You will be trusting a property management company with making decisions on your behalf and in managing the day-to-day operations of your property investment. It’s important to know what you want out of a property management company, to interview multiple companies, and to make sure that you make the most of the interview time that you have with the company. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – this is your investment and you want to make sure that you feel confident in the people you choose to protect it.
1. Handling of Funds
It’s important to know how the company that you are talking to handles your money. Never be afraid to ask any and all questions that you can think of. You will be trusting whoever you choose with your investment, so make sure to ask when you will be paid, if the company will be writing checks on your behalf, payment policies for vendors, and how the accounting will be handled. It’s also important to know what reports the company will provide for you and how often they will send them. Feel free to ask for examples of the reports that they provide – sometimes it helps to see them in front of you.
2. Rental Rates
It can be difficult to know how much rent to charge your tenants, and that’s one place where hiring a property management company can really help you. You want to look for a company that has extensive knowledge of market data and uses that knowledge to determine rental rates for your property. It’s also important to ask how often they raise rent, how they handle late rent, and how they handle delinquent rent and evictions.
A quick response to tenant maintenance issues is important to keep tenants happy, adhering to laws, and keeping your property investment in good repair. You want to make sure that you know how the company that you’re interviewing handles maintenance requests. There are different ways that maintenance is paid for by the property management company and you should ask for all of the details about how maintenance payments work and what the company will be doing on your behalf. You will also want to ask how often preventative maintenance and property inspections are performed and what kind of reports are sent in regards to the condition of the property and maintenance that has been done or will be needed.
Even though price may be the first thing that you want to think about, it’s actually one of the last things that you should consider when selecting a property management company. Before you look at how much a property management company will cost, you should make sure that they are going to provide the services you need at the quality that you’re looking for. Sometimes companies that are lower priced may be overloading their managers, may not provide top-of the line service, or are not including all of their fees in the upfront cost. When making this important decision, you need to make sure that the company you choose will protect your investment and is not just offering the lowest price.
The details of how your property will be managed and how your money will be handled are obviously important, but don’t let these things overshadow the importance of being able to communicate well with the company you decide to hire. You should always feel comfortable asking questions and voicing concerns. If the person that you are talking with constantly interrupts you or if you don’t feel like you’re getting answers to your questions when you’re interviewing companies, this will likely be the same experience that you will have when dealing with this company after you hire them. In the end, it’s important for you to have confidence and trust in the property management company that you hire.