Hiring the right property manager can make a huge difference in the success of your rental properties. With an experienced, reputable management company, you’ll earn more on your investment and keep the property in excellent condition. If you hire a bad management company, you risk losing money with bad tenants and a deteriorating home. There are a few specific questions that every landlord should ask a potential property manager.
What Kind of Property Management Experience Do You Have?
Years of experience is important, but you want to make sure a property manager has the right kind of experience, too. Make sure they have managed properties similar to yours. If you have a single family residential home, you don’t want a company that specializes in commercial properties or apartment buildings. Ask about their experience with problem tenants, with local laws, and with federal and state fair housing regulations. You need a property manager who knows the industry and the market.
Can I See a Management Agreement?
Never work with a property manager who refuses to show you a sample management contract. It’s important that they disclose everything they will do for you and everything that you will pay. Take your time reading the agreement, and ask any questions that you have. Check the fee schedule. Our fees are all disclosed on the management agreement. You want to work with a company that’s transparent and accountable. You don’t want any surprises.
How Many Doors Do You Manage?
Talk about staffing, and whether there are enough property managers and leasing agents to cover the number of properties that the company manages. Ask how emergencies are handled and if someone is available to answer the phone 24 hours a day. Find out who will respond to an emergency, and when you will be contacted.
How is Rent Collected and Paid?
Find out how rent is collected, and whether tenants have the option to pay rent online. Many good tenants won’t want to write checks. Ask about late fees and penalties, and what they do to collect overdue rents. Find out how soon you are paid, and whether you receive rent electronically or by paper check. Today, property managers have access to innovative technology and efficient software systems. There’s no reason you should have to wait for a check to come in the mail.
Is the Management Fee All-Inclusive?
The management agreement should address fees and services, but if you have a special request or you need something outside of the normal scope of services, you might be charged extra. Discuss how that works so you can be prepared when you need a large project managed. Most companies will leave it open and be willing to negotiate special rates for services they don’t normally provide.