When considering hiring a property manager there are a lot of questions you could ask. We have put together a comprehensive list of the questions that will be important to you as an owner.
Not every question will apply to your rental home or investing style, but we think you will find we have covered a lot of the bases here.
1. Do you have experience with commercial and residential properties?
You want to be sure that your new property management company has experience with the kind of investment property you have.
2. What kind of reports do you provide that I can give to my CPA?
Your rental property is an investment. Having a seamless way to communicate with your CPA will make year-end reporting much easier.
3. What methods of screening do you use for a new potential renter?
Understanding the property managers’ process for screening will help ensure you are getting the best possible tenants.
4. What is your turn over rate for renters?
Are renters happy and renewing their lease or moving out at the end of the original term?
5. Do you know your cost of vacancy?
You should be aware of the cost associated with a vacancy. A good property manager will have data and be able to explain the costs.
6. What kinds of technology do you use to interface with tenants?
You may not be comfortable with your property manager using social media to connect with your renters. Knowing in advance how they handle communication will allow you to understand their manner of business.
7. Do you use any tracking software to keep track of data related to my rental property?
You may want a property manager to have specific software you are familiar with. Knowing what data you will be receiving is important before you hire a property manager.
8. Do you, or someone from your team, ever drive by properties to make sure everything looks okay?
If you do not live near your rental property it might be nice to know if someone is checking in occasionally, or regularly, to be sure everything looks as it should.
9. How would you rate your communication skills?
Communication style and ability will be critical when dealing with a company. You want to be on the same page when you start so you know you can communicate effectively while you are working together.
10. What is your preferred method of communication? (text, email, etc.)
Some property managers will prefer you use only one form of communication. They should also be able to let you know how long it would take to hear back from them. Making sure you are on the same page about how to communicate before you hire a new property management company will make your working relationship go smoother.
11. How long have they been in the area?
You want a property manager who understands the area your property is located in. Having a new company from New York might not get you the best results in Florida.
12. Do they participate in community events?
While it is not critical to everyday business you might want to know if your property manager is active in the area.
13. What is the timeline if a tenant calls in the middle of the night for an emergency?
Knowing your property managers’ process and the timeline for handling repairs will let you know what your tenants can expect.
14. Who are their preferred vendors for repairs?
Some companies have on-staff maintenance people. Others have negotiated a reduced rate with local vendors.
15. What are their service levels?
You do not want a one size fits all property manager. Having options for different levels of service will ensure you and your tenants are getting what you need from your working relationship.
16. How many rentals do you manage?
You may want a smaller company instead of a big one. It will be a personal preference based on what you are more comfortable with.
17. How big is your staff?
It is important to know what size company you are working with. Understanding how many people may be involved with the handling of your rental is important. You should also know the role of each person so you know who to communicate with and when.
18. What experience do you have managing rentals like mine?
You might want to find another company to work with if they have only managed commercial rentals in the past. Let someone else be their guinea pig.
19. Do you do a market analysis to make sure my rental rate is appropriate for the area?
For the best chance at filling your rental quickly and not leaving any money on the table.
20. How often do you do inspections on full properties?
There is peace of mind in knowing that your rental has been properly inspected. It could cost you thousands if a leak or maintenance is neglected.
21. Are you currently invested in the local real estate market?
Someone who has property and deals with their own renters will have a better understanding of the market.
22. What will it take to cancel my contract with you if I am unhappy?
Before you commit to a contract with a property manager you should know what the terms are and how hard it will be to get out of.
23. Do you charge me if my rental is sitting empty?
There may be gaps between tenants. You will want to know upfront if you will be charged the full management fee during that time.
24. What are the management fees?