Do you own a property you currently rent out to tenants or plan to rent out to tenants? If so, you may wish to hire a property manager. The right property manager can make your life much easier by handling such tasks as tenant screening, collecting rent, and more. This allows you to make money off your property without having to spend all your time managing it on your own.
That said, as is the case with anyone who provides a service, not all property managers will be equally qualified to serve your needs. To find a good property manager, it’s necessary to approach various candidates and ask them certain essential questions. Examples to strongly consider include the following:
What services do you offer?
Sure, this is a simple question, but it’s an essential one. Not all property managers offer the same services. You need to hire one who is prepared to serve you in the manner you expect. Although all property management companies share certain general similarities, many specialize in certain types of services, without prioritizing others.
What types of properties have you managed in my area?
It’s very smart to hire a property management company that has already managed properties in the area where your property is located. Familiarity with the local market tends to positively impact a property manager’s ability to offer their clients reliable and effective service.
You also should confirm a property manager you’re thinking about working with has experience managing properties similar to your own. For example, managing a small apartment building can require a different approach than managing a high-rise office building. It’s best to hire property managers who manage or have managed properties reasonably similar to your own.
Can you describe your tenant screening process?
Screening tenants is among the most important duties a property manager has. Ideally, your property manager will help you find tenants who can be trusted to pay rent on time and not damage a property.
Thus, a property management company should employ a thorough screening process. They should also be able to describe it in ways that indicate to you it yields results.
When asking about this, you might also wish to ask how long it usually takes a property manager to find tenants. Just keep in mind that finding quality tenants may take some time. Again, the screening process should be somewhat rigorous. You don’t want to rush through the process of finding tenants just to save a few bucks in the short run. In the long run, it’s much more financially helpful to take the time to locate and place quality tenants.
How does your fee system work (and what are your fees)?
The way in which a property manager might charge you for their services can vary from one company to the next. Usually, a property manager’s fee is a percentage of the gross monthly rent. However, sometimes property managers charge flat rates, while others may adjust their rates based on the cost of rent.
Confirm that a property manager’s fee system is one you’re comfortable with, and make sure their fees aren’t higher than is reasonable. That said, it’s important to be aware that a low fee rate isn’t always necessarily the sign of a quality property manager. Sometimes, one property management company may charge higher fees than some others because they offer a broader range of services. As with tenant screening, you don’t want to sacrifice quality in the name of savings.
Most importantly, take your time when choosing a property management company. Your property manager will play a very significant role in your financial life. You must choose one who’s truly reliable.