How to Hire the Right Property Management Company for Your Needs
Often one of the harder questions for rental property owners to answer is whether or not they should use a property management company to manage their rental properties. Some owners are up for the challenge of meeting the needs, and taking care of the challenges, that come with rental property ownership. Many, however, are not sure they have the time or inclination to do the job properly. For those that do decide to utilize a property manager, it can be daunting to find the right landlord for the job.
Most owners understand that vetting property managers, like vetting tenants, is important. But not all owners understand how to go about the process successfully. Knowing what questions to ask can be very helpful in determining whether or not a specific property management company is right for a rental property owner’s needs.
Five Questions to Ask a Prospective Property Manager
- How long have you been in the property management business?
It’s often easier to work with property managers that already have a working relationship with reliable contractors and vendors. It generally means that maintenance and repair requests will be handled professionally and timely, with good results for tenants and owners alike.
- How big is your company?
Small companies can be very efficient, but in general, it’s important for a property management company to have at least a few employees to help ensure that there is always someone on duty who can take care of emergencies or other issues. A one-man-operation can work, until that one man goes on vacation or has his own personal issues to deal with. A property management company with staff is usually a better option.
- What are your fees?
No rental property owner should hire a property manager without knowing exactly how much it is going to cost. Legitimate managers like Martin Feinberg are always upfront and honest about how much they will be charging for all of their services, including fees associated with vacancies, service calls, or to renew a lease.
- How do you determine your rental rates?
Experienced property managers know their markets well and will be able to analyze the market to ensure that the property owner is getting a good return on their investment. They will also be able to help rental property owners manage their profit expectations.
- How will you provide updates about my property?
Most professional property managers send out a monthly report that shows expenses as well as rental income for the properties they manage. These reports should include maintenance and repair costs. Owners should also be sure to find out how the manager will handle other issues that require communication, like repair requests that are over the prior approval rate, or impending vacancies, etc.