So you own a rental property, and you know you can’t do it alone. Maybe it’s that you don’t have the time, or maybe you’d just like to spend your time on other tasks. You know that you need the support of a property manager. You’ve done your research and narrowed down the property management company you’d like to work with. Now what?
When it comes to working with a property manager, there are some questions you should ask first. It’s good to make sure you’re aware of how things will works and have all your bases covered.
Here are 8 questions you should ask your new property management company:
1. How do you communicate with owners?
You’ll want to communicate with your property manager regularly to be sure no information about your rental property is lost. What will be the primary method of communication? Will there be regular in person meetings? Will we have phone calls? Is texting convenient? Ask these questions upfront so that you can know what to expect.
2. What happens in property inspections?
All property managers should perform an initial property inspection. Before this happens, you should know what to expect. Ask them what their inspection process is like, what they look for and other important factors. You should also know if your property manager conducts inspections regularly or semi-regularly after a tenant has moved in. Occasionally, companies will charge a small fee for inspections. It’s absolutely worth investing in property inspections to make sure you can catch any problems before it’s too late.
3. How many rental units do you manage?
This will help you to understand the scale of their portfolio as well as understand their level of experience. When you ask how many rental units they manage, you can also ask what types they are. Are they mostly in multi-unit buildings? Are they mostly bachelors and 1 bedrooms?
4. What are the management fees?
Of course, you’ll want to know what fees are associated with hiring a new property manager. Different companies will determine their management fees differently. Be sure to ask what their management fees are. Are they a percentage of the rents or a flat rate?
5. How do you determine rents?
A good property manager will analyze your property and suggest improvements to add value and increase your rental revenue. You should always ask how rents are determined to get a good understanding and expectation of your rental revenue.
6. How do you screen applicants?
The tenants that live in your unit need to be chosen carefully. Every landlord wants clean, responsible, respectful tenants that take good care of their apartment and pay their rent on time. Ask your property manager how they screen applicants and make sure they are choosing the best tenant for the property. How do they determine if their income is sufficient? What screening methods do they use?
7. How will maintenance and repairs work?
What happens if my property requires maintenance or repairs? It’s important to have this discussion up front so that you aren’t surprised when work is needed down the line. How does the process work? Are there any associated fees? These are important things to consider for your rental property.
8. How often will I get updates?
Ask your property manager how often you will be updated on your investment property portfolio, any current issues or needed repairs, and their performance. You should also ask how you will be updated.
Choosing a company to manage your rental unit(s) can feel like a daunting task, but if you ask the right questions you can manage expectations and feel more sure of your decision.