5 Questions To Ask Your Potential Property Manager
Are you in the process of looking for a property manager?
If so, then it’s likely that you’re feeling a little in over your head.
Not only do you need to look for someone you can trust, but you also need someone you know will do everything in their power to care for you and, more importantly, your property.
In many cases, the home you’re renting is the home you’ve recently moved out of, which means you probably still feel some level of attachment to it.
More than that, however, you’re likely hoping to make some source of extra income off of the rental, making it important that you have a property manager who’s well-versed in not just the world of management, but that of real estate as well.
While it can be seen as a daunting piece of homework, it is unfortunately a necessary one.
Finding a property manager that is right for you and your property will help you feel secure in your rental.
Take a look at these top questions to ask while interviewing a property manager and why they can help keep you—the owner—sane.
“How Long Have You Been In Business?”
There are some jobs where newbies are the way to go, but in property management there is a never-ending list of perks attached to having someone who has been around for a while. Not only do they have a sound understanding of the job at hand, they also will have spent much of their career creating and strengthening relationships. These relationships are important because it helps keep costs down that can really add up in the long run. Things like creating meaningful connections with the local gardener, landscaping team, and plumbers can help with low costs and discounts. Not only that, but with trusted relationships comes work orders that are filled faster when needed.
“How Many Properties Do You Manage?”
Many managers will have a handful of properties on their list—possibly even more! For this reason, it is important to find out how much time your property
manager will have for you and your property specifically. As the owner of your rental, you want to be assured that your tenants are being taken care of and that they won’t be left alone in their time of need. Not only does this make for unhappy tenants, but it also can be cause for property damage if prolonged too long without repair (i.e. flooded apartments that go too long without being handled can create mold and mildew making things worse). If it turns out that your property manager has a lot on their plate then be sure to ask how many employees they have working under them. Chances are they’ll have a small arsenal of persons to keep care of your property under any given day.
“Are There Any Additional/Hidden Fees That I Should Be Aware Of?”
While it’s expected that you’ll be paying a certain amount of money out of pocket for things like the manager’s expenses, you should be aware of any additional fees that may get added on. Ask your manager how much you’ll be expected to pay in the event of legal troubles, or major home improvements. While basic plumbing might be included in the cost of your property management’s fees, things like pipe damage, mold repair, and tree removal will likely fall on your pocket book. Be prepared to pay these things with whatever management company you choose, but it is still wise to ask around and get an estimate on your expected cost regardless.
“How Do You Screen for Tenants?”
If you’re looking for a property manager, then you’re probably
planning on not being around all of the time to handle your tenants on your own. While this is good for you (you won’t be responsible for much unless something really goes wrong) it can also be intimidating. How can you trust someone to find a tenant you’d approve of? Be sure to check with your potential managers about how they screen for tenants. This will not only give you a sense of the people inhabiting your home, but it will also give you some peace of mind knowing that your home is in good hands. Things to look for include: employment verification, background check, credit reports, and recommendations.
“How Do You Protect Your Renters and Tenants?”
Property managers are privy to a lot of private information—both on the tenant and property owner ends. Because paperwork is passed between parties, it is important that it all be handled correctly and in the appropriate way. This means that papers are locked up or shredded when not in use or needed. Choosing a property management company that values their clients’ privacy will ensure that you’re information is kept safe and sound at all times.