Your properties are valuable assets, and a skilled property manager can help you maximize their profits. That said, it’s important to know that you’re working with somebody who is knowledgeable and experienced. That’s why at Zenith Properties NW, we recommend carefully interviewing a prospective property manager prior to signing any paperwork.
When it comes to interviewing a potential property manager, it can be challenging to know where to start – especially if you are new to the industry. However, there are a few questions you can ask to gauge whether or not the company will be a good fit for your needs. Here are our top questions to ask before hiring a property manager:
What Services Do You Offer Clients?
Property managers have a lot of responsibilities, from finding and screening tenants to handling complaints and initiating evictions. It’s important that the property manager is cut out for the job, and that they can carry out all of the tasks you need them to. This question can help you determine whether or not their services are a good fit for your needs.
How Many Rental Properties Do You Manage?
This question can help you determine the property manager’s level of experience, as well as how much personalized attention they can give you. Generally speaking, somewhere between 80 and 600 properties is ideal; less could indicate inexperience, while more could mean that your property will get lost in the crowd.
How Many Staff Members Do You Have?
It’s important to find a property management company that is just the right size for your needs. Too few staff members could indicate that they are overwhelmed with work, and too many could be a sign that you won’t receive personalized attention and services.
What Type of Insurance Do You Carry?
Some states have specific insurance requirements for property managers, so it’s important to check your area’s laws. You can save time by only interviewing potential property managers who carry the necessary insurance, certifications, and other qualifications.
Do You Mark-Up on Repairs and Maintenance?
Some property managers will mark-up repair and maintenance fees, which can diminish the profits you get to take home. Working with a property manager who does not charge mark-ups can save you money in the long run.
How Do You Determine the Rent Amount?
Strategically setting a rent amount can help maximize your property’s profits. An experienced property manager should have a deliberate system for determining rent prices. By asking this question, you can get a sneak peek at their thought processes while also discovering their level of skill and experience.
What Is Your Lease Renewal Rate?
This question can help you determine whether or not the property manager is good at retaining tenants. A high lease renewal rate indicates that the property manager knows how to select the right tenants and keep them happy over time, which encourages them to re-sign their lease. Generally speaking, a lease renewal rate of 80% or higher is a good sign that the property manager knows what they’re doing.
Are There Any Fees When the Property is Vacant?
Some property managers will charge a flat rate for their services, meaning that you will pay them whether or not your property is generating income. However, others will charge based on a percentage of the rent collected, so you won’t have to pay if the units are vacant. It is usually in your best interest to search for property managers that do not charge for vacant units.
What Percentage of Your Rentals are Usually Vacant?
This question can help you determine how effectively the property manager can find, screen, and place tenants. After all, you don’t want to enlist the help of a property manager who struggles to fill vacancies. In general, a vacancy rate of less than 5% is ideal.
Are There Any Fees for Pulling Out of the Contract?
As with any contract, it’s important to know the terms of the agreement before signing any paperwork. That includes knowing how the contract can be terminated and whether you will face any major fees if you choose to pull out.
What Miscellaneous Fees Do You Charge?
Miscellaneous fees can add up quickly, so asking for a breakdown of the fees can help you anticipate costs. Typically, property managers charge a general fee of around 8-12%. However, some companies will also charge for things like maintenance, new tenant placement, evictions, and vacant units. Finding out these details can protect you from unexpected costs.
How Do Your Tenants Contact You?
When it comes to property management, communication is a two-way street. Tenants should be able to easily get ahold of the property manager anytime for things like repairs, questions, or complaints. That’s why it’s important that the property manager has a plan in place for receiving and responding to communication from tenants.
Entrusting your property into the hands of a property manager can be a stressful decision, which is why it’s important to carefully screen potential property managers. While these questions can help you sort through the different options, it can still be challenging to find the right fit for your property.
If you are in need of superior property management services, the experts at Zenith Properties NW can help! Our knowledgeable team has been serving the Vancouver WA area for over 30 years, and we are prepared to help maximize your property’s profits. Just give us a call to get started!