At a job interview, most interviewers know what kind of questions they’ll be asking the candidate to gauge whether they’d be a good fit for the job. However, when the candidate is a company or group of people rather than an individual, things can get a little confusing. And nowhere is this more obvious than in the search for a good property management company. What kind of questions do you ask a property management company? How can you ascertain if they’re a good fit?
Interviewing a Property Management Group
As with any interview, there are several standard questions to keep in mind as you consider a property management company. While you may add a few more specific questions depending on circumstances, the core questions to ask include:
- How long have they been in business?
- Do they manage other nearby properties, or have they done so before?
- Do they outsource maintenance and emergency services?
- How will you be getting reports or bank account access?
- When will they visit your property?
- Will they be handling insurance and legal matters?
- How do they screen potential tenants?
1) How Long Have They Been in Business?
A well-established business is generally far more trustworthy and beneficial for your property than a startup. Though a property management group’s age isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker, it’s important for you to know and recognize how their years of experience (or lack thereof) will affect your property.
2) Do They Manage Other Nearby Properties, or Have They Done So Before?
A company that manages properties near your own has an established presence, likely meaning they have a good reputation in your neighborhood. Best of all, this gives you the chance to find out their management style. If they maintain a property close to yours, pay them a visit and ask the tenants a few questions. Do they seem to be doing a good job? Do you think your business vision is compatible with their management style?
3) Do They Outsource Maintenance and Emergency Services?
Sometimes, smaller property management companies will outsource maintenance work and emergency help. While there’s nothing wrong with this on its own, outsourcing such important services can end up costing more after additional fees. Make sure to ask about the vendors themselves as well. Are they trustworthy? Do they have a proven track record?
Pro Tip: You should be able to reach your property management company at any time of day or night for an emergency. Regardless of whether they outsource emergency help or not, make sure they’re still available for contact.
4) How Will You be Getting Reports or Bank Account Access?
Effective property management means you will, by necessity, regularly receive reports of about your property and tenants. How will these reports be given to you? How often will they come and how much information will they cover?
Additionally, how will they handle money and payments for maintenance? Is there a single account that each client can freely access, or will you have an account of your own?
5) When Will They Visit Your Property?
A property management company that doesn’t visit its property frequently isn’t worth much. Ask about how frequently you can expect visits from them, how long they’ll stay, and what they’ll do. It’s also important to know how close they’re located to your property. The further away they are, the farther removed they are from your property and the less likely they are to visit.
6) Will They be Handling Insurance and Legal Matters?
Insurance is absolutely essential in today’s world. Will your property managers be providing, at minimum, liability insurance and workers’ compensation? Will they keep up-to-date on their legal obligations for insurance and property management in general?
7) How Do They Screen Potential Tenants?
Finally, how does this company handle screening tenants? How rigorous and detailed are their background checks? Remember, these tenants will be occupying and using your property. It’s absolutely crucial to know that your choice of a property management company will choose trustworthy clients.
Finding the Right Property Managers
As you ask questions of a property management company during the interview process, remember the most important ones for your particular property and circumstances. What services or work could you not live without? What’s absolutely essential to a successful partnership? Don’t be afraid to ask very specific, pointed questions about what you can expect.
Connect with us to learn more about selecting a trustworthy property management company.
As a property manager, your job is to cultivate a safe, thriving environment for your tenants. This is particularly true if you manage a residential property such as an apartment complex. For property management, safety is an important concern to keep in mind.
Encouraging Safety for Your Tenants
Excellent safety solutions for rental properties take different forms depending on their exact location and how many people live there. However, there are several general ideas that rarely change between residential locations. The first steps toward a new safety program might include:
- Encourage energy conservation
- Establish guidelines for parties and guests
- Monitor the swimming pool
- Establish vacation guidelines
1) Encourage Energy Conservation
Using too much water and electricity not only makes more work and expenses for you, but it also drives up your tenants’ energy bills. Keep costs low for everyone by monitoring water and electricity usage to keep it within a reasonable parameter. For instance, maybe you can reduce the time sprinklers are left running. Residents will also be grateful to get a repaired or replaced HVAC unit if the old one isn’t working, and sealing the windows prevents climate-controlled air from escaping. Keep your tenants content and reduce bills for everyone with a little simple maintenance!
2) Establish Guidelines for Parties and Guests
Your tenants will likely have guests over from time to time, but for the sake of the other residents, it’s important to make sure they know what the guidelines regarding guests are. Make sure quiet hours are clearly explained and that tenants know where to direct their guests to park. This will help to prevent after-hours noise complaints or parking issues for your permanent tenants.
Pro Tip: If your tenants or their guests use the common areas, make sure everyone involved knows the rules for proper usage of those areas. Communicate clearly regarding reservations, cleaning, safety, and other important factors.
3) Monitor the Swimming Pool
If your apartment complex has a swimming pool, make sure you’re in compliance with local safety laws in your dealings with it. Most of the time, you’re required to at least post a sign with basic safety rules, provide cleaning and rescue equipment, and remind residents that no lifeguard is on duty. However, there are a few extra steps you can take. If you know your residents will be using the pool, find a nearby YMCA or similar place where your tenants can take swimming lessons. Some may even offer discounts for residents of your community!
4) Establish Vacation Guidelines
When residents leave for a multiday vacation, some will want to rent their apartments temporarily on a program such as AirBnB, while others will allow a friend or family member to stay there temporarily. This is a bit of a gray area for you as the property manager. Sometimes, local laws prohibit or severely restrict vacation rentals like this. However, even if these choices are legal, your first priority should be providing a safe and comfortable environment for your long-term tenants. Establish rules on whether or not vacation rentals and short-term occupancies are allowed (and under what circumstances) and make sure it’s communicated clearly to everyone.
Property Management Safety
A quality property management company recognizes the value of encouraging safety for tenants and renters alike. Show your tenants that you care about their well-being and want them to enjoy their stay at your property.
Connect with us to learn more about encouraging safety for tenants and managing potential dangers.
Hiring a new property manager is not a decision to be made lightly. Your new team member should get along well with both tenants and owners, exhibit professional behavior, and have the experience to back them up. But what else should you look for before you hire someone new? How can you be sure you’re hiring a good property manager?
Traits to Watch For
Excellent property managers will consistently demonstrate these important characteristics in their dealings with tenants, other team members, and you. See if your potential new hire regularly exhibits these traits:
- Excellent communication skills
- Previous experience
- Organization and management
- Flexibility and creativity
- Professional demeanor
1) Excellent Communication Skills
You should never be confused about anything your property manager tells you. Make sure they communicate with you clearly, cordially, and frequently. Both you and your tenants should always be in the loop regarding what’s happening at your property.
2) Previous Experience
Experience on its own isn’t an indicator of competence. However, the nature of that previous experience can give you a few clues. Call their previous employers and ask a few questions. Was the candidate good at their previous jobs? Why did they leave? Learn about your potential new hire’s background.
3) Organization and Management
Managing a property involves keeping track of multiple factors on any given day, requiring a candidate who can multitask effectively and still get everything done on time. How good is your new property manager at organizing every moving part to take care of the property? Make sure they can stay on top of all the challenges this job will throw at them.
4) Flexibility and Creativity
Even the most perfect organizational system will fail occasionally. When this happens, a successful property manager should know how to handle the situation and develop an effective solution. How good is the candidate under pressure?
Pro Tip: There’s no exact checklist for effective property management. The best way to judge a manager’s competence and creativity is to look at the results of their work.
5) Professional Demeanor
Through the entire process of effective property management, a trustworthy manager will maintain a professional attitude toward everyone. Not only does this mean residents and potential renters alike will be treated with respect and kindness, but it also means they won’t cave to pressure. A professional property manager sticks to the rules and does what’s best for the property and tenants above all else.
Selecting a Property Manager
Finding a good property manager takes time and discernment. While exact management plans and behavior will inevitably vary between candidates, a potential new hire who sticks to these key characteristics is sure to prove themselves to be an excellent choice for your property.
Contact us with any more questions about hiring a property manager and what to look for.
No property manager is perfect. From time to time, clients will have disagreements or complaints about a manager’s decisions. For a property manager, complaints are as much part of the job as anything else. Professionals should know how to handle these problems when they arise.
Common Client Grievances
Just like any other job, even negative customer feedback can help managers improve their performance and better help their clients. Clear communication between the parties will help fix the problem or clear up any misunderstandings. A few of the most common complaints directed at property managers include:
- Handling too many responsibilities
- Avoiding responsibilities
- Lack of communication
1) Handling Too Many Responsibilities
Some people are experts at multitasking, while others aren’t. Regardless of your ability to juggle multiple projects at once, most people realize that taking on too much work at one time means that no one piece of work gets the attention it needs. The same principle applies to property managers. If a facility manager is struggling to balance multiple properties, individual locations will get passed over at inopportune times. See if your manager can lighten his workload, or find a different manager who can dedicate more time to you.
2) Avoiding Responsibilities
A property manager’s apparent laziness can either be a separate problem entirely or a consequence of number one. Maybe the manager genuinely forgot about a certain problem after a long day juggling several other properties. However, some managers do neglect or forget commitments made to property owners. When this happens, make sure to remind your property manager of what you asked him to do.
3) Lack of Communication
This problem can be the fault of both parties in some cases. A client who needs to get hold of a property manager will have better luck calling during business hours than late at night, for instance. On the other hand, some property managers need a little reminding before they’ll settle into a comfortable communication routine with you.
Of course, sometimes a property manager just doesn’t communicate as much as necessary. Regardless of the reason, communication is critical to the manager-client relationship and you as the client must continue asking until you hear back.
Pro Tip: Your property manager works for you. If you feel they aren’t communicating effectively with you or treating you respectfully, ask the management company if they can recommend another manager.
Property managers may coordinate maintenance and other work for your properties, but you ultimately pay for any work they order. Make sure the manager clearly understands your budget and doesn’t continually leave you short on money. Ask them to explain every potential charge and how essential it is before you pay for a new project.
Maintaining a Professional Relationship
A professional manager ultimately wants your buildings to stay maintained and full of tenants as much as you do–after all, you both ultimately benefit from a lucrative property. Learn to address complaints quickly and try to come to a resolution that will make both parties happy.
Connect with us to learn more about effective communication and professional relations with your property manager.
Any type of property requires significant work to plan, manage, and maintain over time. As a property owner, you likely don’t have the time to invest all the effort necessary into caring for your properties as much as they need. That’s where professional facility management can help you.
A knowledgeable facility manager will help you with your property’s day-to-day operations, strategic planning, maintenance, attracting tenants, and more. Don’t wear yourself out trying to do this all on your own. A property manager will help you take care of the busy work so you can focus on your own tasks.
Multifamily Property Management
If your properties include student housing, senior living, apartments, or similar accommodations, consider hiring a multifamily property manager. These professionals can handle the larger amounts of work and strategy required to keep multiple clients happy in the same property. Popular services include:
Pro Tip: With multifamily property management, you’ll be able to provide fast and helpful service to all the tenants in a single building at once!
Commercial Facility Management
Renting or leasing commercial space to a business presents more legal complications and factors than renting to an individual or family. With an extensive knowledge of legal and practical requirements for commercial properties, your manager will help you with:
Having an expert help with commercial properties ensures that every little requirement will be met. Consequently, you’re not likely to get sued!
Regardless of your property’s function, from time to time repairs and significant maintenance will be necessary. A property management team will take the stress off you by providing crucial supervision and legal coverage for each step of the construction process. Your manager will work directly with the construction crew to ensure a quick, simple repair job that will get your property back on track in no time.
Effective Facility Management
A professional facility management team is ready to tackle any situation and keep your property running at its best. Trust our team of experienced experts to help streamline your property maintenance, whether in the legal department or with construction efforts.
Interested in learning more? Connect with us to speak with our expert property management team.
Owning property, particularly commercial property, presents a set of challenges not many people are equipped to handle. Fortunately, a professional property manager can help you manage your facilities and boost your profits with little hassle.
How a Facility Manager Can Help You
Facility management provides valuable help with nearly any problem you as a property owner will face with your investment. If you choose the best property management group, you can expect high-quality service and assistance in these crucial areas:
- Higher profits
- Attracting tenants
- Legal concerns
1) Higher Profits
As a property owner, you want to make a profit and sustain your income through your property. With a well-developed strategy and implementation, your facility manager will boost your company’s profits demonstrably. A manager can also help you create a long-term strategy to continue your progress.
2) Attracting Tenants
Of course, a building can’t make you any money if it’s standing empty. A facility manager can help you market your space and attract potential tenants to your property. After initial introductions, your manager can help you filter through the potential tenants and narrow in on the ideal choice for your property. You can trust their experience to help you find a trustworthy tenant.
3) Legal Concerns
Real estate law involves a multitude of minutiae and confusing language that doesn’t always appear to make sense. Fortunately, a facility management expert knows all the relevant legal requirements and can help you navigate your obligations as a landlord. Keep yourself protected with their expert legal help and expertise.
Pro Tip: If you’re leasing a property, facility management could be particularly helpful. A lease agreement is one of the most difficult legal documents to create. Make sure you entrust it to an expert!
Professional Real Estate Help
Property management is an all-consuming, difficult job involving countless minute tasks. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much work to manage your facilities. When you hire a facility manager, you can rest assured that all your assigned tasks will be completed on time and to a high standard.
Looking for a professional facility manager to help you take care of your properties? Connect with us to start talking with our team.