Selecting the best Property Manager
Interviewing property managers for our investor clients is a service that we provide, as the key to a stress-free investment property is not only a great tenant but an effective and professional property manager. After all, they are paramount to not only ensuring the rent is paid on time but also that the property is being looked after and any problems or issues are quickly attended to. For over 20 years now I have engaged a number of different managers, some better than others. I’ve also had the unfortunate displeasure of having to terminate agreements and switch managers when proper practices were not being adhered to. It goes with the turf of owning several investment properties across different states, and “managing the managers” can be quite a process at times!
Here’s our top 12 questions to assist with property management selection. Though this list is not exhaustive, it does provide a solid starting point for those new to the world of property investment:
1.How many properties do you manage?
2.How long have you been a property manager?
3.What services will your company be providing?
4.How much are your management and leasing fees and what is included?
5.How do you locate prospective tenants?
6.How do you screen your tenants? Do you carry out a credit check? How many references do you require, and can these be passed onto me if I want to double-check this person’s credentials?
7.What times are you available to show tenants my properties?
8.How do you handle repairs?
9.What course of action do you take if any of the following happens:
Tenant starts missing rent or is consistently late – and what does the property manager classify as “late”?
Tenant doesn’t maintain the property, or causes damage to the property?
Tenant does a “runner”?
10.What payment methods do you offer to tenants?
11.How often are statements sent out and payments made to my account?
12.When do you hold rent reviews?
When searching for a new PM, ensure they have experience, are excellent communicators and are up to date with the latest legislation. Good property managers should be able to remain calm under pressure, ideally be multi-taskers and/or leading a delegated team as well as have an eye for detail. They should be inviting you, as owner, to the quarterly inspections and have clear instructions (via the managing agreement) from you as to what monies can/can’t be spent without prior permission. Above all, after interviewing them, be sure that you are happy with their processes and that you feel confident in their abilities. A good property manager can make the difference between a trouble-free investment and an ongoing nightmare. Be careful with your choices.