEFORE You Hire a Property Manager Ask Some Important Questions

questionPicking the right manager for your property is critical. These are the people who will be watching your properties and interfacing with your tenants. The way that they perform is going impact on whether your rental property is efficient and profitable or if it struggles.

When you decide that it is time to hire a property management company, it is critical that you get information about the company, and the background of the person who will be assigned to manage your property. You would not hand someone you just met keys to your home without first asking serious questions, so why hand over the keys to your rental properties?

I have compiled a series of questions that will help you understand how competent and experienced each potential manager is and whether they would be a good fit for managing your property. Here are some of the topics that I recommend you ask.

Cost of Services

  • What is the management fee?
  • Are there costs for filling vacancies?
  • Are there lease renewal fees?
  • Are there any incidental charges, i.e., postage, telephone calls, trip visits, ?
  • Where will the company advertise my units, and what are the costs?

Company Structure

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • How many properties do they manage?
  • How many managers work at the company?
  • What types of properties do they focus on?
  • Does the company have a service guarantee?
  • How and when will they distribute owner funds?
  • Are 1099s sent to the owner?
  • Is the maintenance work done in-house or contracted out?
  • How often will I receive an accounting statement?

Experience of the Property Manager

Ask some basic questions about the property manager’s experience to determine if they can handle the type of property you own, or if they are new to the profession. Ask questions, such as:

  • How long have they been working in property management?
  • Are they a licensed property manager
  • Does the property manager have any Professional Designations?
  • What type of properties have they managed in the past?
  • How is their current workload of rental units?
  • Give examples of how you will be able to improve my property’s profit?

Operational Questions

Not only should you ask a property manager about past projects, but you need to get a feel for how they will handle your property and tenants. Some questions that you can ask include:

  • What process do you have for screening tenants to ensure that they will fit into my rentals?
  • How would the eviction process work?
  • What responsibilities does the tenant have, and how will you handle it if a tenant does not comply?
  • What are your limits on spending to maintain or improve the rental properties before coming and asking for money?
  • Do all of the contractors you will be hiring carry workman’s comp and liability insurance?
  • Do you plan to have regularly scheduled times that you will visit my properties or do you conduct random visits?

Miscellaneous Items to Consider

You should also take the time to do a little research on your own to determine if they are the right company for you. Check out their website and drive by a few of the properties they are managing. This gives you a good starting point to determine if they will keep your properties up to the standards that you would like.

Making Time for You

 Never be made to feel guilty that you are asking too many questions. If they do not have the time to answer simple questions, why would you want to risk your rental properties in their hands? Pick someone who is going to be right there for you all of the time and who is happy to answer all of your questions.

Selecting a property manager for your rentals can be difficult.  However, hiring the right property manager will make life easier allowing you more time for family, friends.