Are you in the property investment business? Looking to hire a property manager?
You need a certain skill set to be a property manager. Not everyone has what it takes to do a great job. Interviewing a potential property manager is a sure way to certify you are hiring the right person.
But what should you exactly ask them? In this article, we'll go over the essential questions that help you make the best choice.
Here are the best questions to ask a potential property manager.
1. Do you hold a license for property management?
In some states, people are able to get an official state license that proves they are skilled and trustworthy enough to manage rental properties. Additionally, there are numerous trade organizations that are offering certifications after extensive training courses.
Avoid people who call themselves property managers yet hold zero background or credentials to back up their talk.
2. What kind of services to you offer?
Some property managers are only conducting leasing and managing procedures. When it comes to marketing, they might recommend a sub-contractor or another company.
Find a property management company that saves you time and money by offering the full range of services that you need. Offering only one form of service of property management won't make your life much easier.
3. How many properties do you manage?
This question helps you to understand the property manager's business size as well as their workload. If the manager is responsible for over 100 properties, then you should be cautious.
They might not have enough attention for any particular property, significantly lowering the quality of work. As an additional question, you could ask them what kind of properties they are usually managing. The answer ensures that your manager has enough experience in a particular type of rental property.
4. What are your management fees?
Monthly management fees depend on the services in the manager's package. Still, you should be wary of fees exceeding 12-14% of the monthly revenues. Higher than average fees are acceptable as long as they are backed up with unique services or provided value.
Furthermore, not all management companies will offer a monthly fee fixed to the revenue. Some have various plans or flat rates.
5. How do you decide on the rent?
Decisions regarding the rent amount can't be based on gut feeling. Your property manager should know how to conduct a comparative market analysis that compares your property to the other listings.
Also, they should be able to understand the key selling points of your property that will help to raise the rent to the maximum reasonable level.
6. How do you screen the prospective tenants?
Tenants don’t own your property. They could easily change their minds and switch apartments or houses. That's why it's important to understand the whole process of screening new tenants.
Some managers will run detailed background checks and even verify employment history. Others save their time and money and not a comprehensive check. This puts you at a higher risk of getting shady tenants.
7. What's your cancellation policy?
When it comes to contracts, details matter a lot. And one of the important specifics should include the cancellation conditions for ending the management contract. When these conditions seem to be created to lock you in forever, then it's time to look for another property manager.
8. How is the maintenance organized?
There's no standard for managing the maintenance work. Most of the time, it's the responsibility of a contractor or an actual maintenance crew.
But don't be surprised if it's done by the actual manager! It's very important that each part of the maintenance is carried out by a person holding a needed certification enabling them to conduct the work.
9. Could you share any references?
If the candidate has worked long enough in the business, they should have enough references to show you. The references don't have to be only clients.
For example, they could be real estate agents, contractors, or attorneys. There could be many reasons why the manager won't give you any references, but it's hard to think of any reason that shouldn't raise a red flag.
10. Please show me some sample documents.
Ask them for the sample documents that they use in their daily work. Doing this helps you understand their work ethics and standards.
Among other documents, you may ask for rental applications, leases, financial reports, and even letters sent to tenants. The latter allows you to see their written communication skills that are an important part of this job.
It's not always easy to pick the right property manager. You should always check whether they hold a license and/or credentials alongside at least a few references. Try to understand their past experience, the fee structures, and the contract details.
Also, it's essential to go over the particularities of how they conduct daily management. When you have collected all the information, you'll be in a much better spot to make the final decision between the candidates.
Alexander Hassoulas is a digital marketing consultant and co-founder of Upkeep Media Inc. Upkeep Media specializes in working with the real estate industry to improve they online presence through SEO, Paid Ads, Content Marketing, Website Development and Reputation Management.
For more information please visit our website at https://www.upkeepmedia.com/