If you’re looking for a property management company, there are a few key questions you should ask to get an idea of how they operate.
These will help you determine if the property management company is right for your needs and if it will be able to meet them well.
- 1 Here are 7 important questions to ask in your interview:
- 1.1 1. How Fast Do You Respond to Maintenance Issues?
- 1.2 2. Do You Take Care of Issues Yourself or Sub-contract Out?
- 1.3 3. What is Your Communication Style Like?
- 1.4 4. Do You Conduct Routine Inspections?
- 1.5 5. What Tools Do You Use to Help Manage My Property?
- 1.6 6. How Do You Vet and Manage Tenants?
- 1.7 7. Is Your Network Set Up for Off-market Deals?
- 2 Conclusion
Here are 7 important questions to ask in your interview:
1. How Fast Do You Respond to Maintenance Issues?
When it comes to managing your property, how fast you respond to maintenance issues can be a deal breaker for tenants.
If there’s an issue with the apartment, such as a leaky sink or broken appliance, having a trusted property management company that promptly responds is crucial.
In fact, according to NAA data on tenant retention rates across metro markets nationwide between 2011-2016:
- 58% of tenants who encountered more than two problems at their rental moved within three years.
- 29% stayed beyond five years.
- Only 1% stayed longer than ten years!
Even if things aren’t quite so drastic but still take longer than anticipated because of poor communication skills or lackadaisical follow-up practices on behalf of those responsible for taking care of it—you could start losing money fast.
2. Do You Take Care of Issues Yourself or Sub-contract Out?
- If you sub-contract, are there any penalties for when the issue does not get resolved in a timely manner?
- How often do you train your employees on how to handle these types of situations in an effective manner?
You want property managers that have enough skills and education to evaluate the problem and can one, fix minor problems themselves half the time and two, find small issues before they become larger expensive issues.
3. What is Your Communication Style Like?
You may have been told that a good property manager is one who is always available, or “proactive”.
While it’s true that you want to hear from them and not have to chase them down, being proactive doesn’t mean going overboard.
You should also consider how they deal with change and adversity: are they able to face an obstacle head-on? Or do they hide when there’s a problem?
Consider whether their communication style fits the situation at hand.
If you are looking for someone who provides detailed reports on an ongoing basis and keeps track of every tenant payment made (and late), then someone who prefers email over phone calls might not be right for your needs.
On the other hand, if you need someone who will send emails as soon as possible after receiving an issue report from your tenants so that you can act quickly on any problems—you may benefit from having someone who communicates via text messaging more than in-person meetings or email threads.
4. Do You Conduct Routine Inspections?
Routine inspections are an essential part of a property management company’s job.
They serve as a way to keep track of any maintenance issues that need to be taken care of, and they also help keep your tenants happy by making sure that everything is in good working order.
The frequency at which routine inspections should be conducted depends on the kind of properties you own, how often people use them, and the area in which they’re located.
How do you conduct these inspections? A good property management company like Teifke Real Estate will have trained staff members who know what they’re doing when it comes time for maintenance work – they can tell whether or not something needs fixing without having to ask too many questions or call in outside contractors
5. What Tools Do You Use to Help Manage My Property?
Property management companies will often have a variety of tools and software programs that help them do their job.
You should ask about the types of tools that they use to manage your property, as well as the kinds of software programs that they employ.
Some property management companies are making use of online tools such as Google Docs or Dropbox to make it easy for renters and owners to share documents and keep track of information.
Other property management companies may use mobile apps on smartphones so they can access their work while they’re out in the field.
Still, others might employ social media sites such as Facebook or Tumblr for advertising purposes, but these aren’t always necessary components at all!
6. How Do You Vet and Manage Tenants?
What criteria you use to vet your list of potential tenants is largely area based but you should have a discussion about what those criteria might be.
Your property manager will be able to advise you on whether certain criteria follow federal and local laws.
Processing applications and placing tenants can cost you an entire month’s rent but there are tools out there now to whittle down this number.
Choosing the wrong tenants can cost you thousands in rent, repairs, and legal fees.
The average eviction process can take months or even years depending on where the property is located.
7. Is Your Network Set Up for Off-market Deals?
If you’re looking to buy an off-market property, the first question to ask is whether or not the property management company is set up for such transactions.
Many great homes are sold without being listed on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). This means that in order to get access to them, you have to know someone who knows someone.
Does the property management company have its own network? They should know several investors and tradespeople in the area that gives them access to distressed properties or motivated sellers that want to make a deal and fast.
You should have a good idea of what to expect from different property management companies after reading these questions.
Don’t settle for mediocrity when it comes to your financial investments.
A good property manager can mean the difference between being profitable and barely staying in the black.