Whoever said “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” was right indeed.
Questions are like the compass you need to guide you towards the right direction. Better yet, it is asking the right questions that will help gear you towards making a wiser decision. Read on to learn what kind of questions to ask a property manager.
Before you meet a property manager, ask for copies of the lease and management agreement. Two documents you should definitely ask for are:
1.The Lease – it defines your relationship with the tenant.
2.Management Agreement– it defines your relationship with the business manager–the property manager.
Tip: Carefully read these documents over and develop a list of questions. These questions will come in handy as they will help you understand your rights and responsibilities with your prospective property manager and tenant.
Service Prices and Fees
Ask for a list of all possible charges and fees; these should all be included in the Property Management Agreement. There are different types of fees such as: leasing, marketing-related, lease renewal, and management.
- Fees for property manager’s represenation at HOA/Condo meetings.
- Fees for property manager’s representation in legal proceedings.
- Management fees for property’s vacancy.
- Fees for obtaining additional repair estimates.
- Fees for terminating management agreement (or transfer to property manager).
This is a crucial part of a property manager’s role. Ask a property manager his or her measures of selecting a tenant will affect the quality of tenants you’ll be taking into your property.
- The income qualification ratios.
- The time-length to process an application.
- Their stand on renting tenants with pets.
- Any other important criteria to you.
While you can simply look up the typical property manager’s responsibilities, or even read about it in another one of our articles, the property manager you’re connecting with is more than likely to have a specific method of getting things done. Ask him or her what their management service encompass. The ideal property manager will already have the essential tasks buckled down, such as:
- advertising your company
- managing rent money in a timely fashion
- handling maintenance or repair calls (ask about procedures and policies on maintenance and repairs, contractors, etc.)
- handling insurance claims or HOA issues
- inspection of property
The Property Manager’s Business
It’s always good to get to know them and the business itself. You should always ask a property manager about his or her company. How long has the business been in service? How many properties does he or she manage in your area and in general? How many staff members are there available and what are their roles? Are they licensed personnel?
References and Online Reviews
Ask if you may contact current clients (tenants) as references. A page of testimonials shouldn’t convince you off the bat. As for reviews, don’t just rely on the “stars”. Really look into the ratings and the motives behind them. Are these sincere ratings? Are they useful?
These are the types of questions that will give you a clear understanding of the quality and value of the relationship you could be having with your prospective property manager. Ask the property manager anything else that may come to mind at the moment and don’t hold back. The more informed you receive from the start, the more time and money you’ll save.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.