Doug Shorter Property Mnt
12 questions you need to ask your next property manager.
Property managers are a huge and amazing asset if chosen right. The key to hiring a property manager is to find someone who will do the work for you so you don’t have to do anything. If you are still taking care of a lot of things you might as well self-manage.
We made a list of 12 questions that you need to make sure you have covered before hiring your next property manager. Most of the answers can be found on the company’s website, a copy of a lease, management agreement, and anything else that is provided to the landlord or tenants. All other questions can be answered through small chat.
1. Will you have one specific property manager? Who will be your property manager?
You want to know who will be your specific property manager and know him/her personally, not just the marketing manager or whoever is responsible for new business.
2. Do they provide the owner’s information to the tenant?
This is extremely important. Why would you hire the property manager if they give your information to the tenant who will terrorize you with questions?
3. How often do they reach out to the owners?
Communication is a key. You don’t want to learn everything on your monthly statement. You need to understand when they will notify you of any problems and when they will not.
4. What is their Monthly Fee? And what does it include?
Every management company calculates their fees differently. Some charge 10% and that includes everything. Others do 6% and charge extras everywhere so make sure you are looking at everything.
5. Do they do a market evaluation every renewal?
Market changes constantly so it makes sense to raise the rent proportionally every time a renewal comes up. But sometimes tenants have been with you for a long time and you don’t want to scare them by raising their rent. You need to evaluate all risks and profits and make the right decision with your property manager.
6. What is their advertising strategy?
What are the places where they advertise properties? Do they use social media? Do they have a professional photographer in place? Or you will have to pay extra to get the pictures taken? Every company has a different marketing plan.
7. What is their late policy? What is their late fee amount? And who keeps it?
A late fee is one of the biggest incentives for the tenant to pay rent on time. Somebody charge 10% late fee, but it depends on the state and the company itself.
8. What is their application and screening requirements?
Most of the companies require credit and background check. They check if any payments are in collections, ask for previous landlords’ references and make sure their monthly income is stable.
9. How often do they do inspections during a tenant’s term? How do they document the inspection and do they send it to the landlords?
Many property management companies do yearly or quarterly inspections. And you want to make sure you receive a copy.
10. How do they handle eviction process?
You want to know when the company will start the eviction process. Do they do it in-house or hire someone? What is there procedure and how they proceed?
11. How do they charge for tenant’s damage during their lease term?
Do they wait till the tenant moves out and use security deposit at the end of the term? Or do they take care of damage as it’s done? And if the damage exceeds the security deposit what is their plan?
12. Is their maintenance in-house or a vendor?
Some companies have their own maintenance department and some have to hire vendors for every particular case. Having an in-house maintenance team ensures that every issue will be handled immediately.
These questions will give you a starting point to begin your interview with your next property manager. Make sure you are ready for the conversation since you want someone you can trust not only with your asset but also with your money.