December 27, 2017 | Brandon Nicholson
Would you let a random stranger off the street give you a haircut? Of course not, you want someone who is reputable and qualified to cut your hair. You wouldn’t want to settle for anything less, and you shouldn’t want to settle for anything less. Especially when it comes to finding the right property manager.
Being a property manager takes a lot of grit, and there are certain characteristics that it takes to be a successful property manager, but a lot of property managers don’t hold a lot of these certain traits. However, finding a good property management company doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, you can find the perfect property manager for yourself just by asking the right questions.
The Top 7 Questions You Need to Ask a Property Manager Before Hiring them
If you’re going to be paying someone to manage your properties, you really should be asking them more than just these 7 questions. However, to keep this list short and sweet, we’ve picked these top 7 questions that should give you a great understanding of what your potential property management company is all about.
1) What are the services that you offer your clients?
This one is kind of a given, yet so many people forget to ask this question before hiring a property manager. You need to find a company that is able to lease, market, manage and sell your property. Also make sure that the company performs extensive background checks and doesn’t have a history of moving in bad tenants.
2) How do you determine rent amount?
A property management company should be able to use properties that have recently gone off the market and properties that are still on the market to determine the highest possible rent. They also need to be able to factor new kitchens, backyards, pools, etc.. into the price.
3) How many rental units do you manage?
It’s very important to know the size of the company. If it’s a big company, they will most likely have several reviews on Google and Yelp and you can make a decision based on the reviews you see. A small company won’t have very many reviews and the only thing you can rely on is the company’s word. It’s definitely riskier to go for smaller companies because they lack experience and proof that they do a good job for their clients. But don’t automatically rule a company out just because they’re somewhat new to the game.
4) Does your company owner have any experience managing rentals?
If the company owner has never managed a rental in their life, do you really think that their company is going to effectively be able to help you manage your property?
5) Are you an active real estate investor in your market?
If their company’s leadership is not actively invested into the real estate market then it’s almost guaranteed that they don’t have the knowledge or experience themselves to help you succeed.
6) What are the management fees and options when the property is being rented? And are there fees when the property doesn’t have any tenants?
This will help you figure out your average monthly fee if there is one. The company will either offer you a flat rate or pricing based on the rent amount. Others may offer a lease only plan, a standard plan or a premium plan. Another thing to keep in mind is that flat rates often mean that you’re still paying even though there aren’t any tenants. In which case, why would a property manager be motivated to get you new tenants when you’re still paying them without any?
7) How can I cancel my management contract?
The last thing you want to do is trap yourself in a contract that you can’t get out of. Don’t partner with a company that will hold you hostage in a contract.
Need More Questions?
If you think you still need more great questions to ask your potential property management company, Active Renter Center has a huge list of 74 important questions you should ask a property manager before signing a contract.