When a company wants to hire someone new, they set up an interview, ask candidates questions, get a gauge of their personality and consider how they would fit into the business.
The same process happens between homeowners looking to employ a property management company to manage their housing portfolio.
Below are ten questions you should ask a company before you decide to use their services.
How long has your property management company been in business?
This is an excellent question to initially begin the conversation with. It allows you to gauge the industry experience level of the company in question.
If you have an extensive portfolio, you want to be managed, and the company has just started, its fair to assume that they would not be a good fit for you.
However, that also goes the other way in the sense that they may also be extremely motivated to step up to the challenge of managing your company.
How many properties are you currently managing?
Ask the company in question how many properties they are currently managing, and how many staff are allocated to each property.
A robust and professional company will hire a team that suits their portfolio size. Having an adequate staffing roster is the foundation for having a great property management company.
We believe that having 300 or more units under management is a clear sign the property management company knows what they are doing and executes it to a satisfactory standard.
What type of software are you using?
Asking about the companies software is a crucial question when interviewing potential candidates. Its a common trend within the real estate industry to resent change, while a lot of businesses have embraced change, there are just as many out-dated, older companies that have failed to keep up with technological advancement.
Not having cloud-based software assisting your company in 2018 is inexcusable. The cloud allows companies to communicate data and information in real time, instantly to their clients (you). SnapInspect advises you to go with a company that has displayed innovation and willingness to advance by implementing cloud-based software into their business.
Do you offer tenant warranties?
Ask the company in question what type of warranties do they issue to their clients? It’s common for property management groups to provide 3-6 month tenant warranty when they fill one of your properties with tenants.
Warranties allow you to relax during the initial move-in and settling phase. They also show us that the property management company has faith in their tenant screening process, which is a crucial part of property management to have under control.
Can I use my contractors?
Depending on which company you chose to use, Some property management companies will allow you to use your own contractors. On the other hand, some will only let you select from a list of their preferred vendors.
Snapinspect believes that there isn’t a right or wrong answer to this question. However, you need to ask, as you may already have a lot of good relationships with contractors when it comes to repairing work, maintenance, etc.
How much will your service cost me?
How much will the service cost your business per month? Are there hidden add-ons or additional charges for specific services? Read through the purposed contract with a professional real estate lawyer.
It’s common for property management companies to have a lot of extra fees woven into their contract. Additional charges for routine inspections, lease renewals, rent money management, appliance servicing, the list goes on.
Make sure you review every detail of the agreement and that your lawyer has explained everything that could be hidden or masked.
How do you handle move-outs and how much time is required?
What is the companies policy for move-outs, eviction and how much notice is needed? Are you able to showcase the property to potential tenants prior to the old tenant moving out? How do they market for vacancies? What websites do they list on?
All these questions allow you to get a gauge on how the company handles move-outs, evictions and tenant turn.
What is your lease renewal policy?
Do they have a lease renewal policy? Is it done automatically that comes with extra charges for the homeowner or tenant if a new lease is started?
How do you handle evictions?
Finally, you want to ask what their eviction process is, how long it takes, and if it costs anything additional. Are they experienced? Do they handle things professionally?
Have them run you through their entire eviction process from start to finish. This allows you to ensure you won’t be charged extra and also gain a better insight as to how they treat tenants and client.