How to Choose a Property Management Company: Part Two

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By now you have probably decided that you will be needing to enlist the services of a property management company.

You should even have a pretty good idea of what criteria to keep in mind during the selection process. But what types of questions should you be asking when you interview the potential candidate?

It’s best to come prepared with a ready-made questionnaire that will challenge the interviewee and provide you with the information necessary to make a choice.

Factors to Consider and Questions to Ask

Pricing: It is important to thoroughly understand a property management group’s pricing structure when evaluating them for a job. Consider what the company offers, and try to get the best value for your money. Important questions to ask:

  • What types of services are included in their monthly or annual fee? Industry standard pricing can range anywhere from 5 to 15 percent of monthly rental income depending on services offered.
  • What services outside of basic management are not included in the price? Are travel expenses, listing costs, or other sub-services an additional charge?

Repairs and Emergencies: One of the main advantages of hiring a property management company is that they can handle emergencies for you. This could quite literally make or break your investment. Important questions to ask:

  • Does the management company have their own maintenance team?
    • Is there a specific contractor that they use?
    • Are there extra charges associated with this?
  • What is their process for emergencies that occur after hours?
  • Is there a staff member that can be reached at all hours of the night?

Rent Collection: Finding out how the property manager collects rent will be crucial to your relationship with them. It would be wise to get this item cleared up in order to avoid unnecessary conflict. Important questions to ask:

  • How do they go about collecting rent from their tenants?
  • Do they use automated payments or collect by another method?
  • What specific day do they collect on each month?
  • How much time will there be between rent collection and the money being deposited into landlord’s bank account?

Listing of Units: Not only do you want to make sure that your units are getting the right exposure, but you will want to be confident that the very best tenants are being sought after and selected. Important questions to ask:

  • Through which channels does the property management company advertise through?
  • Are they up-to-date with current technology, or do they rely on traditional methods?
  • How do they go about showing properties?
    • Do they schedule appointments?
    • What is their policy for renters who may need to view the suites after-hours due to their schedule?

By asking these questions you may not find out everything you need to know, but it will definitely head you in the right direction. It is best to research, question, analyze and then decide based on all of the information you have. This will enable you to make a choice that you will be happy with for years to come.

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