As in so many other jobs, the interview process is vitally important in property management. Prospective clients are trying to figure out if you are worth their trust. After all, they are looking for someone to take care of managing their property.
We’ve talked before about what it is that homeowners look for in a property manager, but what about the interview process itself? Here are 4 questions you should be prepared to answer in any interview.
“Who will be watching my property?”
What your prospective client is asking here is “How important will I be to you?” They want to know how you will go about actually watching the place: how many people will be on the job, will they be diligent, and will there be enough of them?
Generally speaking, people who own properties want to know that their investments will be taken care of. They don’t want to hire someone who will adopt a completely laissez-faire approach to things, or who will alienate good tenants by being needlessly difficult. They want to trust you to take applications, screen tenants, and manage the property responsibly.
First impressions matter. If you can tell your clients that you use digital property management, and then explain to them that it is more efficient and will help you to keep track of information relevant to their property, then so much the better.
“What is your experience?”
This might also be phrased “How many years have you been doing this?” What a client wants to know is how experienced you are in the business of property management. Experience counts for a lot in many fields, and property management is certainly one of them.
If your client is well-informed, one possible subtext here is the question “Are you a career property manager, or are you simply filling time before going on to sales or something else?”
The thing to do here is make it clear to them that you are very committed to property management. Share your experience with your client, showing them that you are knowledgeable and practiced in the field. You might talk about how digital property management helps you to be more conscientious as well as more efficient.
“How do you screen tenants?”
Your task is to find good tenants, but both you and the client know that there are people out there who somehow manage to get into housing and then proceed to do all manner of terrible things. We’ve talked before about some of the common tenant violations that you’ll want to watch out for.
Your prospective client wants to make sure that you will not be allowing dangerous criminals into their property, or people who will trash the place and generally abuse it. Tell your client about your experience screening for tenants as well as the procedures you use. Have you learned anything in particular about screening for tenantsthat you could share with the client?
“How do you handle tenant issues?”
Sooner or later, something is going to come up, and you will need to handle misbehavior on the part of a tenant. It could be rent—it almost certainly will be in a number of instances—but it could also be a number of other unpleasant things.
Your prospective client needs to know that you can handle those issues successfully. Tell them about how you handle misbehaving tenants. You might emphasize the importance of careful record-keeping, something that digital property management is particularly good at optimizing.