There are certain skills that you need to have to be a competent property manager. When you do not have these skills, hiring a company to manage your property is the best way to ensure that the job gets done in the right way.
Hiring a property manager can, however, be a daunting task. You need to ask the right questions to gauge the quality of work they will do. Want to know what to ask? This article will share with you the top 17 questions to ask a property manager.
1. Do You Have the Needed Certifications?
In order for them to legally manage property and receive compensation, the property management company must have a real estate license showing that they are real estate agents. On top of this state license, the company will also have certain certifications from recognized trade organizations that offer property management certification classes.
The state licenses and certifications property management companies have show that their staff members are trustworthy and skilled people to handle the responsibility.
2. What Types of Insurance Do You Have?
We recommend opting for property managers that have a general liability policy, and also an errors and omissions policy.
3. How Long Have You Been in Business?
The longer the property management company has been operating, the more experience it has. This experience means that it is capable of handling more challenging situations such as utility or maintenance issues and tenant disputes.
4. Do You Have Any References?
If they have worked in the business long enough, they will have a long list of references to share with you. Ask them for references from a past client, real estate agent, or someone else they have a professional relationship with.
When contacting their references, do not just ask about the manager’s positives, also ask about their negatives. It is never a good sign if the potential property manager is hesitant about sharing their references with you.
5. What Different Types of Properties Do You Manage?
A commercial or retail property manager might lack the expertise that a property manager who handles rental properties has. Ensure that the property manager you are looking to hire has experience managing buildings whose type is similar to yours.
6. How Many Properties or Rentals Are You Currently Managing?
Understanding their management capacity is essential. It helps you to understand their business’ size and workload. You might want to exercise caution when dealing with property management companies whose rental portfolio has more than 100 buildings. A heavy workload might mean that they will not give your rental property the attention it deserves.
It is also a good idea to find out how they handle the clients and their properties. Going with a smaller company might be a safer bet because they are more capable of providing you with personalized services.
7. Which Areas Do You Service?
This question is beneficial if you have investments in different towns or cities in the state. It lets you know the property manager’s coverage.
8. What Services Do You Offer?
Different property managers offer different services at varying levels. Some offer leasing and managing services, while others also include marketing in their repertoire. Going with the manager that offers a full range of services will save you time and money. Before asking this question, first determine the kinds of service you desire.
9. What Are Your Management Fees?
The management fees are a crucial factor when reviewing potential property managers. In most cases, property managers are paid according to the amount of rental income the rental property generates.
The fees a property manager will charge you will vary depending on the services they are offering you. You should try to avoid a high management fee unless the manager is offering unique services or adding value. We also do not recommend going for the option with the lowest fees. Such options tend to have additional charges like court costs, maintenance markups, and tenant finder fees.
When asking about their fees, you should also ask about their fee structure, making sure that you have sample documents that detail it in writing.
10. Do You Conduct Inspections and Is There an Additional Charge?
Property inspections allow you to identify potential problems before they become critical issues. Some managers will include this service in their package while others will charge you an additional fee.
11. How Quickly Do You Respond To Questions or Concerns?
You do not want to wait days or even weeks for your property manager to respond to you. A quality manager will respond to your questions and concerns within one business day, treating all your concerns and queries with the utmost urgency and care.
12. How Do You Screen Potential Tenants?
It is essential that you understand how the management company screens new tenants. Does the manager run credit checks? Hire a property manager that screens potential tenants, verifying employment history, and running detailed background checks on people.
13. How Do You Handle Maintenance Work and Service Requests?
How will tenants communicate requests for service and repairs to the manager? Who will make the final decision on maintenance and repairs and will the manager need authorization from you in regard to expenses? Ensure that this whole process is clear.
14. How Do You Decide on Rent Amount?
The property manager should be able to conduct a comparative market analysis, comparing your investment property to similar listings to determine the appropriate amount to charge tenants.
15. How Do You Collect Rent?
Is there an online payment option, do the tenants mail in their rent, or does the manager collect it themselves? Choose a manager whose rent collection policy is streamlined. The policy should detail the amount of rent, when it is due, the lease renewal rate, any fees associated with late payments, and the eviction process.
16. Do You Collect Management Fees for Vacant Rental Units?
A property manager should not charge you if your investment property is empty. They should be okay with covering some of the costs if they cannot keep your rental properties occupied.
17. How Long Will the Management Contract Last?
Ask about other terms of the management agreement, including the length and renewal process. Also, ask them if there is a penalty for canceling the agreement if you are not satisfied with their services.
When looking for a property management service, look no further than NYC Apartment Management. We offer you a specially customized comprehensive service package that ensures your property is in the best possible hands. For personalized property management, get in touch with NYC Apartment Management at 212-787-1214.