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.