Being a landlord isn’t easy. On top of property maintenance, collecting rent, marketing vacancies and keeping a good relationship with your renters, there are lots of responsibilities that come along with the job. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to do it all (and do it well), or you keep rental properties as a secondary income, it might be time to hire a professional property manager to take care of your property.
Before you hire a property manager, you want to interview them to make sure they’re a professional in their field and will treat your property like their own. They should be familiar with the compliance laws in your state and know the industry well. To get started, here are a few questions you need to ask a potential property manager during the interview process.
What kind of services do you offer?
Different property management companies offer difference services. How all-encompassing and involved do you need your managers to be? Go into the discussion with a list of services that are necessary for your rental business, and see if the candidate can supply them. The last thing you want is to hire a property manager, only to find out they don’t provide a 24-hour call service.
How long have you been working in property management?
You want a manager who knows what they’re doing, not someone who’s going to figure everything out on the job. An experienced professional will know how to deal with angry tenants and emergency maintenance issues on top of being organized and efficient on the job. Ask for references so you can ensure the candidate is experienced and dependable.
Do you have any certificates or licenses?
Make sure the candidate is qualified and knowledgeable about property management. The job doesn’t only involve collecting rent and filling vacancies: Property managers need to know the ins and outs of discrimination, fair housing and eviction laws. You’re holding the property manager accountable for the bulk of your rental business, so make sure they know how to do it right.
How do you advertise properties?
You don’t want a property manager who will publish a listing in the paper and be done with it. Find out their marketing process, ask for samples of property listings they’ve written, or creative techniques for advertising. Anyone can post a rental listing. The trick knowing how to do it effectively.
How responsive is your customer service?
A property manager who is careless about customer service risks causing damages and lost profit to your property. A professional service will make sure your renters’ needs are covered at all times, especially since you won’t be there to take care of it. You don’t want your tenants to be neglected when they request maintenance service. Ask about their procedure and timeline for responding and taking care of repair requests.
How do you screen tenants?
The property manager will be the gatekeeper to your property. You need to make sure they will be fair and non-discriminatory during the tenant selection process so you won’t have a lawsuit on your hands. Ask about their screening process to make sure they will be selecting qualified tenants to live on your property.