It takes talent and distinct skills to become a successful property manager. Not everyone is cut out for it.
So, when searching for a property manager, you want to ask the right interview questions:
1. Is your property management company established?
You don’t want to risk your valuable rental asset to a company that’s doesn’t have the necessary experience. You want a manager who brings value to the table. For example, professional relationships with insurance companies, HOAs, maintenance vendors, etc.
A company that is just getting started will not provide you with this kind of value.
2. Does your property management company embrace technology?
Technology, in today’s age, has grown rapidly and has become the backbone of all businesses. Before hiring the property manager, ask them questions like:
- Are your rental applications online?
- Is online rent payment an option for tenants?
- Can tenants make maintenance requests online?
- Do you provide renter and owner portals?
3. How do you conduct property inspections?
Any competent property manager knows the importance of routine property inspections. Property inspections help document the property condition. They also help increase tenant retention. Regular property inspections also help save a significant amount of money in repair costs.
A good property manager should also be able to give you a breakdown of the various property inspections they do and what they entail.
4. How do you determine rent amount?
The right rent amount will attract the right renter. However, charging the wrong rent can have a devastating effect on your role as a property owner. To determine the right rent, a manager needs to do a comparable market analysis.
Essentially, the analysis helps to compare the rent of similar properties in the area.
5. Have you invested in real estate yourself?
This is an important question to ask a property manager. If the company’s leadership has invested in the local real estate market themselves, it is an indicator that they have the understanding to help you succeed. However, if they have not, don’t let them experiment with yours.
6. Will you provide me with advice on how to grow my portfolio?
Look for one that’s able to help you identify market opportunities, whether via purchase or sale of assets.
7. How often will I get updates on my portfolio?
When trying to find a property manager, keep in mind that a good manager should be able to update you on your portfolio as often as necessary. Your properties are your business and failure to get regular updates would guarantee failure. It’s the equivalent of telling your manager that they can’t check their email for a week.
8. Do you mark-up maintenance and repairs?
If they do, it means less money left for you. So, look for a management company that doesn’t make a profit out of the routine maintenance and repairs that they conduct on your properties.
9. What are your income and screening requirements for applicants?
If you’re wondering how to find a good property manager, this question is a must. The property manager should have a standard on how much income prospective renters should be making every month. Generally, the prospective renter should be able to make thrice the price of rent.
In other words, if the rent is $2,000, then the prospective tenant should be making at least $6,000 every month. This ensures the tenant has enough income to pay the rent.
Besides that, the renter should also have a good criminal and credit history. They should also have a good rental history.
10. How long do your properties usually stay unoccupied?
A vacant property is every landlord’s worst nightmare. It basically means no income at the end of the month. Therefore, you want to find a manager who is able to fill a vacant property quickly.
Generally, a knowledgeable manager should be able to find a good renter anywhere between two to four weeks after a property is ready.
11. How will you market my property?
Look for a property manager that will advertise your rental property via a variety of advertising channels. For example, by offering incentives to existing tenants, by using realtors, by using social media and using rental websites.
If the manager is only placing ads on newspapers and hoping for the best, walk away.
12. Do you offer direct deposit for your owners?
The reason for hiring a property manager is to save time and effort. As such, unless they are still living in the past, they should be able to deposit your check directly into your account.
13. What are your monthly management fees?
Management fees obviously vary depending on the services offered. Typically, the fees can run anywhere between 8-12 percent of total monthly income.
14. Can you explain what Fair Housing Laws are?
Essentially, Fair Housing Laws protect tenants from housing discrimination. They ensure no renter is denied housing because of their familial status, disability, religion, race, or color.
Although you could ask more, these are the 14 best questions to ask when hiring a property manager. Choosing the right property manager can have a big impact on the overall profitability of your investment property.
If you are wondering what an experienced property management company can do for you, contact us today! We are an established PM company located in Tampa, FL.