9 Critical Questions To Ask Before Hiring Your Property Manager
If you’ve ever searched for a good property manager before, then you know how difficult it can be to find a good one for your rental property. There are several property managers out there, probably more than what you really need to bring your property into the market.
With so many choices available, you may find it difficult to choose one for your unit. But don’t worry – if you ask the right questions while shopping around for property managers, you’ll get a better idea of who would make the best fit for your property. We have compiled nine questions to ask before hiring your property manager for you:
1. What type of properties have you managed?
Experience counts for a lot in property management, and it can separate the good ones from the ones you should steer away from. Experience in this field, however, isn’t just about the number of years worked in the field; it’s also about what type of properties they’ve managed.
Depending on what type of property you have, you can either go with someone who specialises in managing properties like yours or someone who has more varied experience managing different types of properties.
2. How do you screen potential tenants?
Screening potential tenants is one of the most important steps to property management, so the way they do this often reflects their level of service to your property.
Ask them how they’ll match tenants to your property and what their process is like for finding tenants. This will give you a better idea of how they operate and what lengths they’ll go to find the right match for your property.
3. How do you handle late payments by tenants?
Finding tenants is just one phase of property management; the longer phase involves managing the tenancy itself.
Asking them this question will show you what their management style is like and how they’ll deal with critical rental issues like these. See if their process aligns with what you expect them to do and how you want your property to be managed.
4. How do you respond to complaints?
Similar to the previous question, this question allows you to gauge how well a potential property manager will handle the landlord-tenant relationship.
Remember that a property manager will act as the mediator between you and your tenant, so it’s important that you’re comfortable with their process for dealing with any complaints or issues.
5. How often do you do inspections?
Routine inspections are important to any tenancy agreement, and the number of times it’s done per year will help give you better peace of mind as the landlord or owner.
This question will also show you how well the property manager will look after your property even after the start of the tenancy.
6. What’s the right rental price for my property?
If you’ve done your research beforehand, this question will let you assess how well a potential property manager knows the market and what they can offer you.
It also allows you to get a better idea of what your property is worth in the current market. Compare their answer with different property managers to see what they offer and to better understand where your property stands in the market.
7. What are the things I can do to improve my listing?
Asking them this question won’t just reveal their expertise in property management, but it’ll also help you put your property in the best position in the market.
Note their suggestions, assess how relevant they are, and decide whether or not they can get your property where you want it to be.
8. What are the full costs and fees for managing my property?
Some have small sign-up fees but a variety of hidden fees once you sign on and let them manage your property.
Avoid getting surprised by such fees, and ask them to indicate all management and service fees included in their service. The more complicated their fee structure is, the bigger the headache (and expense) it will likely be.
9. What can you do that others can’t?
This is where prospective property managers will try to sell you on what they offer and how well they set themselves apart from the competition.
It’s also the part where you assess the intangibles in any working relationship, giving you a better idea of how well they meet your standards.
Listen well, take notes, and assess if they provide what you’re looking for. With so many choices available today, finding the right property management company can be difficult.
But by asking the right questions and doing your research beforehand, you’ll find that all the hard work you put into finding the right manager will be worth it. Once you find the right one, your property (and wallet) will surely thank you.
By Anil Ojeswi
The author is the Principal Licensee of Orange Maple Property Management, Brisbane, Australia