When you’re looking for an experienced property management company, you need to research experience, reputation, and customer service. Before you schedule an interview, get an idea of where they work, what types of properties they manage, and what people are saying about them.
Once you’ve narrowed your search to a few potential property managers, schedule some interviews. You’ll want to have a conversation about your specific property and the services you need. You’ll also want to ask some questions.
We receive a lot of questions from prospective owners, and we’re always happy to answer them. Today, we’re sharing some of the most common questions that we hear – which are also questions you should make sure to always ask.
How Does Your Leasing Process Work?
The leasing process covers everything from pricing your property correctly to marketing the home online to screening tenants and finalizing the lease. You’ll want to know what a property manager’s process is, and how they can guarantee that they’ll find you a high quality tenant quickly, and for the most amount of rent.
A company without a good leasing process has a high vacancy rate and settles for mediocre tenants. Always ask about the steps that are taken to find a tenant for your vacant rental property.
How Will We Communicate?
Communication should be responsive, transparent, and reliable.
Make sure you understand how your property manager prefers to communicate, and discuss whether it matches the way you prefer to communicate. If you’re an out-of-state investor in another time zone, online communication might be best. If you like the in-person meetings and phone calls, make sure your property manager is willing to provide that.
Discuss your expectations. Communication is an important part of your relationship, and you need to know how often you’ll hear from your property manager and in what format you can expect to have information shared and questions answered.
What’s Your Rent Collection Policy?
Earning consistent rent is important for your cash flow and your long term ROI. Ask how rent will be collected from residents and how it will make its way to you. Find out when rent is due, how tenants are expected to pay the rent, and whether there is a grace period or any late fees when rent doesn’t come in on time.
You also want to ask when you can expect to be paid. It’s important that you receive a statement every month, either online or in the mail. You want to see and understand the income and expenses associated with your rental property.
How are Routine and Emergency Maintenance Issues Handled?
It’s important to know that your property management company has a process for routine maintenance and repair requests. Hopefully, they collect the tenant’s request, judge what needs to be done, and sends the appropriate vendors and contractors to take care of the work. You want them to respond quickly, and cost-effectively. A well-maintained home is worth more and retains tenants better, so you want them to be responsive and timely.
Emergencies will happen from time to time, so ask if they are available 24 hours a day for tenant maintenance calls.
How do you Utilize Property Management Technology?
There is more technology available to property managers than ever before. Automated systems allow us to work more efficiently. With online portals, we can quickly and electronically. You should be able to see accounting statements and maintenance invoices online, and you should have access to reports and leasing documents. Communication should also be easily facilitated, and your property managers should be available and accessible to you and your tenants.
There are some other questions you should also ask; for example, does the property manager stay up to date on the assorted laws and requirements? How much do services cost and are any guarantees offered? Find out if there’s an easy way to cancel the management contract if you’re not happy.
The focus should be on the services they provide and the value they offer. If you have any questions about how to approach potential property managers in Western New York, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Stonewall Property Management.