When you are deciding what property manager to hire, there are certain questions you should ask during the interview that can help you make an informed decision. Asking questions regarding their experience, their education, their knowledge of legal issues and their results as a property manager will help you determine if they will be the best fit for your investment property.
Questions About Experience:
- How long have you been a property manager/management company?
- What types of properties have you managed?
- Have you had experience dealing with *insert the type of property you own*?- If you own a 10 unit building and the manager has only had experience with single families, they may be too inexperienced for your specific needs.
- How many properties are you currently managing?- You don’t want your property to get lost in the shuffle.
- Do you have the time and resources to successfully add my property(ies) to your workload?
Questions About Education:
- Do you have your real estate broker’s or property management license?– Most states require property managers to have a license so they can show apartments.
- Do you have any type of certification?- Trade organizations such as IREM, NAA, NARPM and CAI offer education and training courses and provide certification after completion.
Questions About Knowledge of Landlord-Tenant Law:
- Do you understand the city, state and federal laws for property management and dealing with tenants?
- Federal fair housing laws?
- How to properly evict a tenant?
- The safety codes for my type of property(ies)?- How many smoke detectors are needed? Do they have to be hard wired? Do you need window guards on second floor windows?
- The proper way to collect and store security deposits?
- What to include in a pet policy and the list of dangerous dog breeds?
- How to terminate a lease?
Questions About Filling Vacancies/Retaining Tenants:
- How long does it take you to fill a vacancy?- If it takes them longer than a month, what are you paying them for? Are they available to show apartments seven days a week? At what times? Where do they advertise to find tenants?
- What is the average length of tenancy?- If they get tenants to sign long leases and actually stay for the duration of the lease, this will cut down on costs to fill vacancies -- including advertising costs, apartment turnover costs, and lost rent.
- How many tenants have you evicted over the past year?- This can help you determine if they are properly screening tenants. What is their process for screening tenants?
- How do you set the right rent for the property?– How many comparable properties do they look at? How often do they adjust the rent?
- How do you collect rent each month?- Do they allow tenants to use direct deposit? Do they only accept money orders or certified checks? Is there a set day each month? Is there a grace period? Do they enforce late fees?
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